Great visuals and acting, but awkward screenplay.
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released from prison after serving a sentence for ‘Robin Hood burglary’ (stealing from the rich and giving to the poor). After trying to serve a normal and honest life, he turns back to crime in order to see his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). His friend Luis (Michael Pena) tells him of a tip, and they plan out a heist with Kurt (David Dastmalchian) and Dave (T.I.). However when Scott breaks into a safe at a rich house, all he finds is a suit. He is then approached by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) who enlist his help to stop Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from achieving the Pym formula. Directed by Peyton Reed.
After the slew of Marvel films, one comes to expect a certain level of standard. And while the CGI, costumes, effects and acting were all great, I have a real issue with the screenplay. My overall sense of the film is that it was rushed into production and made in a quick manner (perhaps they had to seeing as Captain America: Civil War was coming out).
I am genuinely surprised that Paul Rudd could pull off being Ant-man. He was both charming and charismatic and managed to capture the essence of his character. Normally when I watch Paul Rudd movies, I tend to notice him as an actor and not the character, but in this film I totally regarded him as Scott Lang. Michael Pena’s character is both hilarious and annoying at the same time. His jokes and speech delivery is something that I have not seen that often, and so made me laugh more than it bugged me. As well, the addition of Dastmalchian and T.I. helps to bring some comedy to the film. Evangeline Lilly does a good job with her character and what little she is given to work with. An obvious statement, but women characters need to be given more credit and in particular action instead of keeping them on the sidelines and having them be controlled by men. Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll are both mediocre in their roles, as quite often their delivery and movements come off as mechanical.
Going off that, I found the script to be very cliché and awkward. The dialogue just went from A to B, and though it could be an issue with delivery, I think it is more to do with the actual screenplay itself. Conversations were so one directional in that it was quite predictable what would happen. Also, what I mean by saying that the dialogue went from A to B, is that there was no build up or ‘small talk’ so to speak. It was all business, and did not feel natural. This didn’t happen for the entire film, but it was noticeable enough for me to laugh out loud at how horrible some of the dialogue was.
However, the visual effects were the highlight of the film. I’m not talking about the numerous explosions that seem necessary to any superhero film, but rather the combination of cinematography and CGI. The film displays beautiful shots that plays with levels of depth. Unfortunately, this feels more like an add-on and a side thought, as the shots last for less than a minute and there aren’t many of them. One such shot can be seen in the trailer, when Ant-Man runs atop the barrel of a gun and the ‘camera’ pans to the right. I especially like how in that scene, the background is blurred and viewers are made to focus on the little figure. Also, I thought that the imaging of the ants was pretty cool. Though they do look robotic that might just be because I haven’t really looked at ants up close much.
Speaking of the ants, it was cool the way they collectively came together to build formations. In one scene on water, my friend commented that he actually saw ants do that before, and so it is great to know that the film-makers actually did some research into ant formations.
PROS: Visuals, acting (ish), ant formations
CONS: Awkward script, female character does nothing
I give this a 6/10.
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