“Ant-Man”

Directed by Peyton Reed

Ant-Man-12One of the great things about the Marvel Universe superhero films is their sense of humor. You pretty much know you’re going to get plenty of laughs to go along with the action sequences, the beautiful CGI and the fairly tight scripts. The difference between the “Avengers” films and “Ant-Man”, however, is that, while the laughs in the former come from “look at how clever we can be” – and rely on at least some understanding of who these characters are in relation to each other, “Ant-Man” is funny due to its humility…its innocence. That it ultimately feels MORE successful as a total movie comes down to Paul Rudd. His incredibly well-timed “aw-shucks” attitude makes us feel like we’re watching a very basic, and welcome, yarn of a good guy versus a bad guy. With the Avengers, you almost need a quantum physics degree to really know what or whom they are trying to defeat. And the X-Men series, in comparison, feels like Ibsen.

As for specifics…the pacing is excellent. Rudd, Lilly, Pena, Canavale, and T.I. are all spot on and Stoll, as the bad guy, is more than adequate, if not sensational. The story itself is intriguing enough to carry you all the way through, with all three acts doing exactly what they’re supposed to. The effects are pretty amazing – especially the ant universe – and yes, you’ll believe that ants can fly. Oh wait…they do anyway. See?

But really, Rudd is what makes the film buzz (oy). I think it’s a different kind of superhero flick…possibly even a date-night movie! I mean, the superhero geeks will love it (they did in my screening tonight), but I could definitely see it appealing to a much wider adult audience.

Go see it! Pretty sure you’ll really enjoy it!

Oh…if when you see it, you think the aspect ratio is off, it isn’t. It was shot in 1.85:1 instead of 2.35:1 to make it feel more miniature – from a tiny person’s perspective. While I can appreciate the sentiment behind that decision, I think in this day and age, we’ve come to expect our big movies to be big…especially given the premium we pay for 3D or IMAX. But that’s a very small quibble (not meant as a pun…promise)!

07/16/2015

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