• Directed by Peyton Reed
  • June 29, 2015 (Dolby Theatre) / July 17, 2015 (US)

To protect a scientist’s shrinking technology a former thief must plot a heist to steal it.

I find it difficult thinking back on this beyond what little important points I’ve written down in one form or another for myself to include here anything overtly memorable about Ant-Man. I certainly didn’t hate it since nothing terrible stands out. Because of that I enjoyed my time watching it but I feel hard-pressed to remember specifics concerning the progression of the plot. This and that was cool to me about it. I can remember that cool scene or this cool scene but the progression of the narrative is a little lost.

The discussion of the quantum realm does stand out to me. It certainly appeared to be something cool and I do remember the visual presentation of it. And now that my memory has been jogged a little bit I do recall that’s where Hank Pym‘s wife disappeared after apparently shrinking for all eternity. Really cool stuff but I am hard pressed to remember where it fell into the story.

I do remember Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) being a criminal just released from prison but why he went to prison I couldn’t tell you. It’s not something that sticks in your mind. It is kind of important as that reason is the reason why Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) was willing to trust and in some ways nurture Lang. It certainly was enough to keep him away from his daughter but not to make him too terrible to work with.

Being a rather forgettable story is rather unfortunate because there are inventive visuals here and the McGuffin that gets the plot going is a nice throwback to old-school science-fiction such as Fantastic Voyage or The Incredible Shrinking Man. Shrink rays are an extreme rarity in any kind of science fiction today and usually end up being more of a humorous element than anything else. I think the last mostly serious take of shrinking of any type was in “One Little Ship” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But even that was done more for fun than anything else.

Michael Douglas shows up in the movie to give the narrative quality cred but ultimately he is more or less superfluous. Douglas is there for people to say “Oh look! A good actor.” He has a résumé that says whatever he’s in is not going to be a turd. Whether or not that holds true is a whole other matter, but his credibility says that. And from a spectacle standpoint this certainly is quality.

As a story Ant-Man certainly doesn’t dissatisfy but it also doesn’t take any moderate chances that makes it stand apart from any of a dozen or so superhero movies that have come out before or since. To put it simply it’s quite possibly the perfect encapsulation of the Marvel formula. It is safe and predictable with elements telegraphed well before they arrive. It feels at points like I’ve seen this movie before and quite possibly I have. It blurs with other stuff I have seen make recall of this particular movie tough.

Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) is a rather forgettable villain. His motivation boils down to wanting to show Hank Pym how awesome he is and/or making money in a shady way. What is his main drive? Both things seem to push him but neither with greater significance than the other or with any great significance.

When it comes to personality the people behind this use quirks to act as personality rather than develop personalities. Scott Lang is your general capable smart ass. Hank Pym is a bit of a crank. Luis (Michael Peña) tells longwinded stories. Kurt (David Dastmalchian) looks like he is weirdly into Elvis. Odd bits but not actual personalities.

Also what is the main issue here in Ant-Man? The proliferation of shrink technology appears to be a big deal for the characters but never feels like that when watching. Is it Scott reconnecting with his daughter? Is it Hank finally being honest with his daughter over her mother? Is it Scott finally maturing into an adult?

The meat of the story is really thin. What gets this to nearly two hours are some cool visual sequences once the shrinking starts getting used. They are all rather inventive and the kind of fun you can have with the idea. Those extended elements stretch out a film that without them is really 30 to 45 minutes shorter.

Ultimately Ant-Man is not bad but it’s not great. The visuals are great but the story is ultimately forgettable. Nothing strongly stands out. There’s nothing here that makes this film necessary or special viewing.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

One thought on “Ant-Man

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