July 22, 2015

ANT-MAN: From Small Things.....

Let me get this out of the way quickly - I loved Ant-Man.

Oh, sure, it "only" earned $58 million opening weekend....and it's not quite one of Marvel's tentpole films. But you know what? That doesn't matter - Ant-Man is an unexpected delight, and really deserves as much spotlight as its more high-end siblings.

Structurally, Ant-Man is a heist movie, and I'm a sucker for good heist movies. (I've blogged about Leverage and Hustle often enough).  Combining heist tropes with superheroic tropes....well, this could have been really messy in the wrong hands, and thankfully Peyton Reed does a wonderful job, mixing both without making the movie seem overstuffed.

(It also makes me grateful Edgar Wright stayed on as producer and not director. My proof. Two words: Scott Pilgrim - a movie that makes Speed Racer look subdued and modest. And I liked Speed Racer)

The other thing that I loved about Ant-Man was something that it shares with Guardians of the Galaxy, and which the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman seems to lack: a sense of fun. Everything about the movie - from the introductory scene which appears to be the result of time travel to Paul Rudd's supporting "crew" (including Michael Pena) - makes it clear that this is a great, fun ride.

(Hell, now I want one of those suits, and to be able to talk to ants....and I thought this was the dumbest idea for a Marvel movie in a long time).

But more importantly, the movie shows intelligence - yes, there is a reason why Michael Douglas was cast. And why Hank Pym was not one of the "founding" Marvel Cinematic Avengers. And possibly why Scott Lang - a professional thief - is making his debut now. This is just a great popcorn movie that serves as a strong bookend to Avengers: Age of Ultron.

You may be waiting until the DVD or cable to see Ant-Man; don't wait. Catch a matinee, have someone take you, but trust me - this is a great, fun film that is a sheer delight.

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