Friday, 17 July 2015
I Love You, Ant-Man.
117 Minutes. Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Tip 'T.I.' Harris & Michael Pena. Director: Peyton Reed.
Honey, I shrunk the Avengers! Forget the Marvel might of The Incredible Hulk. This is the Incredible Shrinking 'Ant-Man' midget. It's one hot Summer right now, so of course the ants are coming out. No matter if the critics are trying to put the powder down to stop them. Or the monsters and machines of 'Jurassic World' and 'Terminator Genisys' are trying to stomp them under their feet. This Ant man can lift up blockbusters 50 times its weight. Just you wait! Even the picnic of 'Ted 2' can't bear as funny and formidable fruit as this. This ones set to infest like insects itching and scratching this big budget Summer season of cinema like freshly cut crass. Forget hayfever. This ones running and knocking it out the park when they thought it'd be the flu for Marvel's Phase 2 season. But alas, this could even make the 'Age Of Ultron' cold it's that sick. And the ever assembling franchise within a franchise now has one of its own original members suiting up with the iconic, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the green, mean machine. The Marvel machine is dominating everything from big screen to the small Netflix one (just try to tell me you haven't binge watched the 'Daredevil' series) and even other films studios (just wait for Fox's 'Fant4stic' and the 'X-Men' crossover). Even after a huge 'Winter Soldier' season of 2014, this is their year. They've even got the Spider back for next years 'Civil War' of superhero trenches and troops in their dawn of justice league battling. Forget a 'Batman V Superman', Marvel rule D.C. like Washington and we haven't even begun to talk about 'Big Hero 6' yet. But this hero, this man made insect is the ace in the ant hole of Marvel's calender run. Even if this borrower makes everyone else look like basketball players this is still a tale to astonish. The weird but wonderful, wrote off but critic and comic book re-writing, fun and funny pleasant surprise like 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' last year. We just knew it. Even the racoon can't sniff out this Ant swarming all the Groots and leaves around. We.Are.Impressed. This.Is.Marvel!
And this is Paul Rudd's moment to be the hero. The 'This Is 40' actor known for 'Clueless' and 'Friends' graduates from the 'I Love You Man' and 'Wanderlust' comedies to show he's worthy of being a real superhero role model as Scott Lang...the Ant-Man...and yes, it is too late to change the name. But who would want to after this? Rudd is the perfect charismatic and charming actor to take this crazy concept and make one of Marvel's most bizarre characters and movies its most brilliant also. Giving character confidence to the forthcoming phase 3 likes of the Black Panther and Doctor Strange. Funny and forthright the comedy king with a serious streak is exactly the kind of actor that was born for a Marvel movie. Even if you need to replace your 3D Roy Orbison's for a magnify glass, Paul still stands tall. We can just only hope he'll graduate and gravitate to the Giant Man part of his characters jacket that will make the already biggest anticipated Avenger blockbuster 'Civil War' that much more epic because 'Ant-Man' could farm some serious sequels and spin offs. But after seeing the giant news team assemble poster campaign of 'Anchorman 2' making everyone look like ants, we just cant get past the image of Brian Fantana doing the "no pants dance" between skyscrapers. But still, how can you not love Rudd here, with the potent Sex Panther splashed on with a slap of bass? If you thought the only funny superhero that could suit up in the most amazing armour was Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man than we have a stark contrast for your tech in this awesome assemble that zips up one throwback of a 50's horror flick suit (check out Vulture's trailer remix whilst that's in your mind). And how about the original Ant-Man? Legend Michael Douglas is on fire as the original ant Hank Pym. The icon from the comics is brought to life by the brilliant 'Black Rain' actors return to action and some crazy, impressive C.G. amongst a classic cameo cast for some old S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers suiting up a brilliant backstory. The graphics are so good they make 'Terminator Genisys' look like it was really made back in the 80's of the footage they could only recreate without the rights to use. As the slick Douglas is taken back to the Gekko era of his 'Wall Street' days who needs anti-ageing cream when the Avengers have an app that will do that? Now everybody-especially Douglas-want to turn back the clock and scream "prequel"! As much as we'd like to see Rudd grow too, surely it's the backstory that Pym, like Mike deserves...and he wants his wife as The Wasp too.
There's more abuzz here with Evangeline Lilly as Pym's daughter bringing us even more hope to the widening Marvel family in this epic cinematic universe. She's no shrinking violet. If you thought the Widow had bite than just wait until you see this former 'Hobbit' elf character add another string to her brilliant bow. Shooting straight and teaching Rudd's Lang to punch and be punched the famous 'Lost' actress finds a new home and series on Avenger island. Then there's Corey Stoll who suits up in the Yellowjacket and shows he's crazy enough to be the perfect villain drunk off perceived betrayal and an even bigger perception of his own self-righteousness. Still there's more lighting up Marvel's fight with the dark side. Actor with real character Bobby Cannavale is in everything at the moment and he cops himself another great role. Whilst the first rapper to join Stan Lee's crew Tip T.I. Harris extends his 'American Gangster' and 'Get Hard' filmography by almost stealing the show in every scene. The only one that stops him doing this is multi-talented 'End Of Watch' and 'Fury' actor Michael Pena who really does burgle this blockbuster, proving a great sidekick doesn't even need a suit. This heist movie on a smaller 'Oceans' scale takes it to 11...and we aren't talking about centimetres. It has everything, two "don't you dare leave the cinema" early post-credit sequences worthy of you missing the last bus home and even the best Stan Lee cameo that brings more laughs than that idea of him being in one of The Collectors cases in volume one of 'Guardians' that was never used. Those who thought this movie was dropped like a kids ice cream when genius 'Cornetto Trilogy' director Edgar Wright stepped down, don't worry the ants still attract. Even though we'd love to see Wright's wonderful version he's still here on writing and production credit, after all it is his baby. Entering the and house in replacement Peyton Reed brings it on and with some Russian Doll, comic-book like shrinking effects builds a great sense of scale from the bathtub to the dance floor for some set-pieces that are as stunningly believable as they are boldly surreal. The vivid visual effects and groundbreaking gags of the Avengers' small soldier and his flying ant allies are so huge even in comparison if the big, Golden Gate backdrop of San Francisco. This whole nest of effects looks as incredible as this films inspired poster campaign. Flexing between a small fry and super size me Ant-Man shows he can muscle up with the rest of the Avengers and to those comic book fans sneering at this being the most ludicrous superhero concept than how about fellow insect 'Spider-Man' or a guy that turns big and green and loses all his clothes except the waistline of his trousers when he gets 'Hangry'. This is no Puny hero! This Marvel icon finally gets his movie moment a half century in the making. The only debate now about this new Avenger is those fans wondering whether he was in the other Avengers films the whole time. After the lack of 'Jurassic' magic and 'Terminator' edge this little man has both and therefore makes for the biggest blockbuster of the year. You'll be itching for even more from Marvel now you have ants in your pants. TIM DAVID HARVEY.