Ant-Man Review by Super Luis
Micro Hero. Macro Action.
Hello “Interweb heads” (Sweet Spidey pun) Nerd Farm blogger Super Luis here reviewing Marvel Studios Ant-Man. Coming from a background of four years of Las Vegas pest control, I knew I was going to be “Buggn out” as soon as the first ant filled trailer released earlier this year. So let’s have a little small talk about my thoughts on this summers tiniest hero Ant-Man, in theaters everywhere July 17th.
Ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is armed with the ability to shrink to the size of an ant and possess unbelievable strength. Scott’s mentor and inventor of the Ant-Man suit, Dr. Hank Pym, (Michael Douglas) plans the ultimate heist to “…break into a place and steal some stuff,” in order to save the world.
This review is spoiler free.
In Edgar Wright’s 2012 Ant-Man Concept Teaser, Ant-Man runs atop a loaded gun, then leaps into action to pummel two security guards in the face. When I first saw this teaser three years ago, I wondered if a full length film of an ant sized hero would succeed on the big screen. If you haven’t seen the teaser footage, see it for yourself here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xycdbs_ant-man-2012-edgar-wright-concept-teaser_shortfilms (The quality is poor as it seems any clear uploads have been long since deleted.)
Marvel movies are by no definition Comedies, and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Star Lord (Chris Pratt) character set a laughable but serious tone that reached a wider audience than the standard spandex film could reach. To many peoples relief, Marvel recreates the “Pratt formula” and suits up buddy comedy favorite Paul Rudd (Anchorman, 40 Year-old Virgin, This Is 40) to do the jokes as well as the shrinking. Rudd’s performance as Ant-Man is exactly what Marvel needed to create another solid comedic character, but one that hits closer to The Avengers immediate universe. What’s great is that Ant-Man never shies away from referencing and even name dropping previous Marvel titles. Characters like Dr. Pym (Douglas) are essential in making the world feel alive, as Pym and Howard Stark (John Slattery) have a muddled history of business exchanges. This background story made the fanboy in me really feel the pulse of the Marvel universe. A universe that is alive and breathing in both film and television.
Action sequences in superhero flicks are visually what makes us understand the heroes powers best. In X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is depicted running at super speed in a slow-motion perspective of how he sees the world as he runs. Ant-Man raises the ante on visuals as Ant-Man transforms in the blink of an eye from the regular sized world we know, to the world of being the size of an ant. These sequences give depth and scale to Ant-Man’s powers, as many of our basic laws of physics are brought down to the micro level. Each micro shot is done with great precision and detail making it quickly clear that when average things become gigantic; everything could, should, or would easily kill you if you where the size of an ant.
Of all the gigantic things that could kill the Ant-Man, not everything is completely dangerous. Like his name may suggest, part of the suits power is controlling entire ant colonies. With each species of ant providing a different set of skills for Ant-Man to utilize and control. Some of the ant species making cameos are Crazy Ants, Carpenter Ants, and the notorious Red Ant. The ant depiction is extremely accurate, with behaviors and species portrayed very closely to their real world counterparts. However the real life restrictions do not take away from the fun of the superpower at all, as Ant-Man controls the ants with his mind, anything is possible. This makes all the unbelievable uses and examples of the ant colonies plausible and entertaining.
Three years later and Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is now a polished addition to the superhero movie lineup and gets a firm 4.5 out of 5 from me. For Marvel and Disney this is a step in the right direction in appeasing longtime fans of Marvel and also exposing the lesser known end of the superhero roster to a wider and younger audience. “I believe that everyone deserves a shot at redemption, don’t you?”