Rating 3.5/5 – I’m putting this out so late because I’ve been reading Marvels Ant-Man reviews, both to incorporate my opinions of some of these reviews and because I’m a glutton for punishment. It’s come to the point where you have to stop wondering if Marvel will fail but ask yourself can they fail. Of course if you read certain reviewers you’d think that every time Marvel puts out a movie this the sign that they are ready to throw in the toward. Marvel movie does not make exactly the same or more than the Avengers, Kevin Feige and the boys will be seen outside the nearest welfare office looking for handouts. This is why I waited until now to do my review, to blast one aspect of these reviews I found particularly stupid. The question a good portion of reviews were asking that’s been driving me personally crazy for the past year is, “Can Ant-Man succeed despite the fact that Edgar Wright left the project just before shooting.”
The Hard Truth about Edgar Wright
Okay freaks and geeks and every other screw head that are maniacally beating this drum like natives chanted for Kong, time for a reality check. I’ve watch a few reviews, mostly by geeks, who always started their out with “I went in not sure if this was going to be good because of the Edgar Wright thing left a bad taste in my mouth.” To hear some of these numb-nuts talk they were Edgar Wright best friend and were in shock and horror that Marvel had a formula they wanted Edgar Wright to follow and the man decided not to. Geeks were acting like the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe depended on Edgar Wright because of an admittedly adorable short test video put out a few years shy before he and Marvel had their split. So let’s take a few paragraphs to set some records straight, and for me to get off some frustration over listening to this nonsense so I don’t end up going Michael Myers on the ones with the moronic opinion.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Edgar Wright. Shawn of the Dead is a classic, Hot Fuzz has to be the best comedic take on American action movies I’ve never seen anyone do quite the same again and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World should be a classic hung up in the museum of awesome classics. Do you know what connects these movies besides their director? Every single one of them pretty much bombed at the box office. Do you know who besides geeks gave a flying fuck about Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man? Absolutely nobody. Geek, who make up roughly 2% of the movie going audience have about as much financial effect on a movies success as a colony of ants taking residence in patch of dirt next to a movie theater. The general movie going audience only care about two things; is it a Marvel Movie and is it a good Marvel movies. So the hard fact of the matter is that it was Edgar Wright who made the mistake of not doing as Marvel said because Marvel did not need Edgar Wright, Edgar Wright needed Marvel. Thus endeth the fucking lesson.
The Little Movie That Could
Director Payton Reed, whose previous movies includes the cult classic Bring It On, and had minor successes with Yes Man and The Break-Up, took over for Edgar Wright. According to every story about Ant-Man the script was punched up, the change Marvel wanted was put in and shooting began right on schedule. Despite the prophecies of doom too many predicted what they came out with is a sharp, funny and highly entertaining movies that flows nicely with the rest of Marvel’s movie world. Scott Lang is a Robin Hood style theft just getting out of prison when he’s recruited to be a world-saving thief by former Ant-Man Henry Pym and his daughter Hope (play nicely by Lost alumni Evangeline Lilly.) Dr. Pym’s ex-partner Darren Cross (play with over-the-top flair by Corey Stoll) is trying to find the secret behind the formula that allowed Pym to become Ant-Man so sell to every evil organization with a phat bank account. This is a good plan because the rule of evil organizations is they always have phat bank accounts. In order to stop the world from being overrun by armies of soldiers who can shirt to the size of ants and kick much ass in the name of terror, Dr. Pym needs Scott to pull off a heist to steal back Cross’s Yellowjacket suit and any research he has that might point people in the director of making more toy soldiers. And that’s why this movie gets it right.
The problem with most super hero movies is they feel the need to make everything a world ending event. The formula is get powers, learn to use powers, stop bad guy from blowing up the planet in one form or another. One of the reasons we geeks love comics is that while there are the world-ending events, there are also the smaller more personal events that plague a super hero. A loved on gets kidnapped, or a company screws the hero out of his life and liberty, or you just need to stop a bad thing from happening to help a few good people. This is one of the reasons why the Netflix Daredevil series worked so well. It’s exactly why Ant-Man just works. It’s not a plot to stop the building of the death star, it’s just one guy trying to keep his research out of the wrong hands and trying to build a relationship with his daughter who he estranged when his wife died as a result of said research.
So, How’s the Movie
At a neat nun time of 117 minutes Marvels Ant-Man goes along at a nice pace, mixing in a heist movie that rivals Ocean’s Eleven with the super hero origin story. The characters all had moments to shine, Michael Douglas does what veteran Oscar winning actors should do and adds gravitas to the role of Hank Pym, Paul Rudd is a stand out as the new hero and Everything came together in Marvels Ant-Man to make another Marvel classic everyone will flock to own on Blu Ray or digital download. The stand out performance was Michael Pena. The man did not have a line in the movie he did not deliver with a fantastic comedic timing that let you know if he’s not included in Ant-Man 2, there will probably be a riot.
Marvels Ant-Man: Bottom Line and Cool Cameos
The cameos in Marvels Ant-Man were also spot-on, with Garrett Morris showing up, Stan Lee having a great little spot, Anthony Mackie getting to show the world precisely why Falcon is a badass, and even Internet Star and comedian Anna Akana got a moment to shine in a spot that was right up with her own brand of comedy. If this isn’t a perfect movie it damn near comes close. Even child actress Abby Ryder Fortson, who play Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang, had memorable lines and will stand out on that list of children in movies that did not annoy the living hell out of you. If you are looking for a great time at the movies, you cannot go wrong with Ant-Man. Marvel knocked another one out the park, and while did not have the strongest opening, it still made $114 million world-wide and will probably make much more because we’re talking about Marvel and at this print all they do is print money. It’s a great smaller movie (pun intended) with a promise of bigger things to come. If someone tells you that they like Marvels Ant-Man but had a problem with it because of Edgar Wright you have my permission to punch them in the face and use me as an alibi.