Movie Review: Ant Man (2015)

Genre: Comic Book Action
Director: Payton Reed
Writer: Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas

Premise: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I bought Ant Man (along with two other movies) from the bargain basket last month, and so, colour me surprised when I finally got around to seeing it recently, because, I loved it! No, really, it was simple popcorn fun. Not overly ambitious in its reach, and not totally reliant on FX from beginning to end. And when those FX came, they were not only neat, but a couple were laugh out loud funny. Never mind seeing Paul Rudd running with the Ants (not the Bulls) was pure silliness.

And I think it’s thanks to that air of innocence that Paul Rudd gives off that pulled this one off, for me at least. Playing Scott Lang, an ex-con newly released from prison for white collar crime(s), with some questionable friends, he’s recruited by inventor Hank Pym—played by Michael Douglas. Who, I might add, was urbanely droll and snarky throughout the movie. He’s never been one of my favourite actors, but he redeems himself in Ant Man.

Playing his daughter, Hope, is Evangeline Lily (she of Lost TV fame) who I never even recognised. Lily plays the smart and highly successful daughter at Pym Technologies—a sort of double agent between her father, and her father’s protégéé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who, having muscled Hank out from his own company, is now hell bent on discovering Pym Technology’s secrets. Sadly, here’s where the movie hit a road bump—not with the actor or his performance, but why he’s doing what he’s doing. What’s driven him to team up with Hydra, and why he’s gone off the rails to begin with. Maybe those scenes were excised, because of time restraints.

The other niggle is Hank Pym’s reasoning for not letting Hope wear the suit, and while we do get something of an answer, it’s feels a little forced: the loss of her mother, which is then explained later in the movie, in a little more depth. But little niggles aside, Ant Man delivers on any number of levels. The casting and acting were great. The dialogue while, at times, was predictable, was also very funny in places.

I especially enjoyed Michael Pena’s performance as Luis, Scott’s former cell mate and criminally  inclined friend with some of the most amazing story telling skills. He get’s to recount a number of stories that in and of themselves, were hilariously depicted and told.

Rounding out the cast was Judy Greer playing a sympathetic ex-wife to Rudd’s character, and the wonderfully bright Abby Ryder Fortson playing their daughter, Cassie. Who is also Rudd’s motivation throughout the movie in teaming up to be the hero his daughter already thinks he is.

Rating: 8.5/10

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