Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ant-Man (2015) - 8 stars out of 10

Ant-Man (2015) - 8 stars out of 10

“Ant-Man” has rejuvenated the neverending string of Marvel movies that have all started to run together.  I love Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers as much as the next guy but this film has given the superhero universe a much-needed break from itself.  Marvel films are great at incorporating comedy into their serious plots but “Ant-Man” is all about poking fun at the dramatic superhero moments (albeit on a much lesser scale than “Deadpool”).  The fight with Falcon and the giant Thomas the Tank Engine are just a few moments where the writers aren’t afraid to completely take us out of the serious moment with something hilarious.  The training sequence is another great example of the film’s perfect ration of comedy to action.  It's a little cheesy when he's riding around on flying ants, but all great superhero comedies need that cheesiness.  I typically wouldn't want to see Paul Rudd in a superhero role but he works well for this one.  So much of the film’s humor is dependent on his chemistry with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and his band of misfits.  Michael Peña and David Dastmalchian create laughs every time that they’re on screen, with the “Titanic” reference being my favorite of the film.  The actors bring life to the characters but the key factor for this film is the design of its script.  The writers use some sleight of hand to distract our attention from the far-fetched shrinking concept and onto something more believable.  Somehow, the entire thing seems feasible.  Even the tank.  By centering the story on the heist, we question how the Ant-Man suit can help the main characters accomplish their mission instead of questioning the science of the suit itself.  Not to mention, any story that involves a heist gets bonus points and this one has two!  Pair this story with super-sized special effects and you have one of the coolest superheroes in the universe.  The fight sequences where he's transitioning from big to small are visually magnificent while the fight in the helicopter is unforgettable.  “Ant-Man” is a comedy first and a superhero film second, which delivers a healthy dose of levity to a genre that is often too serious.

[Pictured: The constantly changing perspective between large and small keeps this film visually interesting from start to finish]

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