Ant-Man…A small film can pack a big punch

Culture editor Asad Charania reviews the surprisingly entertaining Ant-Man

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With the continuing onslaught of superhero movies, Marvel runs the risk of over-saturating their genre. Surprisingly, Ant-Man is a refreshing addition to the Marvel machine.

 

In the lead up to its release, Ant-Man has faced its share of skepticism. Trouble began after the initial director, Edgar Wright, departed from the movie due to creative differences. In essence Marvel wanted a movie that ties into the whole cinematic universe, whereas Wright’s characteristic-directing style didn’t mesh with the Marvel “look”. Peyton Reed took over and released a trailer, which seemed tonally confused. Both reviewers and fans felt as if Ant-Man was going to be Marvel’s first misstep. Guess what…Ant-Man is actually pretty good! Just like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has been able to take an unknown property and turn it into a hit.

 

Unlike in the Avengers, with its huge ensemble cast, Ant-Man is able to focus on character development – an aspect desperately lacking in Age of Ultron. Unlike its predecessors Ant-Man battles for relatively small stakes; in essence it’s just a heist film. By no means is it perfect, but it’s definitely charming, and personally I’m starting to prefer the unknown Marvel properties more then their established characters. Ant-Man has its faults, it’s a little slow to start and at times you can notice Wright’s directing style clashing with Reed’s, but all in all it’s one of my favorite Marvel films.

 

Unlike the narcissistic billionaire genius Tony Stark, or the incorruptible super soldier that is Captain America, we’re given a more relatable hero, and that’s a testament to the Ant-Man star Paul Rudd, who plays the protagonist Scott Lang. We’re also introduced early on to Hank Pymm, the original Ant-Man, played by Michael Douglas. The theme of father and son is heavily played on in this movie between Lang and Pymm. This theme also acts as the motivation for the movie’s villain, Darren Cross, portrayed by Corey Stoll. Once a protégé of Pymm, Cross shows he cant be entrusted with the Ant-Man technology, resulting in Cross producing his own suit, and becoming the villain, Yellow Jacket.

 

Whilst the experienced Michael Douglas is able to give some credence to this quirky tale, Paul Rudd showcases his comedic chops, with hilarious scenes between Lang and his crew. The ability of Ant-Man to shrink and enlarge anything, leads to some fun dynamics between the hero and his surroundings and gives us spectacular visual effects. Although weird, his other power (controlling ants) actually ends up working in line with the tone of the film.

 

Ant-Man is a change of pace, showing that superhero movies don’t have to be grandiose. For those who are feeling a little Marvel fatigued, this might be the film which gets you back on board, and for the hardcore fans, look out for loads of Marvel Easter eggs. Finally don’t forget to stay to the end there’s a couple of post-credit scenes, tying into the upcoming Civil War films.

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