You’re not seeing things; the Brent Watches Movies blog is back, and in a
big way with an Ant-Man write up! (Sorry for that). There really hasn’t
been a good excuse as to why I took a hiatus other than probably laziness, but
I’m back, so let’s talk Marvel’s latest. Ant-Man begins with a Robin
Hood-esque crook named Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) getting out of prison
after stealing from a big bad organization and giving its money back to
the employees it took from. He tries to hold down a job but his past
keeps coming back to haunt him. All he wants is to be in his estranged
daughters life, who now lives with Langs ex-wife (Judy Greer) and her
new cop husband (Bobvy Cannavale). When the opportunity arises to do one
last heist with a potentially huge payout, he can’t turn down the
chance to be in his daughters life much sooner than he’d thought.
However, instead of finding money, he stumbles upon something much more
interesting, and into the lives of Dr. Hank Pym, (Michael Douglas) his
daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily), and a hell of a lot of ants.
So to be completely honest, I had been excited for this movie for a very long time; ever since Edgar Wright had announced he was writing and directing it almost a decade ago now. However, him and Marvel didn’t see eye-to-eye on where they wanted the movie to go VERY late in the game (like weeks before shooting began) and he dropped out. This is when my interest in the movie took a sharp drop, as why else would you see an ‘Ant-Man’ movie unless it was made by the amazing Edgar Wright. Over the weeks that followed, Marvel scrambled to find a replacement and settled on Peyton Reed, who had done ‘Yes Man’ and the underrated great ‘Bring It On’. The movie still had a great cast with Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and more, so I figured, “Lets just see how this turns out next year,” and what do you know? It actually came out pretty damn good!
Ant-Man is a welcome departure from Marvel’s recent slate of ‘end-of-the-world-lets-blow-up-the-whole-city’ fare with a very focused and contained story, and stakes that don’t really stretch beyond the relationship between a girl and her father. That is, however, all Scott Lang wants in the movie, and it’s a refreshing change of pace for a big budget blockbuster. Even with the relatively lower stakes of the movie, you’re still just as invested in the story. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a team of Superhero’s trying to save the world from global annihilation or a man trying to be the hero that his daughter thinks he is. As long as the characters feel authentic and human, it doesn’t matter. This is something that Marvel has always understood, and why their movies are so consistently entertaining. For however awesome the action is, they totally understand their characters.
So that’s one aspect of the movie I loved, but just a few other things before I wrap up. The casting does a lot of heavy lifting in the scripts weaker parts. Paul Rudd cements his place as one of the most likeable actors of this generation in my book, and I can’t wait to see how he bounces off of characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Michael Pena however, almost steals the show. He’s mostly there for comic relief, but consistently has most of the funniest lines in the movie. Aside from acting, all of the shrinking and visual effects in the movie are pretty spectacular. I did some research and found that a lot of micro-photography was used, meaning that much of the world around Lang in his Ant-Man form is actually real! Pretty insane stuff.
Just some extra stuff I enjoyed-
- The ‘Quantum Realm’ sequence (laying some groundwork for Dr. Strange for sure)
- THAT fight at THAT place (you’ll know when you see it)
- Corey Stoll (under-serviced, as he is a Marvel villain, but I’ve been a fan since House of Cards)
So that’s gonna wrap up Ant-Man. I plan on getting back to writing on here pretty regularly (probably at least once a week) so stay tuned for more reviews in the coming weeks, and if you share this with your friends that’d be great ^_^ Thanks for reading!