Mon 30 Nov 2015, 08:00
Okay, so all of those people (myself included) who thought Marvel had gone completely bananas when they said they’d be taking some of their – let’s face it – B-list heroes and building a cinematic empire, how’s the humble pie tasting?
Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk and The Vision are all characters that we never thought would work on film but are now kicking major ticket office butt. Kevin Feig is practically sleeping on mattresses stuffed with million dollar notes for crying out loud.
Then came the talking Raccoon and his pet tree in Guardians of the Galaxy. Insanely good movie. And now, man! a guy who can shrink down to the size of an ant, but retains his human strength? Ant-Man? How could this possibly work?
Well, it does. And in bucket-loads!
Ant-Man is one of the smartest movies to come out of the Marvel Universe so far. It’s smart because it effortlessly combines superhero awesomeness with a classic heist movie, razor-sharp humour and the right measure of action to be everything that a comic book geek ever wanted from a movie.
I mean, sure, The Avengers gave us a taste of the supernatural but Ant-Man, jeez, I don’t even know how to categorise this one and that’s what makes it so damn good.
For those unfamiliar with the comic book canon, the original Ant-Man - Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) - is fighting every government and private agency to keep his secret serum (and the key to successfully shrinking a human down to whatever size he needs to be), well, secret. But he is “getting too old for this s**t” and needs a professional to take over as the micro-Avenger.
Enter Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd), a cat burglar with a penchant for big scores. He’s arguably the best in the cat burgling business and ideal to go behind enemy lines to “retrieve” a secret weapon (aka the Yellowjacket) that threatens the very security of the world.
The only problem is, there’s Cory Stoll’s character - a bad guy (there’s always a bad guy) who needs Pym’s serum and Ant-Man suit to put the final pieces of the puzzle into place to start his quest for global domination.
So how does this movie measure up? Better than you think. In fact, it’s more of a heist comedy than a textbook superhero movie and I think TV veteran Peyton Reed has done an excellent job of bringing us the tone that we (some of us anyway) know and love form the Ant-Man comics.
Paul Rudd is hilarious and even Douglas’s “old man Pym get off my lawn you kids” character just works beautifully.
Ant-Man is littered with Easter Eggs from throughout the Marvel universe, including two after-credits scenes, one revealing the suit of The Wasp (who Evangeline Lilly will eventually play in the next Avengers movie), and a sneak peek at the next Captain America instalment – Civil War.
Marvel movies have the bar set very high and Ant-Man reaches and leaps over that bar with the agility of a flying ant. It’s, by far, one of Marvel’s funniest movies but it’s serious when it needs to be and the visuals, well, it’s simply spectacular.
If you’re reading this review and thinking to yourself: "Wow, the Kool Aide must be good." I can tell you it is. I’m a fanboy, but Ant-Man deserves any and all praise it receives.
If you love movies like Ocean’s Eleven, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Italian Job and, yes, anything that has “Marvel’s” in front of the title, this movie is for you. It’s not a schlockie comic book movie, it’s a genuinely good action heist movie that’ll make you laugh from beginning to end. It really is a bundle of fun.
Do yourself the favour. Rent Marvel’s Ant-Man. You’ll love it.