FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Ant-Man (2015)

RUDD SAVES THE DAY!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Ant-Man

Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Having been released from jail, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) tries to go straight so that he can afford alimony and see his young daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson). However, Lang gets desperate and agrees to rob physicist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who ultimately recruits the burglar and former systems engineer to defend his Ant-Man shrinking technology and plot a heist with worldwide ramifications…

The twelfth film in the extensive Marvel Cinematic Universe (and sixth origin story so far) benefits from the introduction of a lesser-known hero and benefits even more from the introduction of the incredible Paul Rudd. A dozen action-packed adventures in, there really isn’t any territory that hasn’t already been explored, so Rudd’s contribution to Ant-Man (both on screen and off) cannot be underplayed.

The story is simple enough to follow and engages with the broader Avengers story through Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, though you are not left feeling that you’re missing something if this happens to be your first exposure to the MCU; a difficult feat accomplished through a screenplay that has confidence in its protagonist.

It’s refreshing to see such a flawed and relatable hero as Scott Lang who, despite being incredibly intelligent and innovative, always seems to have been dealt a losing hand. Rudd’s playful personality is well-suited to the role of Lang, and even though they fall into the typical trope whereby people from minority communities are relegated to comic relief, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Michael Peña, and David Dastmalchian deliver beautifully supporting turns as his crew. Corey Stoll is fine as the antagonist, and Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly are also quite good in undemanding roles. (Drinking game: Have a shot every time Douglas says the name “Scott.” Lazy writing in an otherwise solid screenplay.)

Although it takes a while to really build momentum, Ant-Man is not only a consistently engaging and entertaining superhero pic, it is also one of the stronger entries of its franchise. 4 / 5

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, John Slattery, Hayley Atwell, Abby Ryder Fortson, Gregg Turkington, Martin Donovan, Anna Akana, Garrett Morris, Stan Lee [cameo], Chris Evans [uncredited], Sebastian Stan [uncredited], Hayley Lovitt [cameo].

Director: Peyton Reed | Producer: Kevin Feige | Writers: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd; Story: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish (based on Ant-Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby) | Music: Christophe Beck | Cinematographer: Russell Carpenter | Editors: Dan Lebental, Colby Parker, Jr.

Available: Blu-ray and stan

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #15: Countdown to Infinity War—Ant-Man ⬇️


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