Tuesday, 28 July 2015

(Movie) Insert size joke here...a look at Ant-Man

I'd heard good things about this movie. Never so far as singing it's praises, but enough that it received relatively positive feedback.
Was the movie worth raving about, though?
Let's see! 

Story/Dialogue: Story goes that Scott Lang, a former con, is recruited by a scientist/soldier named Hank Pym. Pym is the creator of the Pym particle; able to shrink matter while compounding the durability of said matter.
Lang is recruited to steal a piece of tech created by Pym's protege, Darren Cross.
With the help of a variety of ants and Lang's old crew, they perform a heist like no one has ever seen.
I can't remember the last time I saw a superhero heist movie. That's what it is. A superhero heist movie with sci-fi elements.
Paul Rudd plays a lovable rogue who just can't get a break. You can't help but like him and the circumstantial humour that follows him.
The characters that help him, from his ant buddies to his crew are funny and easy to like.
Evangeline Lilly's character is equal parts badass with an element of humility. She feels as though you could meet her on the street or have a laugh with her at a bar. Her character feels real.
I'm told that Steve Buscemi was supposed to be Hank Pym. While I don't doubt his performance would have been excellent, Michael Douglas' performance is a happy accident.
As a comic character, I hated Pym. I, like most out there, figured he was a wife beating crazy person. Mr. Douglas took my initial feelings and showed me a broken man whose anger drove him. He's almost like Stark's darker half, I suppose.
Finally, our villain. In terms of character, I felt that his motivation was lacking, or could have been better explained. He felt like an idiot genius who pretended to not know what was going on. It creates this false sense of tension that made me wonder if he was totally ignorant or if the part of his brain that focuses on profiting from science was the only part that worked.
Don't get me wrong, the performance was great, it was the character's development, or lack thereof, that I had an issue with.
Don't make a villain who is a villain, 'Just because.'

Cinematography: I think this is one of those movies where 3D would have been good. The green screen made it look as though a tiny camera crew was filming it. I thought that was brilliant. I thought the ants were great, though they acted like dogs or wildebeest or something, which I thought was interesting.
There were moments where there was shaky cam and super quick cuts during fight and transition scenes. Like, I can understand that in the midst of a fight, it gets pretty crazy, but if you're going to do that, show it from a first person perspective after establishing it. There's a lot less hassle involved and it doesn't look lazy.
I wish I could talk about the sequence that happens which is totally awesome and mind messingly bedazzling, but spoilers, so I won't.

Audio: I got really excited when it came to writing this section.
You have the horns from a epic superhero tale and the bongo drums and double bass for old school heist movies and I gotta say, it's a helluva combination. You're all excited sitting on the edge of your seats as the music piles on more and more tension and it builds to a crescendo that finally leaves you collapsed in your seat wishing you had something to help you relax.
The sound effects were awesome. The suit making its sounds and the dubbing of the punches is excellent. I could sit here all day and talk about it.

Overall: At the end of the day, Ant-Man never tries to be more than what it is. It's a heist film that increases the gap on a constant basis and eases you back down with a lot of funny moments to break that tension.
Marvel takes its heroes and villains seriously, so it's cool to see them try something a little more experimental with one of their superheroes. I mean, even the promotions were awesome! All of the signs for ants and figurines lifting the poster out of its slot in one of those bus shelters.
Promotional Posters done right.

They handled this character really well. They made him likeable and someone to root for.
That villain kind of spoiled it for me, though. 

So I'm going to give it 3 and a half stars. A solid effort.

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