Marvel’s microscopic Ant-Man pulls off a massively enjoyable debut

Having grown up on all the typical, big-name superheroes—iconic ones like Superman and Spiderman—my excitement for Marvel’s Ant-Man admittedly wasn’t all that great.  And after seeing movies like I Love You, Man and Anchorman, I found it hard to imagine Paul Rudd as an archetypical heroic figure.  But I decided to give him a chance—after all, Chris Pratt was able to transform into a galactic superhero in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Why not Rudd?

Thankfully, neither he nor director Peyton Reed disappoints.  You’ll want to see Ant-Man’s major debut July 17, 2015 in theatres nationwide.

The story follows ex-thief Scott Lang (Rudd) who has recently been released from prison.  Although he struggles to get a job, Scott refuses to return back to his thieving ways—until he meets Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).  Around the same time, Dr. Pym’s shrinking technology is being eyed by past protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).

When Cross replicates his mentor’s work, Scott is Dr. Pym’s only chance to stop Cross’s devious plans.  Under the guidance of Dr. Pym and his daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Scott becomes Ant-Man to help save the world with an army of ants.

Rudd is your average, happy-go-lucky guy with the sort of inherent charisma that’s perfect for your average rom-com.  Within the context of Ant-Man’s action/comedy blend, his transition into the Marvel universe seems fitting.  He is helped by a keen sense of sarcasm and humor—especially considering a great deal of the film’s dialogue is improvised.

In fact, the improvisation provides an organic feel to his screen persona.  Even in tender or sad moments, Rudd’s comedic timing is pristine and never really feels forced.

I was really impressed with the CGI and 3D implementations as well.  Watching the movie in 3D brings out the awesome detailing in every scene. For instance, when Rudd pets one of the ants, I could see fluid movement in the ant’s hairy legs. Even more so, the constant switching between Rudd’s POV as an average-sized human and as a microscopic being is seamless—and comedic at times.

There is a scene you might recognize from the trailers, where Ant-Man is fighting Yellowjacket—AKA Darren Cross—in a “Thomas the Tank Engine” toy set. From their perspective, everything is chaotic and exploding. To the average-sized person, toys are just being tossed around. Moments like these show how well Marvel utilizes action and comedy as complementary counterparts to drive the story.

Perhaps my only problem with the film is [SPOILER ALERT] the anticlimactic fight between Ant-Man and Falcon. Initially, there is a short thrill when this Avenger enters this scene; however, it gradually downfalls. The dialogue is rather cheesy and the brief battle does not leave a lasting impression. Since Ant-Man is set to appear alongside Captain America in a future film, this crossover scene has some importance, though, to help bridge storylines.

Despite early tensions over the film’s direction, I really enjoyed the finished product. The action is visually stimulating and the comedy helps fill potential dull moments. There is a lot to like in this Marvel story, even though Ant-Man is not on top of everyone’s superhero list. I can’t wait to see Marvel create another blockbuster hit soon.