I didn’t know what to expect from Ant-Man, given its checkered production history and the fact that the screenplay is credited to two unlikely sources: star Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell’s frequent collaborator Adam McKay. What I got was a thoroughly entertaining, solidly constructed action-fantasy yarn that ranks with the best movies from the Marvel universe. Go figure!
I don’t know how this resembles the project that original director Edgar Wright and his writing partner Joe Cornish were working on—they still share screenplay credit, but that’s now moot. We have a really good movie to celebrate and enjoy, with truly startling visual effects. A lot of filmmakers throw around the word “immersive experience” but this one delivers the goods. We see and feel what Ant-Man is going through at every turn of the story, and with today’s cutting-edge technology it’s a quantum leap ahead ofThe Incredible Shrinking Man or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, good as they were.
Now all the ingredients are in place: an underdog hero, a mentor with ambiguous motivations, a bad guy who has no conscience, a cute kid who deserves to have a relationship with her errant dad, and a series of formidable physical hurdles that have to be cleared for the good guys’ schemes to pan out. There’s even comedy relief, including a couple of whopping sight gags near the end that made me laugh out loud.
Although he’s never tackled anything in this genre, or on this scale before, director Peyton Reed deserves tremendous credit for orchestrating all the components of this complex enterprise. Ant-Man is a smart, original, consistently surprising piece of entertainment. Bravo!