The Marvel cinematic universe has been enormously successful. The Avengers, Thor and Captain America franchises have garnered buckets of cash.
Whilst some have been burdened by a predictable formula, others have lingered in the memory with Ant-Man sitting somewhere in the middle. An action packed, CGI-infused ode to one of Marvel’s earliest comic book characters, it’s a fun ride sure to please many genre admirers.
Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is keen to safeguard his secret Ant-Man technology. Enabling the user to decrease to ant-like size, Pym chooses an unlikely candidate, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a reformed thief.
Initially reluctant to accept the offer, Lang warms to the task of protecting the valuable property. Becoming a pint-sized hero battling evil entities determined to use the technology for their own nefarious ends, Ant-Man’s small stature masks a man with a huge heroic heart.
Due to being an origin story, Ant-Man occasionally feels very slow. Its first hour is particularly glacially-paced despite the performers’ enthusiasm. When the action heats up so does the story with director Peyton Reed showing some stylish flair. His combination of humour and drama within the action sequences is effectively handled. Whilst these scenes heavily rely on bedazzling CGI, Reed ensures the actors inject enough personality in them to ensure you care what happens.
Being a superhero flick, Ant-Man enjoys the story’s fanciful nature. Although walking a well-worn trajectory, the script embraces the opportunities the concept presents. Douglas and Rudd in particular seem to enjoy expanding outside the acting range for which they are usually known. They know Ant-Man isn’t anything other than a colourful comic book movie succeeding in elevating its level of enjoyment. You can’t take a movie like this too seriously with the action and humour blending to form an agreeable escapist package.
Compared to previous Marvel films, Ant-Man may perhaps not be the greatest but it has energy and a tone discarding the earnestness of similar movies. If you roll with the impish nonsense it provides, the small hero witnessed should conjure humongous thrills.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 6