Until now, those Marvel comic superheroes I’ve seen on the big screen have had some resemblance to the glittering pages of the past comics, from Hulk to Captain America, from Batman to Spider-Man, but as far as I remember I have never ran into the Ant-Man character. He’s like the total opposite of the superhero cliché who usually gains his supernatural strength while maintaining the human size or, alternatively, grows bigger.
Rarely a superhero shrinks and becomes stronger.
But that’s exactly what director Peyton Reed makes the superhero do in an entertaining interpretation of the relatively unknown Marvel hero in the summer’s blockbuster, Ant-Man.
Dr. Hank Prym (Michael Douglas) is a biophysicist whose discovery, the Prym Particles, enable him to alter size. All it takes is a tube with the particle liquid, injected inside an old motorcycle suit with a push of a button. In addition, he can control ants with the aid of an electromagnetic device.
Prym however is gaining age (my guess is 60 something), so his superhero-days are days of the past. But when Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a 30 something master thief, steals the suit from Prym’s safe made of the very same steel as the Titanic, the game is on. In this game, like in many others related to superheroes, the world peace is at stake.
You see, an insane biophysicist Darren Cross (Corey Stroll), a former student of Dr. Prym’s, is close in succeeding to shrink humans as well in order to create armies in size of the ants. Like many others possessed with power, Cross wants to make the big bucks without caring of the possible consequences. Dr. Prym begs Cross to stop the tests of shrinking animals and humans, “Because there is a reason I hid those secrets.” Without giving away spoilers, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out the reason. But I can tell you this much: Ant-Man has to try to stop Cross. However you might have guessed that already.
But why would you go and watch a man turning into a size of an ant in the first place? In short: because Ant-Man is a damn good and entertaining movie. It’s also genuinely funny and the acting is captivating.
The choice of Michael Douglas to his role as Dr. Prym couldn’t have been more suitable. He shines in portraying unshakable and strong characters (think The Game (1997) and Falling Down (1993)). The film also features Evangeline Lilly as Prym’s daughter, Hope. That’s a good reason to watch the movie as well, because she is amazing in portraying strong and emotional women characters (think the elf warrior Tauriel in The Hobbit).
Paul Rudd does a fine job too as a limber character who is a converstational blurter, although, I wasn’t familiar with his previous work that extends from the Simpsons to 40 Year-Old Virgin.
And what would a superhero movie be without a believable villain? Well, Corey Stroll has this charismatic insane-on demand-look in his eyes and the last movie I saw him in was Midnight in Paris (2011) where he played a kind of caricature of the young Ernest Hemingway. Those familiar with Hemingway’s life know that it’s not the easiest task to step into his boots.
Want to be entertained and laugh while escaping most of the clichés that sometimes haunt movies of the superhero kind?
Go and watch Ant-Man.
Ant-Man premieres at cinemas across the country on Wednesday July 22.