Release: 30th November 2015
Format: 3D Blu-Ray / Blu-Ray / DVD and Digital
Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross, also known as Yellowjacket, from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.
The Marvel film formula is wearing rather thin. What once made Iron Man original or The Avengers joyous now just leaves us feeling numb. Yet somehow audiences keep coming back, hoping for something fresh. Ant-Man half delivers on that front.
The story of Scott Lang’s journey to pea-sized heroics lends itself less to the standard Marvel framework than anything which has come before. Maybe it is Paul Rudd’s style of comedy or maybe it is the film’s premise, but the film never looks more uncomfortable than when it is being safe. It is in the surreal or irreverent moments that you realise what original director Edgar Wright was probably heading for; his mission statement to play to Ant-Man’s ludicrous nature. This makes the experience of watching Ant-Man all the more frustrating, because had it been allowed to roam free we could have seen the biggest breakout star vehicle since Tony Stark. Instead, it is often suffocated under the weight of box ticking, and suffers from a real lack of guts.
George R.R Martin was recently quoted as saying that Yellowjacket in Ant-Man is the most refreshing villain in a Marvel film to date. This statement has definite substance. Although Darren Cross shares a lot of DNA with Iron Man’s big bad Obadiah Stane – baldness and all – he comes into his own as Yellowjacket, and actually provides Ant-Man with a challenge instead of just a series of mirrored skills. He even looks rather menacing at one point. This isn’t just two robots clashing, or two aliens going at it, or even two super soldiers butting heads, no, this is one man and his wits versus a maniac and his death rays; a thief versus a scientist.
The cast do a sterling job, and the dynamic between Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly is great casting. Ant-Man even manages to do the unthinkable and makes you want to see more of its secondary characters; namely in comic sidekicks Luis, Kurt and Dave.
For every moment of solid humour or fleetingly inspired action, comes several dull moments of book-by-book Marvel storytelling. But as a cleanser from Norse gods, playboy action heroes and buff patriots, Ant-Man does its job. Let’s just hope someone with gusto gets to direct Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Film Grade: C+
Special features not available at time of going to press. But they include;
- Making Of An Ant-Sized Heist: a How-To Guide
Set your watch and count down the action in this fast-paced behind-the-scenes look at how to pull off a heist movie, including Scott Lang’s hilarious heist “family,” Ant-Man’s costume, plus amazing stunts and effects.
- Let’s Go To The Macroverse
Shrink down to size in this fascinating look at creating the world from Ant-Man’s perspective, from macro photography through to the subatomic.
- WHIH NewsFront
A hard-hitting collection of content, including a glimpse at the future of Pym Technologies with Darren Cross, anchor Christine Everhart’s interview with soon-to-be-released prisoner Scott Lang on his notorious VistaCorp heist, and more.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Audio Commentary By Peyton Reed And Paul Rudd