REVIEW: Ant-Man

Oh hey, a Marvel movie can still be good.

The more I think about Avengers: Age of Ultron, the less I like it. The Black Widow and Banner non-romance was terrible, the movie wasted too much time setting up future Marvel movies, and worst of all the movie forgot to be fun. Age of Ultron is a bummer. It ends up feeling a lot like Iron Man 2 (Although not that bad) where all the Marvelness just becomes baggage weighing down the movie.

In comparison, Ant-Man feels like a breath of fresh air. It gets the biggest thing right: it is fun. Mopey Superhero melodrama does not consume this movie. Sometimes the movie is funny, sometimes it’s tense, but more than anything the movie remember that we’re all here to have a good time, and allows rad shit to happen.

Ant-Man’s tone is mostly on the same wavelength as other Marvel movies. (In particular the Captain America movies) It’s grounded in that same way, but once the fighting gets underway this movie delivers the goods. The directing and cinematography isn’t great, but even delivered in a lackluster way, the creativity of these fights wins out.

It also helps that this is the first Marvel movie in a while there the climax doesn’t just become our heroes fighting some kinda robot army. Not because robots armies inherently suck, but I just get sick of seeing the same thing every time.

Not that the movie is wholly original. It still takes a lot directly from the first Iron Man movie, but that’s a good movie to take from and this movie remixes that stuff sufficiently. One of the strengths of Superhero movies is an excuse to throw money at genre pictures that otherwise wouldn’t get this kind of budget. In this case a heist movie.

And it’s a decent…

…Actually, I have no idea how to judge this movie strictly as a heist movie, because the Superhero elements warp the formula so strongly, and mostly just by addition. For a movie that is smaller than its processors in many ways, Ant-Man manages to feel large. There’s a lot for memorable stuff here.

Paul Rudd does a good job grounding the movie. His inability to take anything too seriously really plays to his advantage here. Michael Douglas is great and adds a lot. Evangeline Lilly is good, but not given that much to do honestly. Corey Stoll does pretty well with a villain role whose motivations are pretty underwritten. Bobby Cannavale and Michael Peña also play memorable minor characters. Wood Harris also plays a minor role, which makes The Wire fan in me happy. (Now just need to get him in a room with Heimdall)

This movie is just fun. It owes so much to Iron Man that I don’t know that I can say that it’s better, but flat out, the action here is more interesting and creative than what we got in that movie. And there is a healthy amount of action here.

I really enjoyed this dumb, silly movie. This is a summer blockbuster that succeeds.