Ant-Man (2015) – Movie Review

ant man

When I first heard the news that Marvel was producing a film about “Ant-Man,” I thought that there was no way it could be good. How could a movie about a superhero who can control ants be interesting at all? Furthermore, my doubts on how well the movie would do were further diminished when I found out that Paul Rudd, a comedian, was going to play the lead role of Scott Lang who would eventually become “Ant- Man.” I never thought Rudd was a poor actor, just not one who could pull off a comic book hero role. I entered the theater with low expectations, but left pleasantly surprised.

“Ant-Man” turned out to be a fun, different, and off-beat film. It tells the story of a master thief named Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who has just gotten out of prison and is trying to make amends and keep a job. Lang is divorced but has a young daughter who idolizes him. Lang eventually comes in contact with a mysterious man named Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) whose plans for Lang end up changing his life. This film develops each one of the main characters fairly well. It shows us that although Scott Lang has a criminal background, he still generally means well. It also builds on Douglas’s character as well as on Evangeline Lilly’s character, Hope Van Dyne, although in this review I don’t want to give away too much.

There are also many little things that make this movie charming. Paul Rudd ends up playing Scott Lang wonderfully. He delivers his lines well and plays the character exactly the way he should. Douglas is great as he normally is, and Lilly portrays her serious character quite well. Corey Stoll’s “Darren Cross” is a generally interesting villain, although there wasn’t much that made him stand out from other villains in the Marvel universe. The comic relief character, Michael Peña, is spot on. His character is a silly, small-time thief who is a friend of Lang’s and who accompanied him on his past crimes. Overall, the casting choices proved to be effective.

In conclusion, “Ant-Man” is a film that I believe anybody can enjoy, superhero fan or not. The characters are likable, the story is different enough from a standard Marvel film to make it interesting, and there’s plenty of humor, character development, and action to make this movie worth seeing again. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Paul Rudd’s “Ant-Man” in movies to come.

 

8 out of 10 stars

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The World’s End – Movie Review

After game-changer Shawn of the Dead and the riotously funny Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, the latest from writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, directed by Wright, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost, is a serious misfire, unfunny, unexciting, uninvolving and, perhaps the worst sin of all, incredibly self-indulgent to the detriment of the audience’s enjoyment.

Pegg plays Gary King, who rocked in high school – or at least managed to be a bit of a leader – but is now forty years old and a big loser. To regain some sense of himself, he reassembles four of his old school chums in an effort to complete a twelve-pub-crawl that they tried, and failed, to do in their final school year. Along the way, they encounter alien replicants bent on world domination.

Shawn of the Dead was a zombie spoof that also managed to have some zombie survival thrills; Hot Fuzz was a cop-buddy movie spoof that also had some amazing cop action sequences. The World’s End takes on the lesser “aliens amongst us” genre – think Invasion of the Body Snatchersbut then, rather than revel in the conventions of the genre as the other films did, instead devolves into a kick-socky action flick that’s repetitive and, tragically, boring.

Gary is a truly unlikeable character, which makes the first act painful to sit through; the second act, which adheres most closely to the body snatcher mold, is the most fun, with our heroes continuing towards The World’s End as the world ends. But the last act is worse than the first, lazily scripted, ludicrous, and puzzling in a bad way.

 

5 out of 10