HOLLYWOOD—There is something about the hero in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” that stands out. No, it’s not just the fact that our hero is pint-sized. When it first came to light that Marvel was bringing the comic book favorite to the big screen, I slightly grimaced. Not many people are aware of this superhero compared to those like X-Men, Captain America, Batman and countless others.
Taking on the role of Scott Lang is Paul Rudd. When I first heard about casting, I thought, I’m not sure if that is going to pan out, but wow, was I ever wrong. Rudd is perfect casting for a character who doesn’t automatically scream superhero. Lang is a loser of sorts, he’s a thief, and he’s not the biggest guy to say the least.
What works well for this tale is the narrative that has been weaved by Rudd, Adam McKay, Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright. The film has wit, humor and amazing comedic timing. So much to the point, I almost wanted to compare the character of Scott Lang to that of Tony Stark. However, there are slight differences between the two.
Stark is a flamboyant playboy, while Lang is the mastermind of a heist team that includes its share of kooky characters including Luis (Michael Pena), Dave (Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian). These characters provide that burst of energy and laughter that makes the film quite lovable not just for the adults, but also the kiddies as well.
“Ant-Man” sets the stage for a flick that really delves deep into the world of science thanks to Hank Pym (Michael Douglass) who used to be the Ant-Man, but has reached an age where putting on that suit is no longer possible, hence Lang’s entrance into the mix.
Some could argue Hank is a bitter old guy, who has come to that point in his life where he is reflecting on all that has gone wrong. He has lost his company to protégé Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll), he has an estranged relationship with his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) and his last remaining hope for fulfillment is to get Scott to become the Ant-Man.
That is one interesting dynamic in the flick; it’s really a duel between Hank and Darren, where Scott plays mediator to the degree for both adversaries. Scott is almost a splitting image of his protégé, he’s lost his job, his wife has hooked up with his former friend, and yeah that last one has to sting a bit.
What is thoroughly entertaining about “Ant-Man” is that the flick utilizes the notion of small to big proportions. We get to see the life of an ant to a degree. As someone large, we see it as something minute, but in all actuality they have to dodge all types of things that can result in the end of their lives. Scott allows the audience to see this and with the use of technology it makes things that much fun to unfold on the big screen.
The special effects in “Ant-Man” are unlike anything in my opinion in the Marvel universe. Normally, I would never advocate seeing a flick in 3D that wasn’t shot in that dimension, but for this flick I would make the exception. Director Peyton Reed does a fabulous job balancing, wit, humor, action and narrative that mesh well with characters in a superhero flick.
“Ant-Man” is the first superhero flick in a long time that surprised me on multiple levels. It has unique characters, plenty of laughs, a hero that audiences will love and action and visual effects to appeal to all. Put “Ant-Man” on your list this summer because it’s a must-see.