Peyton Reed's Ant-Man is an underwhelming Marvel production that falls flat, failing to tell its own story. Instead, it focuses too much on connecting Paul Rudd's oddball character with the greater shared cinematic universe and the result is a boring mess of good talent with a bad script.
Paul Rudd stars in Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man — the story of Marvel’s tiniest (and slightly unknown) superhero. Reed’s chops as a comedic director do very little for the film, due to a script that’s far too focused on other Marvel affairs and less on the somewhat simple story at hand. Still, Rudd tries his hardest placing Ant-Man up there with the likes of Iron Man and Captain America.
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a down on his luck ex-con. He got into some trouble with the law and now he’s served his prison sentence and is ready for a change. He has a young daughter that he’d love to be able to spend time with and that’s all that matters to him.
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is a genius doctor that invented a formula that can shrink a man down to the size of an ant, but instead of weaponizing he vowed to hide it from the world due to the fear of the military snatching it up and using it for bad.
Now, Pym’s assistant Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has figured out his formula and wants to replicate it, which leads Pym to recruiting Scott in hopes of stopping Cross and keeping the formula in the right hands.
Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man might be Marvel’s smallest film yet, not only dealing with an ant-sized superhero, but also with the story’s own stakes about a father trying to make things right with his daughter, versus saving the world from complete destruction like Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Ant-Man initially gets by on its smaller approach and stricter focus on comedy, but most of those good graces become unraveled as Reed’s film takes a backseat for Marvel’s greater cinematic universe, which clearly has big plans for Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man.
I’m guessing that this could have been why Edgar Wright left the project, because Ant-Man feels far busier than it should be and it has quite a list of writers, ranging from Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish‘s original script to Paul Rudd and Adam McKay‘s rewrites.
The film struggles becoming something unique and fun, despite being full of such great talent like Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.
Rudd is perfect for the role, yet the script makes it feel like any one of the characters could’ve been interchanged with another actor and not much would’ve changed. Rudd carries the film despite the fact, constantly making Ant-Man Marvel’s most relatable superhero yet.
Michael Pena and T.I. attempt to give the film some different comedic flavor, yet their roles amount to basically nothing when it’s all said and done.
Michael Douglas is another interesting choice. Douglas brings his usual skill and sophistication to the role of Hank Pym, but he’s not given much to do besides guide Scott in the most basic ways possible.
Ant-Man sounds like a slam dunk winner for Marvel on paper, especially with it being so different than Age of Ultron, yet it falls flat on almost all accounts.
Guardians of the Galaxy managed to expand Marvel’s universe and show us an entire new part of their shared universe with lots of comedy, while still keeping the stakes high.
Ant-Man struggles on a much smaller scale. Scott Lang learns little, while the film’s comedy sticks out as trying to be something much cleverer than it actually is. Ant-Man is a decently funny flick, but it’s far from hilarious, which makes no sense given the film’s endless amount of comedic talent on and off the screen.
Nothing adds up, aside from Marvel setting out a clear path for the character, reminding us that he will return and fit in just fine alongside the rest of The Avengers — even if we don’t exactly have any reason to care.
Ant-Man isn’t a horrible film by any means, but it’s the first Marvel film to make me actually sigh at the fact that there’s going to be more. Never before have I experienced franchise fatigue with Marvel until now and I hope that this doesn’t become a reoccurring problem.
The story’s just too thin and the characters aren’t given enough focus. Ant-Man is a two-hour commercial, promoting the future of Marvel. The film exists simply for the sake of telling a greater (soon to come) story, without ever bothering to focus on its own.