Film review: Ant-Man

18:30 21 July 2015

MARVEL'S ANT-MAN. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel 2014

MARVEL'S ANT-MAN. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel 2014

? Marvel 2014

Marvel’s teeny superhero is silly skillful fun, says Michael Joyce.

Dustin Hoffman has been busy complaining that films are in their worst condition ever, without any decent roles for actors. As such, comic book movies are almost the only game in town. Still, chuffed as Rudd must have been to hear he was going to be a superhero, he may have had to force the smile a little when he found out which one. Not all superheroes are created equal and if you’re going to be one of the hyphenated ones, Ant-man is definitely a distant last.

He’s a big deal among the comic fraternity but for the rest of us this feels like the barrel being scraped. Scott Lang’s big ability is that he can get small. But not on his own, he has to wear a gimp suit built by genius scientist Hank Pym (Douglas.) His subsidiary skill is that he can control ants and get them to help him, thanks to another Pym invention. Shrinkage and insect communication: what disparate fields Dr Pym chose to specialize in.

Ant-man had been shaping up as Marvel’s first miss-step. First they fired director Edgar (Shaun of the Dead) Wright after he’d spent eight years, developing it and then they released some distinctly underwhelming trailers. In fact Ant-man is everything that you like about Marvel movies: that beautifully inclusive balance of comedy and drama with special effects that are impressive but not the whole point of the film.

And releasing it after Age of Ultron was a master stroke. Everything was getting so cluttered and joyless in that film, bogged down by its convoluted multi-strand plot and multi-platform revenue streams. Marvel films were becoming extended trailers for themselves. Ant-man though is simply enjoyment, a single story with little connection to the bigger pictures. It is silly but skillful. During the climax there are two really wizard sight gags involving Thomas the Tank Engine. Both of them bring the house down but also they are the perfect expression of the character – they wouldn’t fit in any film. You may not particularly need an Ant-man movie in your life but this is as good an Ant-man movie as you could wish for.

For longer reviews, a look at Self/Less and the Roy Andersson Collection on Blu-ray go to halfmanhalfcritic.weebly.com

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Yesterday, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino can vividly remember the first time he instructed his players to employ a gutsy pressing game against a Pep Guardiola team – it was, in fact, his first training session as a manager.

Yesterday, 19:15

Think your garden is too small to have the wow factor? Too cramped for carpets of colour or sizeable shrubs? Here’s why you should think again.

Yesterday, 18:00

A church community centre is considering stepping up security after its post office was raided for the second time this year.

Yesterday, 15:13

Ben and Jelena Cousins, founders of Camden based architectural practice Cousins & Cousins transformed an uninhabitable wreck into a property to suit their young family. They tell us what it takes to make a house a home

Yesterday, 15:00

Sadiq Khan will carry out a wide-reaching inquiry into foreign companies buying property in the capital - amid concern the flood of investment has fuelled rocketing house prices in local boroughs.

Yesterday, 14:27

Mauricio Pochettino says he might be interested in managing England one day – but his aim for the foreseeable future is to get Tottenham to the same level as Sunday’s opponents Manchester City.

Yesterday, 13:06

The Ham and High can today reveal the filthiest local restaurants and takeaways which officials say need “urgent improvement”

Yesterday, 13:00

A police officer will not face criminal charges after being filmed repeatedly striking a man with his baton during an arrest even though the police watchdog found he has a case to answer.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now