When I saw the preview for Ant-Man, my initial thought was, “Why?”. It just looked so…silly. Ant-Man, to me, looked like a story that was better suited for the CW, a story that could be better told as a teen-centered television series or, possibly more accurately, as a kid’s Saturday Morning Cartoon. So, I avoided it. Some bloggers saw it and loved it or at least really liked it and yet I couldn’t bring myself to care enough to shell out the money to see it on the big screen.
But I have kids and to them this looked amazing and we found ourselves snuggled in the bed (well, they were in the bed with my wife while I sat…on the floor) watching this as a family.
It was pretty cool.
Color me surprised that all the ‘silly’ aspects of this film actually work themselves into the fabric in such a way that it never feels hokey. Marvel has always had a sense of humor that is often worked into their films, not always for the better, and so it’s expected that this is going to have some sort of sarcastic bite, but here it actually works. This is due in large part to the fact that Paul Rudd sells his character and this premise with an effortlessness that defies genre. He’s just such a natural performer. He makes this all seem remotely believable because of that. In fact, the entire cast mostly works here. Stoll is a little over the top, but Pena, Douglas and Lilly anchor the film well, and Mackie’s cameo moment is priceless.
I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I am not familiar with the superhero. I never got into Ant-Man as a kid and so other than knowing he existed, I didn’t know anything about him. This adaptation is not the original story, as my daughter pointed out. Apparently she read a book on Ant-Man…go figure…and so she made me aware a few minutes in that Scott Lang is NOT Ant-Man. I don’t care, really, but any Ant-Man enthusiasts (are there any Ant-Man enthusiasts?) might take issue with this.
You know what you won’t take issue with? A giant Thomas Train busting through a house and an oversized ant chasing police and that whole bedroom battle at the film’s closing because it’s pretty epic and clever and just a whole lot of awesome! The effects here (visual and aural) are really top notch and go a long way to making Ant-Man feel like a legit superhero movie and not some sort of parody.
It’s funny, charming, cute and exciting when it counts, and that all counts for something.
That being said, I don’t feel like I missed anything waiting to see this on the small-screen.