Paul Rudd with Ant Man suit

Time/place: 1pm showing Friday at Kaleidoscope with KB

Marvels’ world-building continues to impress and engage me.  I’ve loved the shows Daredevil and Agent Carter, and the continually expanding cinematic universe they’re piecing together is so darn fun.  Heck, even when they create something that I think is darn lousy, I’m still entertained by the fact that their world is getting bigger.

With Ant-Man, I’m just happy with the fact that they made a movie about a superhero who shrinks down to the size of an ant and commands the little insects… and that they commit to it, completely 🙂 .

This movie, overall, felt like a pendulum — when it was good, it was freakin’ great, and the rest of the time it was fairly blase.  A lot of the humor fell pretty flat, something I noticed not just by my own lack of reaction, but by my theater’s as well.  Of course, then there were a lot of bits that made me smile and even a number of moments that made me laugh out loud.  I’d heard that this movie was apparently Marvel’s “John Hughes movie, filled with heart,” which I didn’t get a sense of at all.  The story is sweet, but the writing is really too on-the-nose in a lot of places.  It was an interesting viewing, considering this back-and-forth momentum… I’d get engaged, then bored, then back again.  Overall, though, it was a darn fun movie, if only for the newness of it all.

The story is fairly straightforward, as are most of the characters, but I enjoyed everyone in it and felt like they all played it just right.  Paul Rudd, of course, is always wonderful, and Michael Douglas was a perfect choice for the role he has to play (an Avengers jab, delivered by Douglas’ character, is one of the best lines in the movie simply for how perfect a character-establishing line it is, on top of his performance).  I really loved the villain of the movie, who was, on paper, a very simple and merciless evil person… but ended up being played in a way that I thought kept him pretty interesting.  I’d like to make a special mention of Michael Pena, as well, who was just adorable.

While my enjoyment of the movie ebbed and flowed, the tone maintained a pretty consistent pace.  This movie knew what it was, owned up to the possible silliness of a character such as Ant-Man, and just dived right into it full-bore.  The way they played with the characters’ size-changing abilities in fight scenes was really just a ton of fun.  We’ve seen super-strong characters and sleek, S.H.I.E.L.D.-trained fighters, but watching an ant-sized man in combat was an absolute blast.  When I think back on the movie, my favorite bits stand out strong… enough so that they nearly overshadow the less interesting, dull, or poorly written sections of the rest of the movie.

Ant-Man isn’t brilliant cinema, but it’s a very welcome addition to the Marvel movie universe for two reasons: it’s a creative, clever blast (even in light of its lesser parts) and, more importantly, it’s bringing a fresh and fun new character to their overall storyline that I am very glad to have.  If variety is the spice of life, Marvel just added a whole new heaping of wackiness and oddity with this movie… and I’m all for it.

Ant-Man with fire ant

Grade: B


About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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