Directed by: Peyton Reed
DISCLAIMER: I’m probably one of the biggest Edgar Wright fans and this review will be EXTREMELY biased based on the fact that he COULD of made this movie one of the most unique and brilliant superhero films ever. So I will admit I went in expecting to hate this movie. So did I?
Before I begin… Lets start with some history since I believe this film has alooot of it 12 years of it… and it totally affects my view on it. Edgar Wright director of “The Worlds End”, “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, and the fantastic “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” proposed this to marvel waaaay back in 2003. Yes, before the Avengers initiative, and before the billion dollar acquisition from Disney and since than he had been working on it. He pitched it as “an action-adventure comedy; a cross-genre action and special effects bonanza”. Shit, I remember before I went to basic training I saw test footage that leaked and I would check my twitter every night for updates he would post and he would, pre-production art and art design and even some of the costume. He even picked a lot of the cast for heavens sake! I couldn’t wait, especially after seeing the worlds end I had reached an almost all-time high fandom for Mr. Wright and his endeavors. Wright and marvel?!?! It was too good to be true!! And it was…
After I had returned from basic training completely isolated from all entertainment news. I saw it. Edgar Wright leaves ant-man over creative differences with Disney-Marvel
Why?! What difference’s?!?! NOOOO!!
Go watch Guardians of the Galaxy its completely a James Gunn film Or!! The Avengers it has Joss Whedon soul all over it! What happened?!
No one knows all the details but its obvious Disney-Marvel asked for re-write’s maybe to include the avengers or tie them together literally one scene pathetically does this and its.. Awful.
I can see why he left . This script has almost no remnants of his style and the parts that do are somewhat flat and eschewed. And who knows it could of been completely re-written top to down.
so with all my venting of the past over with. How is this film?!
Lets start with the script where I feel like the film fails the most.
The script feels patched and pieced together at times, Almost forcefully so. The story is simple. It revolves around an older Hank Pym hiring Scott Lang a young thief recently let out of prison. Scott Lang wants a better life and his daughter back. The story never really gets too emotional with the dynamic of a thief doing what he has too, they kind of just toss it in and leave it to the side. Hank Pym on the other hand feels way more flushed out, dealing with the struggles of a company that’s leaving him, A successor who’s betraying him, which by the way is the worst character in the film. Oh! and a daughter that resents him, and the death of his late wife. but every one else is just a single note character..
The story trudges along slowly at times with bland sequences of the typical superhero learning his powers crap. Like seriously why couldn’t they just apply he’s training through something cool and innovative, but they reduce him to shrink through a key-hole?!? fucking lazy use of his powers.
They even go rob a pointless object that they never reference again from shield warehouse (what I’m assuming would be in the marvel universe to be one of the heaviest guarded Locations). He robs the place in minutes after a lame avenger cameo. It feels forced in just to tie in the avengers.. which is offensive.
And what the hell happened to this being a heist film?!? the actual heist is so underplayed and short lived Its ridiculous. None of the great attributes of a heist are even remotely played up here, and since the entire basis of the film revolves around it and its so weak, you feel somewhat robbed yourself.
So the general story was flat and forced what about the acting?
Paul Rudd is a great actor, he has a natural charisma and charm to him, but he loses so much of that in this movie. I cant remember if he even had a line that made laugh. It was like they tried to add his charisma in the script but it never landed, he doesn’t do a bad job. It just felt weak. Evangeline Lily had an equally wrote in part it was so by the books and unenergetic. Corey Stoll is horrible as the main villain, He kills sheep.. and has no remorse :O He could of added more to the character maybe showing his true resentment toward a father figure that abandoned him but he acts everything out in the worst & cheesiest way possible. Probably the worst and laziest villain in the entire MCU.
Actually the entire cast is probably the weakest in the MCU. BUT Michael Douglas steals the show, he brings hank to life, even through horrible writing he brings some humanity and realness to he’s character, maybe it’s cause Douglas doesn’t know or care about comics, which lets him act he’s part as he would in any other movie. Where the rest of the cast, acts like their in a superhero movie..
Michael Pena has two of the only parts that made me laugh, through a smartly and oddly Edgar Wright-ish montage of quick cuts.
I talked a lot about Edgar Wrights departure, I guess I should spend some time on his replacement Peyton Reed
Peyton Reed has no where near the Uniqueness of Mr. Wright and oddly enough this is his best film to date, his filmography is mostly filled with TV material, and chick flicks, The Break-Up, Down With Love, also he directed Bring It On and his latest Yes Man which wasn’t bad at all.
All the scenes not involving the Ant-Man suit were extremely sub-par Exactly what you would expect from a cheap comedy, or a Mid-Range T.V. Series. Nothing unique was attempted in that scope, especially with the weak character dynamics.
But the Ant-Man parts were handled well, they used a lot of macro photography to showcase height and depth but they obviously got lazy throughout, the first time he puts it on is short and not very engaging, he falls into this disco party at one part and they literally just showed a tracking shot of people stomping and just added a little ant man digitally of course with some cuts to add “cinematic effect” complete laziness. I wish this would of fallen into more competent hands
So overall the mini-to-big element felt underdeveloped, under-used and under imagined. But one Fight scene towards the end involving Thomas the train was spectacular and honestly one of the best fight scenes in the entire MCU. Toys and small blocks flew in a flurry of miniature mayhem, as the hero & villain faced off. The film came alive during that final sequence and the idea of what this film could of been languished in me after that sequence had ended. Why didn’t we see that creativity throughout?
So.. in ending
This film could of been Fun, Engrossing, Captivating and Astonishing if they had used the simple tools at their disposal. The script was patched together, loose and often uninteresting. The acting was bland and cheesy, except for Michael Douglas. The Directing was weak and under-developed, except a spectacular finale of a fight scene. In all, I blame Marvel, we could of had something so rare, but instead we get a generic superhero film that tries to be smaller but in all the worst ways. RIP Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man.. Maybe one day your original script will leak.
Oh and here’s a link to a YouTube video dissecting Edgar Wrights talents. There’s a reason I think he is one of the most underappreciated directors of our time.
So what did you think of Ant-Man? Leave a comment!