Ant-Man: Small scale, big fun

bf_payoff_1-sht_v8_lgIt’s unsurprising but absolutely fine that Ant-Man has had Marvel’s lowest US opening weekend since 2008 and The Incredible Hulk. I mean, what were you expecting? Ant-Man is not an Avenger, most people have never heard of him before and Paul Rudd, while loveable, is not a huge blockbuster star and indeed many of his films have been average romcoms. But none of this diminishes or denies that Ant-Man is actually just brilliant fun.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a ne’er-do-well master thief just out of prison and desperate to reconnect with his daughter. Meanwhile scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is scared into action after discovering his former protégé (Darren Cross) is preparing to sell potentially very dangerous technology that enables the suit wearer to shrink to the size of an ant. Cue paths crossing, micro-sized battles and several tongue-in-cheek Avengers references.

The film is more a heist movie than a traditional superhero caper and, complete with tense, bongo-packed heist music, this gives it a breath of fresh air compared to other Marvel offerings which follow a relatively similar formula to each other.

Rudd is charming throughout and Douglas is perfect as the serious scientist pushing everyone to their limits, something which proves fantastic fun during a training montage.

But the real star of the show – along with two accomplices David Dastmalchian and T.I. – is Michael Peña as Luis, whose fast-paced explanations and anecdotes are a thing of comedic brilliance.

The sudden appearance of an Avengers storage facility and one of the new intake of the superhero group is great fun but does not feel as forced as you may fear from past experience with the Marvel universe interlocking.

And the third act, with the heist being carried out, many twists and turns and a fantastic end battle which I won’t give away, is a huge delight and well worth all the build up, not something you can say about every blockbuster.

Whether you’ve heard of Ant-Man or not, whether you’re bored of the Marvel universe, whether you have an irrational hatred of Paul Rudd, this is one that all movie-lovers should go and watch. Ant-Man will find a big place in your heart and leave you looking forward to the suit’s next appearance on the silver screen.

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