Movie Review: Ant-Man

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: irreverent and light comic book fun.  Decent comic moments and decent battle scenes surrounding a bit of a convoluted plot that still works.

“Ant-Man” is a fun movie.  A movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  But, really, how serious can you take yourself when you’re creating a movie about a superhero that can shrink to the size of an ant and control ants with his mind.  You just know Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby did some major psychedelics when coming up with Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man.

In this “Ant-Man” movie, we pretty much totally skip the Hank Pym\Ant-Man origin story and go straight to the passing of the torch to the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd).  Paul Rudd is the perfect casting choice to play Scott Lang.  Paul is about as affable an actor as exists in Hollywood and that personality is exactly what you need when your character is a reformed felon trying to make things right for himself and his family.

Much of the enjoyment of “Ant-Man” is in Paul Rudd cracking wise.  He is backed by the always fun Michael Pena.  Really, you should look at “Ant-Man” as more of a comedy than a true action movie.  That isn’t to say that there isn’t some good action in the movie, because there is, it’s just that the action is more secondary to the good comic dialogue.  And while the action is good, it’s also not terribly memorable.  I mean, yeah, it’s cool watching Ant-Man ride a raft of ants down a water pipe to infiltrate a top-secret building, but there’s nothing here that you will say to yourself, “Wow, I want to see that again!”

This is a Marvel movie, so there is also the ubiquitous “let’s try to tie as many of our other movies into this one as we can” moments.  It is the most awkward moment of the movie.  I get that they’re trying to maintain a continuous universe here, but sometimes it’s ok to just ignore the rest of the universe.  Ant-Man can still join the Avengers in a later movie without having to recognize that the Avengers exist in his universe.  I get that it’s also product placement and all that jazz, but if you can’t make it feel organic to the movie, you should really just skip it.

“Ant-Man” is pretty middle of the road as far as the Marvel movie offerings go.  It is enjoyable and you won’t regret seeing it, but neither will you come out with a sense of wonder or awe that would make you want to see it again.  If you like superhero movies and the Marvel universe, yep, go see it in the theater.  If you just like being entertained by the occasional superhero movie, you can wait this one out till it hits your home screen.

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