Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Ant-Man


Title: Ant-Man

Distributor: Marvel Studio (Disney)
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer(s): Edgar Wright (screenplay), Joe Cornish (screenplay), Adam McKay (screenplay), Paul Rudd (screenplay), Edgar Wright (story), Joe Cornish (story)  
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña  
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for Sci-fi action violence
Running Time: 117 min
Synopsis: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 80% "Fresh", Top Critics: 76% "Fresh", Audience: 92% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 64 out of 100, Users: 8.2 out of 10
MRQE: 72 out of 100

My Review 

Source Material: Based on a comic-book characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. 

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: There are some really good action sequences in this film. Even though the action sequences are good, there wasn't a lot of them. Let's just say there isn't a visceral overload like in Age of Ultron.
  • Comedy Elements: With the people attached to this film you may expect a "yuck yuck comedy" but it's not. The jokes are clever and quite funny.
  • Dramatic Elements: Surprisingly for a "superhero" film there were some really good dramatic moments. There is one father/daughter scene in the film that pulls at the heart strings.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: On the surface this film is a superhero film so there is a good amount of Sci-Fi elements including shrinking and communicating with ants.

Cinematic Value:

  • Acting and Dialogue: 8: First and foremost I want to bring to your attention that Michael Douglas is in this film and he does a fantastic job. When a high-caliber actor like Michael Douglas is in a potential big summer blockbuster, we begin to wonder if he just collecting a paycheck and not earning it. Well, Michael Douglas earned his paycheck. He portrayed a convincing old Dr. Hank Pym. I could continue singing praise about Michael Douglas's great performance, but there are other performances I would like to talk about as well. When I heard the casting of Paul Rudd, I wasn't all that excited because he was known for comedy, and Ant-Man is a superhero. After seeing the film, I can safely say Paul Rudd was perfect for the role. Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll were good in their respective roles even though their character's weren't my favorite. On the other hand, one of my favorite characters was Michael Peña's character. His character made me laugh every single time he was on screen.   
  • Cinematography: 8: I really liked how they handled the micro-cinematography in this film. I'm glad the shrinking aspect wasn't cheesy like in Honey I Shrunk The Kids. The filmmakers made Ant-man's powers make sense while at the same time making it look and feel cool. The perspective shots made me more acceptable to the idea that Ant-man was the actual size of an ant.    
  • Direction: 7: I was jumping ship with everyone else when I heard the news that Edgar Wright had left the production of Ant-man. I became even more disappointed when I heard Marvel hired Peyton Reed to replace Edgar Wright as director. I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking, "Marvel why are you hiring a director known for bad comedy movies." I was proven wrong after seeing the film. You could tell Peyton Reed was an Ant-man fan and knew the source material. Also, there was a level of respect of Edgar Wright's original draft of the script.   
  • Editing: 7: The editing wasn't bad overall, but I felt that there could have been some minor edits. I personally thought the film was a little heavy on the montage sequences.
  • Screenplay: 9: I thought this film was well written. Usually having more than two screenwriters is bad news. I definitely saw Edgar Wright's touch in the story, especially in the final battle sequences. From my understanding, they left a lot of Edgar Wright's concepts in the film but tweaked them to be more "Marvel". I personally like how the screenwriters interject this film into the MCU. I feel like other MCU films and television shows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) has forced connections, whereas, Ant-man's are elegantly placed. Even though I like the little sprinkles of MCU goodness this film offered, I wasn't the biggest fan to their "hard" connection to the MCU. SPOILER-ish There is a part in the middle of the film where Scott Lang has to steal a piece of tech from an old Stark warehouse. Surprise, the old Stark warehouse is the new headquarter's for the Avengers. This reveal then leads a fight between Ant-man and Falcon, granted it was an awesome fight, but in my opinion an unnecessary one. SPOILER End. This "hard" connection was disruptive to the follow of the story, but I personally think the dialogue references were enough of a connection to the MCU. Realistically, I'm being a bit nitpicky because the scene I described in the small spoiler section was pretty bad-ass. I though the character development was good was well.                 
  • Sound and Music: 8: I really enjoyed the score of this film. 
  • VFX: 8: The one main praise I have for the visual effect on this film is the ants. It's hard to watch this film and not get emotionally attached to the ants. The ants are just as much apart of this film as any of the actors.
Overall: 8: I'm not 100% sure this film is going to be for everybody but I a good time at the theater. I think it was a good end to phase 2 to the MCU. I recommend that you at least give the film a try. 

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