DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

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 Comics."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A 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 Wright ("Shaun 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.

The setting is around the San Francisco area.

Nice 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.

The 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

 

dennisschwartzreviews.com