Sunday, July 19, 2015


Movie Name: Ant-Man

Year of Release: 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Anthony Mackie, Martin Donovan, John Slattery, Hayley Atwell, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4

Marvel Studios' second release of this year, following the giant success of the "Avengers" sequel, is a focus on a decidedly lesser known comic book character, "Ant-Man". The film was in the works for years, with the talented Edgar Wright at the helm, but disputes between him and the studio emerged, and Peyton Reed was hired as a replacement. The film follows the story of Hank Pym, a brilliant scientist who in the 80s devises a formula that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant, but gain concentrated strength, making him an almost invisible and powerful infiltration agent. Upon the loss of his wife on a perilous mission, Hank decides to remove himself from action, and from his company. That situation changes in the present, when his company now under the tutelage of his former protege, Darren Cross, is at the brink of selling the technology he devised, to some unsavory organizations. He recruits the help of Scott Lang, a petty criminal, to help thwart Cross' plans, alongside the help of his daughter Hope.
Peyton Reed's latest feature before "Ant Man" was the Jim Carrey vehicle, "Yes Man", a film that was met with tepid notices. Most of the director's career has been carved in television. Ironically one of his most interesting films was "Down with Love", a decidedly retro approach to the screwball comedy genre, which is coincidentally where "Ant-Man" ends up having some differentiation between all the other super hero films now being released: the sense of humor allows for the film to be somewhat tolerable and hold some interest. The screenplay is a standard introductory story to the beginnings of a super hero, where the underdog central character has to gain the respect and love of his child by battling an instantly forgettable villain. The film touches on all cliches already devised and explored in better films. It's an all too familiar formula, that has become generic and standard with all Marvel Studios releases: generic story, good cast, stunning special effects (stir and serve). Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas try to bring some charisma and humor to the film, but they both seem out of place, with the first one trying a role that is clearly not as funny as he can be, while the second is trying to give the role a depth and intensity that the flimsy film can't carry. It's yet another formulaic film, instantly forgettable from a genre that is reaching high saturation levels.