SBox Recommends: Ant-Man (Movie Review)

Note: SBox Recomends never spoils!

Let’s face it! Even if you’re a big Marvel movie fan like me, you were immediately skeptical of this film. Why? Because this is easily Marvel’s most ridiculous movie concept (which is really saying something). However, comic book fans will agree that this character is important to the Marvel Universe, and therefore the time has come for the character to grace the big screen.

Either way, you have no choice. It’s a Marvel film. If you’re a fan, you pretty much have to see it. But allow me to explain why you should see it.

Synopsis

Ant-Man follows a man named Scott Lang, a former petty crook who’s also a brilliant engineer. Following his release from jail he attempts to gain a normal life and job in order support his daughter. Unable to hold a job due to his criminal record, he returns to thieving. While breaking into a wealthy man’s safe, he discovers nothing but a suit, which he discovers gives him the ability to shrink. He soon gets approached by Hank Pym, the man Hank stole the suit from. Due to Scott’s skills, Hank recruits him to help him stop his shrinking technology from being replicated by his former company.

Writing

Like I said, Ant-Man was a very odd choice for a full-length movie. Many would say the character should be introduced Black Widow or Hawkeye style (as a side-character in a bigger Marvel film). After all, a man that can shrink isn’t as compelling as a super soldier like Captain America or a “huge green rage monster” like Hulk.

Thankfully, the movie used that stigma to its advantage. The writing is self aware in a way. The movie has the exact same outlook as you. It thinks like you do, asks the same questions you’re wondering, and knows what you want to see. It takes that self awareness and then addresses your every concern one by one. It’s like the film spends the whole time proving to the audience why it should exist.

Without giving much away, I’ll give you one example. As Dr. Pym is explaining the situation to Scott, he then asks all of the sudden “Why don’t we call the Avengers?”. And the explanation Pym gives actually makes sense. From then on, you aren’t questioning why Ant-Man has to save the day.

The writing is certainly smart, and the story is a lot more engaging then you’d expect. To say it’s just an action movie isn’t doing the film justice. Marvel likes to tackle different sub-genres each movie: Captain America 2 was a political thriller and Guardians was a buddy road trip film. This one is a heist movie, but with an action movie twist. Thankfully, the genres mix well and offers you a distinct experience.

And how can I forget to mention how funny this movie was. No surprise, this film has a comedic edge, and it’s in full force here. Give it about ten minutes of your time, and I promise you’ll crack a smile. The trailers don’t give many of the jokes away either, so prepare to laugh a lot. I don’t think it’s funnier than Guardians, but it’s definitely #2.

Effects

I think the main fear some will have about this movie is whether the action will be any good. If this guy hopes to fight Avengers in Civil War next year, he has to prove he can keep up.

After seeing this movie I now have no doubt he’s capable of such a feat. Whatever you previously thought an Ant-Man fight would look like is probably an undershot. You’ll believe the Ant-Man is a force to be reckoned with when you see him go up against a certain someone. (You probably know who).

Just know that if you’re expecting nonstop action here, this isn’t your film. There are enough action scenes here, but not as much as a typical Marvel film. Remember, this is a heist movie. The idea is that there’s one big mission to prepare for. Before then, there are about three action scenes, and only one of them is a fight scene. Though, once you get to the mission finally, it’s certainly worth the wait.

This movie does rely a lot on CG given the shrinking ability. Those sequences look phenomenal. Not the greatest execution of shrinking in a movie, but it’s up there. The insects especially look fantastic. As ugly as real ants are, the realism is certainly commendable.

Acting

Marvel always casts just the right person for every character, and Ant-Man is no exception to the rule. I can’t imagine a better casting choice for any of the characters involved. I won’t waste your time judging every performance, but there are two standouts I wish to discuss.

Paul Rudd is excellent as the Ant-Man himself. His struggles immediately becomes your struggles during the movie, because he’s so sympathetic. It’s very easy to relate to his character, since, like I said, he thinks and responds like the everyday guy. He has a lot of funny moments plus some really heart-warming dramatic moments. He was the perfect guy for the job.

But I think the crowd favorite of the film has to be Michael Peña as Scott’s friend Luis. He’s the laugh riot of this movie. Every time he’s on screen, he steals the show with his goofy, charming and underhanded nature. There’s one hard-hitting joke he pulls off twice in the movie that is by far the funniest joke
in the entire film.

Production Value

As expected, aspects such as the camerawork, sound quality and editing are perfectly fine. The soundtrack for this film is typical action adventure style orchestrations. Only every now and then do you hear a hip-hop or pop song in the mix. And action scenes are fluid and follow the characters well.

Overall

I knew I was probably going to end up liking this movie, but I didn’t expect I’d like it as much as I did. Not only is it funny, clever, epic and charming; it’s the most unique Marvel movie of the current bunch. It’s atypical in the best possible way.  I had a great time with Ant-Man, and I think you will, too.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Recommendations

Marvel fans have probably already seen it by now. If you’re holding out for whatever reason, know that you have nothing to fear. In fact, any action or comedy fan could easily enjoy this film regardless of you’re experience with the other movies. Really, I can’t think of someone who would hate this movie. All I will say is to stay through the credits. There are two end-credit sequences, so keep an eye out.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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