As unlikely Ant-Man, Paul Rudd enters superhero genre brilliantly

As Marvel gears up for a huge year in movies, we are graced with our second installment of 2015 with Ant-Man. As a fan of the Marvel series, I was slightly baffled when they announced Ant-Man years ago as he never seemed like a strong stand-alone character.  Initially, it was to be Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Sean of the Dead) at the helm with Simon Pegg playing the titular character. As with many blockbuster films, this changed throughout the years. Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Bring it On) was announced to take over and I was a bit concerned that the director of mostly romantic comedies was taking on a Marvel action blockbuster. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Paul Rudd (who still looks fabulous) was going to take over the role. Neither of them has disappointed.

The film starts with the original Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), being threatened for his technology to shrink any object, including man, to the size of an ant. After refusing to give his formula away, his own company decides to crack the code themselves. Pym needs to hire his own ‘hero’ in Scott Lang (Rudd), a former con-man, to break in to his former company and steal the prototype before it is sold to other countries as a weapon.

For our side story, Scott had just served his last day in San Quentin and looks to reunite with his young daughter. He has a hard time holding down a job with his background as a criminal. His ex-wife (Judy Greer, Arrested Development, Jurassic World) has now married a police officer (the always fun to look at Bobby Cannavale from Boardwalk Empire and Paul Blart). This proves difficult to get around his daughter as the law is in her house. Scott finally gets his break when he is contacted by Pym to don the suit and save the world.

The film is a great mix of every genre. Rudd brings his comic genius to the table as well as, surprising to me, his action abilities. Once you see him shirtless, you can see he really dedicated time to the role — abs and all! Joining Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas in the cast is Evangeline Lily (The Hurt Locker, Lost). She plays the daughter of Pym who is eager to stop the villain Darren Cross, or as fans will know him, Yellowjacket. Corey Stall (The Bourne Legacy, House of Cards) finally lands his biggest role yet as the main antagonist. If you haven’t seen him in Cards, then this will definitely turn you on to Stall. Tall, handsome and fit, this man exudes sexiness. I, for one, am glad to see him in a major blockbuster film. Lang’s friends in the film, T.I. and Michael Pena, provide comic relief. It’s nice to see these two receive the laughs like they did.

While I’d never thought Ant-Man could be a stand-alone character in a Marvel franchise film, I also never thought that Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd would make a great combination for a superhero movie.  I was proved wrong on all accounts. This movie is fantastic for all ages, sans a slight bit of language. There’s even quite a few tie-ins to the other Marvel Comic Universe films, but I don’t want to spoil anything for this one. When you have time — no, not if you have time — get to the movie theater and take in this experience. As with every Marvel film so far (maybe less on the Thor side), this film left me wanting to see more and more. As for the rating, it’s a 9/10.

Are you still reading this? Go watch it!




Find Stephen Wyatt on Twitter @StunningStephen

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