With such a convoluted narrative there must be a level of self-awareness and Ant-Man does contain this in drips and drabs – it has a strong leading performance but where it is ultimately let down is in the characters surrounding him.
Follow the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a criminal with a moral conscience – he faces an unexpected heist that lands him a new job as a superhero… Ant-Man.
Confined within the formulaic structure that Marvel had established, Ant-Man is a film intentionally playing it safe rather than become something different. Paul Rudd provides an amusing performance as he can successfully play off the comical aspect in a charming way. It is refreshing to see a comic-book film that plays within the heist thriller element and having a small and simple approach to it. Noticeably through the script you can feel how the film has been rushed to meet a certain time frame, most evidently through its basic and restrained plot.
The doppelganger villain provide much depth other than wanting to prove himself to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) but has a certain unpredictability to him that makes him startling and intriguing to watch. Evangeline Lilly plays the unbearingly tedious Hope Van Dyne who is excessively serious, she tends to dampen the films overall tone. The quantum realm was introduced in the film and is basically glossed over while a lot of the focus was shifted onto uninteresting family dynamics and unwarranted cameos. In spite of all this, there is a warm and beautiful relationship Scott appears to have with his daughter – which was a nice change of pace.
The visual effects work from both a quality standpoint and creative standpoint, utilize the abilities of Ant-Man to create some extremely entertaining action sequences. Cinematography is where it visually falters as its TV-style cinematography is stale and dull – adding little to the visual spectrum of the film. The production design is cleverly utilized in the films fight sequences as it uses unique environments as a place for action, including inside a briefcase. The score is forgettable as I can’t really pinpoint where a unique theme really stood-out nor does the composed music enhance the viewing experience.
Ant-Man stands as mid-tier MCU film that succeeds at entertaining you for a 2 hour period; it was clear that there was an amalgamation of directing styles at work, as Edgar Wright was booted from production, losing him as the director left me with sinking feeling of “what could have been”; as I felt there was much more comedic and creative potential for this film. Ant-Man begins his first solo outing with a messy production start-up that led to a creative and enjoyable film with the end result being nothing more than mediocre.