“Small but mighty” – “Ant-Man” review

****/*****

Devin King | Staff Reporter
Published July 17, 2015; 11:00 a.m

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” marks as the 30th superhero movie in the past five years. That is only American superhero films. It should go without saying that this genre is reaching critical-mass at a very rapid pace, but does “Ant-Man” accomplish anything that sets it apart from other superhero flicks? For the most part, yes.

As the 12th movie in Marvel’s cinematic universe, there are plenty of things in “Ant-Man” that will go over people’s heads if they are new to the film series. Fortunately, the movie is self-contained enough to where stuff that happened in the other marvel movies do not really matter, and there is a lot of exposition to help newcomers of the cinematic universe.

“Ant-Man” tells the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a recently released convict who comes in contact with a mysterious suit that allows him to shrink to the size and grow at will, all while retaining his strength even while the size of an ant. Lang meets the original owner and creator of the suit Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who becomes Lang’s mentor. Together, they must stop something that Pym created long ago.

For those who are familiar with other recent Marvel movies, “Ant-Man” has some very familiar elements that have been used in other films in the series. These include a funny, likeable but flawed main character, a strong female love interest and a predictable and two-dimensional villain. Luckily, “Ant-Man’s” writing strays far enough from the unusual formulaic superhero tropes and still maintains the enjoyment that this genre is known for.

Most superhero movies over stay the 120-minute runtime, which has become a common standard. While “Ant-Man” may be a tad too long, the pacing is fantastic. The movie does not start off slow, but does chug at its own moderate pace. The pacing increases faster as the film goes on leading to a great final act.

The score, cinematography and special effects are everything that is expected from a Marvel movie with a $130 million budget. Flashy, loud and gets to the point. The action is very well done, but some fight scenes that involve Ant-Man’s size changes can be hard to fallow.

“Ant-Man” is everything that audiences have come to expect with Marvel these days. However, there is enough that the film does that is different to let it earn its own place. The writing is great, and hilarious at times. It is Marvel’s second funniest movie, just behind last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” At the end of the day, those looking for a super fun, action-packed summer blockbuster will not be disappointed with “Ant-Man.”

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