Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ant-Man (a movie review post)

Decades ago, Isaac Asimov asserted that science fiction wasn't so much as its own genre as it was a vehicle for other genres. As there was much dissent, he set out to write a sci-fi detective novel which became the first of his robot novels, The Caves of Steel. It seems that Marvel has set out to prove the same thing about the super hero genre. Sure, there's the pure super hero stuff like The Avengers, but we've also seen a war movie, an espionage movie, and, now, a heist movie, among others.

So, yeah, Ant-Man is structured as a heist movie, which is pretty clever. It's not a straight heist, though, there's a little, I don't know, rom-com(?) added in. You know, whatever kind of movie it is where the guy who has messed up and alienated his family has to put it back together again. At any rate, as Scott Lang says in the movie, "It's not just a heist."

Speaking of Scott Lang, Lang was one of my few worries about the movie going into it. As I've noted in previous reviews of Marvel movies (especially Iron Man 3), I do understand that the universe of the Marvel movies is not the same as the one for the comics, but I couldn't understand why they weren't having Hank Pym be Ant-Man when he was going to be in the movie. It was baffling. BUT! I think they did an excellent job of threading the Ant-Man origin story into what they did in the movie. Actually, I really like what they did with that. It adds some extra layers to the movie than just doing an "origin story."

Also speaking of Scott Lang, Paul Rudd was great. Okay, so, I already really like Paul Rudd, but he was great in this role. This is another case of Marvel finding an actor who would really own the part and make it his, because that's what Rudd did. However, it was Michael Pena as Luis who almost stole the show. He was brilliant, and the voice-over stuff they did with him was hilarious.

Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily were both very good. Douglas probably about what you'd expect since he's always really solid. Lily was better than I expected because my main exposure to her has been in the horrible Hobbit movies, and, though those weren't her fault, her inclusion in those has been a sore point. I was also glad to see Wood Harris in the movie. His performance wasn't extraordinary or anything, but I like him as an actor, so it was good to see him in a high profile movie.

The only weak link was Corey Stoll who came off more as an over enthusiastic used car salesman trying to sell you a bad car than as a real villain. Fortunately, the movie didn't focus so much on him.

Also, the scene with the Falcon was awesome. I love Anthony Mackie in that role, so I was glad they included him. "It's really important to me that Cap never finds out about this."

Basically, this is another really solid Marvel movie and, while I would quite put it as high as Captain America or Iron Man on quality, it's close. Guardians of the Galaxy close. I would have gone right back in to watch it again if I could have.

18 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Other reviews I've seen have been less enthusiastic.

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    1. TAS: You know, I think Marvel is just entering that "too popular for its own good" phase. The expectations have become SO high that people can't actually be satisfied anymore. That's why Avengers 2 suffered such a backlash.

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  2. I haven't seen any bad reviews of this one, Squid. Andrew's pretty much nails my thoughts on the film and the review I posted this week. (Which stuns me we actually agree on a film.)

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    1. Alex C: I did think there was one flaw with the movie, but it was a small one and talking about it would have been a spoiler. I meant to mention it, but, see, it was so small that I forgot all about it when writing the review.

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  3. I have not seen the movie but I have heard great things. I love Paul Rudd.

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    1. JKIR, F!: He's great. I haven't seen anything I disliked him in. Even stuff that's not great. He's still awesome.

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  4. If the new Mission:Impossible wasn't coming out next week this would probably be the date night movie for Sweetie and me.

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    1. Briane: See, the MI movies have never done anything for me. And at least one was a horrible piece of trash.

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  5. I like Paul Rudd too. Lots of bloggers seeing Ant Man this week.

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    1. dolorah: That's because it's awesome!

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  6. Evangaline Lily is a good actress. I'm just bummed that they didn't let her actually be the Wasp. Who knows. Maybe if there's a sequel.

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    1. Jeanne: I can't respond to that. You need to see the movie.

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  7. I just saw an Ant-Man preview last night that showed the Falcon. I had no idea he'd be making an appearance. Makes me want to go see it more. Like JKIR, I love Paul Rudd.

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    1. M.J.: Yeah, I didn't know the Falcon was in it, either, but I try to avoid knowing things about movies ahead of times, these days. Which is especially hard with the new Star Wars movie since my oldest wants to know ALL the things ahead of time.

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  8. Really enjoyed the movie. In my top 5 marvel movies to date. I was one of those that was disappointed in Age of Ultron. This restored my faith in Marvel.

    Well, I'm exaggerating. I never lost faith.

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    1. Rusty: I think people just had expectations that were too high for Avengers 2. They wanted bigger and better than Avengers, but that was a high bar to meet.

      And-Man was awesome. I still need to go see it again.

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    2. That's certainly possible. When it's a movie I'm very hyped about I find I can't really form an opinion I'm confident in until a long time later. My initial reaction was that it moved too fast for the amount of characters and plot it was trying to fit into its run time. I think an extended cut would probably really strengthen the movie.

      I won't really judge until I see it at home.

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    3. Rusty: It didn't feel too fast to me. I think the difference is that the bad guy in Avengers is someone we already know and in Avengers 2 it's a new character (along with the two henchmen). I think that makes it feel like we need some extended introduction, but Whedon did a good job of giving us everything we needed in the movie.

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