When I first heard that Paul Rudd was going to be in a superhero movie, it seemed too good to be true. He’s charming in everything, but I didn’t think the movie studios would ever pick him for a superhero. I ignored that it was some superhero named Ant-Man since I was convinced if anyone can make some ridiculous name work for a hero, it would be him. I also heard that Edgar Wright was writing and directing it, which was a perfect match because Edgar Wright has made some of the best action comedy films in the past decade with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. During production, Edgar Wright dropped out and that made me sad. Would the movie still be awesome or just a run of the mill second-rate Marvel movie? By the time the movie came out, I forgot that Edgar Wright had anything to do with it and I was only left with pretty lame trailers that did not give me hope that the movie was going to be any good. I am so glad I was wrong and saw it anyway.
It is unclear how much of the original script they kept from Edgar Wright, but I feel it at least has his sensibility in the humor. There was some really oddball ways that the story was told. One of my favorite bits involved Paul Rudd’s character, Scott Lang, being told a story by Luis (Michael Pena) who was his old cellmate when he was locked up for doing some hacking or something (I forgot the details, but he felt he was justified for what he did). When Luis tells a story, he does not get right to the point. He likes to tell where he was, what he was doing, how he was feeling, maybe what he was eating, while eventually getting to why he is telling the story in the first place. The part that made it hilarious was when he is explaining what other people around him were telling him in the flashbacks, the people were all talking in Luis’ voice. It is like watching Drunk History and is just as funny. That is such a minor part in the movie, but I really enjoyed those little bits of humor as much as I enjoyed the random mention of The Cure that I really feel was leftover from the original script. It was just too random.
While the script itself remained decent enough, I really missed Wright’s direction. He knows how to direct an action sequence where it can be wildly entertaining and you can still follow what is going on. The action in this movie was pretty standard and boring. I actually dreaded the final showdown between Ant-Man and the bad guy because I was having too much fun with the other parts of the movie. At least the fighting didn’t last too long and there were some funny bits involving things shrinking or growing much bigger than they should have been.
For a good part of the movie, I was having some issues with Evangeline Lilly’s character, Hope. Her character had anger issues with her father, played by Michael Douglas, who invented the Ant-Man suit. She was angry that he was always searching for someone else to wear it when she was more than capable. I had the same issues as her since I was expecting him to say he was protecting her and I kept thinking that if he had a son, he would not be saying he needed to protect him in the same way. It was bugging me a lot, but they built up that tension and anger to something that made sense and I really liked the way it resolved.
I haven’t even mentioned Paul Rudd much, even though it should go without saying that he is charming as hell like he is in every movie. He was perfect for this role and very believable. He even had a backstory with his daughter that he didn’t get to see since his ex-wife is not thrilled about him going to jail. The backstory worked its way into the ending conflict and it all worked together well.
While the Marvel movies are becoming more serious as more sequels happen and the universe gets bigger, I am glad that this was a really fun movie. I wish the trailer would not have been so lame since I fear it might have scared some people away from it. It is really good. Go see it!