Film Posts 20: Ant-Man, Sunday 2nd August 2015 (and Blaugust Day 5)

(After trailing this for several days, I finally got round to writing it. Hope it was worth it).

We only went to see Ant-Man by accident. Our first two choices were Inside Out and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, but someone else  wanted to see those and couldn’t go Sunday, so they’re postponed till next week (with posts to follow, no doubt).

But what a stroke of luck – Ant-Man is really good. I’d seen the trailers and didn’t much fancy it, but I’d also seen some good word of mouth, so we gave it a shot, and I’m glad we did.

Paul Rudd is charming as the petty criminal hooked into Michael Douglas’s scheme to foil the plans of bad guy Corey Stoll to create an army of miniature soldiers (like most of these Marvel films, let’s not get too hung up on the plot). Douglas is Dr Hank Pym, whose “Pym Molecule” can reduce the space between atoms (yes, really). Wearing the Ant-Man suit, Rudd’s Scott Lang is shrunk to the size of an ant (what else?), but still retains human strength.

I’m not claiming the physics is strong here, but you don’t go to see Marvel films for the scientific accuracy. In this case, you go for the fun, and Ant-Man delivers on that. The script is sharp, it never loses sight of its innate absurdity, particularly in the train chase at the film’s climax, and Michael Pena’s Luis’s delivery of rambling anecdotes on the way to key information got plenty of laughs.

So stylistically this is more along the line of Guardians of the Galaxy – not the core Avengers/Fantastic Four/Spider-man/X-Men franchise stuff, but a peripheral gem where everyone gets to have a bit of fun, and like Guardians of the Galaxy it works through a combination of absurd plotting, quirky, witty characters, and lightness of touch.

Sequel? No doubt. And if it’s up to this level, bring it on.

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