Kyle J. Steenblik

It is Not Hard to See Why Ant-Man Will Be Huge

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5 stars out of 5Ant-Man
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Screenplay by: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
ant-manposterStory by: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish
Based on: Ant-Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas
Running time: 117 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence

Marvel has knocked it out of the park with Ant-Man, the little film no one saw coming that packs a full-side punch.  The only real problem I have with this film is that I have no idea who to give credit for its success.  With a hive of writers, this success very much appears to be a team effort; however, it may be possible to give the antlion’s share of credit to Edgar Wright and Peyton Reed.  They get that credit because Wright built a foundation, and Reed used it to great effect, that is not to diminish the contributions of Paul Rudd, Joe Cornish, and Adam McKay.  The real problem here is I have no idea how much each contributed to the final screenplay, so they will all have to share the kudos equally, I am sorry I don’t have a plaque to send.

This is a different type of Marvel film, it matches the humorous tone of Guardians of the Galaxy incredibly well, it also matches the excitement and action of any of its earth –bound predecessors, what it does differently truly sets it apart.  That is elevating truly flawed and reluctant characters to heroic levels equal to any Avenger, and doing so with a lighthearted approach that masked their damaged cores.  In terms of contrasting tone this was the perfect backdrop for a reluctant hero story, and they have succeeded in making Scott Lang/Ant-Man one of my new favorite cinematic heroes.

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner hero.  He must help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglass), and his daughter Hope van Dyne, (Evangeline Lilly)plan and pull off a heist that will save the world from Pym’s protégé Darren Cross and his Yellowjacket.

If you can watch this film and not believe Scott Lang to be the most earnest super hero to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he desperately defends his daughter then I am not convinced we watched the same film.  If you walk away unsure if Paul Rudd or Michael Peña walked away with the prize after they both attempt to steal the entire picture, I am pretty sure we watched the same movie.  In every way I can imagine this is a fantastic film.  The characters were complex and compelling.  The story was simple enough to consume easily, and intriguing enough to keep you hanging on every word.  The dialogue was snappy and drove the heartbeat of the film, which could have easily been overwhelmed with visual effects.  Speaking of visual effects, there were several sequences, which were nothing short of a visual feast that were astonishing to behold.  The more I think about this film, the more I have to come to terms with the fact that it is now my favorite entry into the MCU, and it should be yours too.

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