Lights, Camera, Action! | Ant-Man (Movie Review)

By Freda Cooper 13.07.2015 1

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Ant-Man (UK Rating: 12A)

With superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the assembled Avengers, Marvel's been striding the cinematic universe like a colossus. However, now there is a very different proposition - a film with a chequered history (original director Edgar Wright's exit last year put a large question mark over the entire project), a diminutive hero, and an unlikely star. Ant-Man, though, released on Friday, seems to have pulled off the impossible. Ahead of coverage on this week's Talking Pictures on Thursday, here is Lights, Camera, Action!'s full review…
Image for Lights, Camera, Action! | Ant-Man (Movie Review)

He is one of those heroes who has no super powers of his own, with it being all about the suit. Cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is just out of prison and determined to go straight, but the temptations of his former profession are too strong and he breaks into a mansion intending to clean out a safe full of money, yet it only contains a strange suit, one that has powers of its own, and he's soon working with its creator, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who has kept it secret for years. Those powers can make a man shrink to the size of an ant and come back again, and they are in serious danger of falling into the wrong hands.

Despite all the hiccoughs along the way, Ant-Man has turned out to be surprisingly good, so much so that it could easily turn into this summer's surprise hit, following in the footsteps of last year's Guardians of the Galaxy, and, even though Paul Rudd's been quoted as saying he never envisaged himself in a Marvel film, he's the perfect choice for this one. His affable, everyman quality suits his character perfectly, and it's a role that makes good use of his comic abilities, which are essential in a movie with a generous helping of verbal and visual gags, all played completely straight and all hitting the funny bone.

There are moments where the humour has a decidedly British feel - perhaps a smidge of Edgar Wright's influence - and it looks like the film is going to stray into Aardman Animation's territory. It gets perilously close with a truly priceless sequence involving a kid's train set pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine, but this is a spoiler free zone…so no more shall be said! Marvel fans will also be tickled by the usual in-jokes, including the inevitable cameo from the legendary Stan Lee and Ant-Man embarrassing one of Captain America's crew with his ability to change size.

The film isn't all about the humour, however, and what makes it unusual is the way it uses 3D. Wright's successor as director, Peyton Reed, has said that the film was designed to be made and seen in 3D… and it definitely shows. This is no bolt-on, but an integral part of the film, so that the world through the eyes of the tiny Ant-Man is vivid in its details and reality - even down to the size of the plug (1½ inches) in the bath. That bath, usually a benign object, is a real threat to the minuscule hero, especially when water gushes from the tap. The way he leads his ant troops, how he runs through carpet tufts and grass - it's all sharp, exciting, and technically superb.

Image for Lights, Camera, Action! | Ant-Man (Movie Review)

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
Ant-Man is irresistible. The combination of action, humour, and good old fashioned fun make it great family entertainment, and it's one of those rare occasions where paying extra for those 3D glasses is genuinely worth it. The omens weren't good, but this is a film that's turned out to be better than most people expected. An unexpected hit is very much on the cards.

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Has anyone else been to see this and come away somewhat underwhelmed? It had its moments, but wow, I was extremely disappointed overall. Not a patch on Guardians of the Galaxy.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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