Hero gets on his su­per suit

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket - With Ian Bunt­ing

Rep­re­sent­ing one of Marvel stu­dios’ big­ger gam­bles, Paul Rudd brings the pint-sized hero to life on the big screen for the first time.

Armed with a su­per suit that al­lows him to shrink in size and grow in strength, Rudd’s con­man Scott Lang teams up with men­tor Dr Hank Pym (Michael Dou­glas) to try to pull off a heist that may just save the world.

Be­ing lit­tle-known in main­stream minds did Iron Man and the Guardians of the Gal­axy no harm but it’s safe to say the Ant-Man char­ac­ter needed some in­tro­duc­ing to non-comic book afi­ciona­dos.

Com­bine this with orig­i­nal di­rec­tor Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) de­part­ing the pro­ject due to cre­ative dif­fer­ences, and the buzz for Marvel’s latest ex­pan­sion of its cin­e­matic uni­verse was patchy at best.

We needn’t have wor­ried: Ant-Man is yet another home run for a stu­dio that has done lit­tle wrong thus far, ef­fec­tively com­bin­ing scifi, com­edy, hero­ics and Ocean’s Eleven-style heist capers.

Cru­cially, es­pe­cially given the less jaw­drop­ping sec­ond Avengers movie, there is a fresh­ness to this ad­ven­ture, not least in the su­perb set pieces that clev­erly play with the size dif­fer­ences be­tween Rudd’s re­luc­tant hero and the world around him.

Pey­ton Reed (Bring It On, The Break-Up) may not have been an ob­vi­ous choice to re­place Wright in the di­rec­tor’s chair but his mag­nif­i­cent use of ev­ery­thing from pointof-view shots and plac­ing of rats as deadly op­po­nents to a bat­tle staged around a Thomas the Tank En­gine train set give Ant-Man a de­light­ful, dis­ori­ent­ing vis­ual style.

Wright is still given a story credit – with other con­trib­u­tors in­clud­ing Rudd, An­chor­man di­rec­tor Adam McKay and Joe Cor­nish.

With such a comedic crew on board, it’s no sur­prise there are more than a few laughs; Michael Peña, in par­tic­u­lar, is a riot as Scott’s part­ner-in-crime Luis.

The plot takes a while to re­ally kick in, but Rudd’s like­able crook-turned-Avenger keeps us en­ter­tained and Dou­glas – clearly hav­ing a ball in the Marvel world – and Lost’s Evan­ge­line Lilly (Hope van Dyne) shine as Scott’s gate­keep­ers to hero­ism.

Far­ing less well, though, is Corey Stoll as vil­lain Dar­ren Cross. His tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness-ob­sessed an­tag­o­nist is like a re-run of Jeff Bridges’s turn in Iron Man as Marvel con­tin­ues to find it tough pro­vid­ing its su­per­heroes with wor­thy ad­ver­saries not named Loki.

As ever, there are nods to the wider Marvel cin­e­matic uni­verse – past, present and fu­ture this time – but they don’t feel shoe­horned in and all play a key role in de­vel­op­ments.

More in­ti­mate than the Avengers and the stu­dio’s best in­tro­duc­tion to a char­ac­ter since Iron Man, Ant-Man is a blast from start to fin­ish, leav­ing plenty of room for this cool, charis­matic cus­tomer to grow.

Gi­ant pres­ence Paul Rudd makes for a like­able Ant-Man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.