|ANT-MAN (director: Peyton Reed; screenwriters: Edgar Wright/Joe Cornish/Adam McKay/ Paul Rudd/based on a story by Mr. Wright and Mr. Cornish; cinematographer: Russell Carpenter; editors: Dan Lebental/ Colby Parker Jr. ; music: Christophe Beck; cast: Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), Corey Stoll (Darren Cross), Bobby Cannavale (Paxton), Michael Peña (Luis), Tip Harris a.k.a. T.I. (Dave), Wood Harris (Gale), Judy Greer (Maggie Lang), Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Martin Donovan (Mitchell Carson); Runtime: 117; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Kevin Feige; Marvel Studios; 2015-3D)|
|"A ridiculous, overacted,
confusing and too talky but audience
friendly comic book thriller from Marvel
by Dennis Schwartz
ridiculous, overacted, confusing and too talky but
audience friendly comic book thriller from Marvel
Comics. That has enough juice, pleasantness, special
effects and sci-fi story to be bearable
entertainment. Original director Edgar
of the Dead’s") left
the film over artistic differences just a few weeks
before the shoot began. The replacement director
Peyton Reed ("Bring It On"/"Yes
Man"/"The Break Up") keeps its save the world theme
lighthearted and its flawed shape-changing superhero
modestly loopy and human. It's based on the story by Edgar
Wright and Joe Cornish. The
screenplay has Edgar Wright, Joe
Cornish, Adam McKay and the film's star, Paul
Rudd, fiddling over it. In 1962, the
Ant-Man made his debut in Marvel Comics in the
second-tier of its superheroes.
setting is around the San Francisco area.
guy electrical engineer grad cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul
Rudd) is released from his three year stint in San
Quentin prison and his former cellmate Luis (Michael
Peña) picks him up in his van. Luis takes Scott
to his place, where he introduces him to his bumbling
new gang of (Tip “T.I.” Harris and
David Dastmalchian) and tries to get him back
into the burglary business with a hot tip on a rich
man's vacant house to rob while he's on vacation.
Scott is determined to go straight and get visitation
rights to see his beloved young daughter Cassie (Abby
Ryder Fortson), now denied because of failure to
pay child support. Scott's divorced from his
disapproving wife (Judy Greer), who lives with her
dutiful fiance police officer (Bobby
Cannavale). When fired from a counter job at a
Ben & Jerry's ice cream store because his prison
record is suddenly known, Scott joins Luis in robbing
the house of the genius entomologist research
scientist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael
Douglas) and breaks into his tightly secured vault.
But instead of money or jewels, finds only a black
suit from the 1960s. When trying on the suit, Scott
discovers not only can he shrink to the
size of an ant, but because of atomic compression
used creatively, he also takes on tremendous
strength and speed. The catch is that Pym secretly
orchestrated the robbery so Scott can have a chance
to become Ant-Man and save the world from the evil
Dr. Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). He was Pym's former
protege, who took over the Pym
Technologies company Pym founded in a hostile
corporate takeover and plans to get filthy rich
selling his "Yellowjacket"
creation, of making insects into small combat
soldiers. Though Cross has not
managed to uncover the mysterious Pym particle, in
which the Ant-Man is created, he still plans to sell
the weaponized version of "Yellowjacket"
technology to powerful and ruthless arms
dealers. Pym's rebellious beautiful scientist
daughter, Hope (Evangeline
Lilly), for some muddled reason
allied with Cross during the takeover but when she
learns he's a madman secretly runs over to her
widowed dad's side and begs him to let her be
Ant-Man. Hope also develops a romantic interest in
Scott when learning that he is willing to risk being
the Ant-Man to stop Cross.
charming everyman Paul Rudd makes for
an engaging Ant-Man, and his easy-going performance
keeps the flick in check. But the film is tedious in
spots and takes no risks in telling its bland
destroy the world story and subplot of family
issues. Still, it exceeded my limited expectations.
Yet I hope there are no sequels.
REVIEWED ON 7/18/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ