Much like Guardians of The Galaxy, Ant-Man is a lesser known Marvel comic book. When it was first announced that there was going to be a film for both of these, people had their doubts about the success at the box office, as well as the reception from critics and audiences. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has continued to surprise with hit after hit, Guardians being one of the most unexpected, and now Ant-Man is here and Marvel have done it again with their winning formula of taking great stars and turning them into heroes, mixed in with infectiously funny humour and blockbuster awe.
Smaller is better. Clearly, as Ant-Man tones down the city-based climactic destruction seen in other Avengers films and keeps things grounded, though the stakes are still very high. Scott Lang, a cat burglar, must become the hero his daughter sees in him in order to save the world from chaos by becoming the Ant-Man, a super-suit that allows the wearer to shrink in size but boost in strength. I didn’t think I could love Paul Rudd anymore! After starring in one of my favourite films I Love You, Man, proving himself to be a very, very funny man, taking on the role in a Marvel was the main reason for me to see this. Paul Rudd delivers yet again, effortlessly delivering a balance of sarcastic, deadpan and cheeky humour whilst emoting and proving himself a very convincing superhero.
Also starring alongside Rudd is Evangeline Lilly, one of the coolest and most talented stars in recent years. From The Hurt Locker, Real Steel to The Hobbit Trilogy, Lilly convinces in each role with devotion and immediate likability, and she almost threatens to steal the scene from Paul Rudd a few times playing Hope Van Dyne, a head strong, fiery, kick-ass board member of Pym Technologies. She’s my favourite character in the film, and I’m very happy Lilly has signed on for more Marvel adventures.
With a stellar supporting cast that includes Michael Douglas who is clearly having a blast, Anthony Mackie in a brilliant surprise appearance and Michael Pena who delivers some big belly laughs as Scott Lang’s loud-mouthed sidekick, Marvel have assembled a perfect cast that rivals that of the Avengers films. Here’s a big thumbs up to Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Abby Ryder Forston, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Hayley Atwell, Wood Harris, Martin Donovan and Judy Greer who deserves a bigger role as her talent is being severely under-utilised.
Peyton Reed does a superb job as director here, capturing the charm of a smaller Marvel movie and injecting it with delightfully weird tone that is needed seeing as you’re pretty much watching a grown man don a suit that shrinks him so he can ride flying ants.
However, Reed handles the action brilliantly sweeping you off your feet and keeping you close when the characters find themselves in peril, at one point you even feel for a flying ant that gets injured. The CGI is stunning, I am gutted I missed it in 3D but even in 2D the bathtub, dance floor, training montage and heist sequence blew my mind just looking at the detail and believability. But nothing tops the fight sequence that involves a giant Thomas The Tank Engine destroying a house in suburbia, laughing out loud whilst being immersed in crazy action is the sign of a great film and Ant-Man is that great film. Marvel fans and other cinema-goers will have a riot of a time watching this film, I expect it to stand high on 'best films of 2015' lists.