Friday, 7 August 2015

Ant-Man review

Yes, it sounds stupid. Yes, it is another Marvel movie. Yes, it looks like a cash grab. But just how good is Marvel's Ant-Man? Hit the jump to find out....

Just look at that poster... it just screams 'money grab' or 'cash cow' or 'give us money' or whatever to me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I detest Marvel. Apart from 'Guardians of the Galaxy', I find their movies to be flat, uninspired, only slightly amusing, and ultimately empty. This is because every single one of them leads on to another segment of the cinematic universe we hear so much about. Probably the greatest evidence of this was 'Age of Ultron', which was so forgettable, and just a piece of consumerist crap from start to finish. The whole thing was just a setup to another movie.... HOW CAN THAT BE GOOD!?! The only exception to this rule is, of course, the widely lauded Guardians of the Galaxy , which used nostalgia and an awesome soundtrack to enhance its (fairly awesome) story-line. But you know what I thought its real success was? That it felt like a complete film, and not just another step in a line of build up pieces.

So no, I was not looking forward to seeing Ant-Man.

The first two acts almost confirmed my suspicion... For a start, the exposition scene is just downright shit. It's set in a laboratory, and is all kinds of awful.Firstly, the prosthetics/CGI suck so bad (it was obvious that faces were altered to look younger). Secondly, the acting is probably the worst I've EVER seen in a blockbuster (yep it's true, Marvel have reached a new low). And finally, it's just so damn boring. I was ready to give it one star right then and there. However, as we got to meet the Paul Rudd Character, the film started to improve (in fact, it might have reached 3 stars in my opinion if not for a racist stereotype Hispanic guy, a racist stereotype black guy, and a racist stereotype Russian guy). Paul Rudd exerts a charming presence on the screen, and it's almost enough to forgive the previous sins.

This is all kinds of shit......
Then the real story kicked in. It's not exactly dynamic; a one dimensional bad guy and a one dimensional scientist pitting it out against each other. But, once again, Paul Rudd saves the day with some comedic lines ('My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are over, what do you wan't me to do?' 'I wan't you to break into a place and steal some shit'). So once again, we are verging on 3 stars. I mean, the story-line is not exactly dynamite. It's just "Paul Rudd learns to be Ant Man" but some great scenes (including an assault on an Avengers base) add unexpected enjoyment. Of course, all this is wrecked by the bad-ish CGI and ridiculous Ant - bonding scenes.

Alas, I had arrived at my predicted grade: 2 stars. Writing this blog, I have not yet had the chance to dip below 3 stars, so I was excited.

The villain, who only REALLY appears in the third act...
Unfortunately for me, the third act upended my expectations entirely. It's set in the bedroom of a child and is funny, and pathetic too. The sight of full Thomas the tank engine characters and giant ants caused genuine hilarity in the theatre. On top of this, the action switches between the Ant-Man viewpoint, and a normal persons. So we get to see frantic action, and the real life implications of such, it's just so amusing. As an example, there's a scene set in a briefcase which plays on the use of the mobile phone app 'Siri' to play a song - it's genuinely funny. All this followed by a trippy foray into the quantum realm (all pseudo-scientific bullshit of course) provides the best third act surprise I've ever seen in a Marvel movie. And it's capped off by a hilarious anecdote, unbelievable revelation, and two (yes two) end credit scenes.

So, what does it get? The first two acts are worth two stars (and I'm being generous there). And the third is worth more like four. So, I think it's worth watching purely for that, and it gets 3.

Ant-Man gets 3 stars!

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