*** out of ****
It’s funny that Judd Apatow's Trainwreck opened last weekend against a superhero movie starring Paul Rudd, an actor whose fame was escalated by Apatow. Rudd has made the bold leap into potential superstardom by joining the ranks of actors on the Marvel payroll. It helps that Ant-Man is a pretty fun movie too.
How is this Ant-Man guy different from the others? Well, he’s a burglar with Robin Hood-like intentions, whose skills caught the interest of an aging industrial scientist (Michael Douglas) with a secret identity he wished to pass on. That identity is that of a man who wears a suit that can instantly make one the size of an insect, provide super-strength and the ability to control ants –when in need of assistance. These abilities come together, making the ultimate infiltrator.
Like all ideas, no matter how silly, it’s really a question of execution. This movie’s special effects action is constantly engaging and whimsically imaginative. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, this movie is another Marvel entry that leans more toward comedy. Knowing that Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) was behind its development until he left due to creative differences with Marvel frustrates me. However, the underrated director, Peyton Reed (Down with Love) makes a good replacement –even if he lacks the over-the-top ambitions of Wright.
The movie suffers a little. It’s an example of what I don’t like about the PG-13 rating, but I’ll get into that another time. The film’s main troubles stem from a weak story and character drama that comes off as cheap. However, Rudd, Douglas and the supporting players such as Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Peña all manage to make something out of their characters. The movie ultimately works because of its very fun spectacle, which outdoes most of the previous Marvel films.