For Reel

Ant-Man (2015)
July 24, 2015, 1:52 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Peyton Reed
3 Stars
Ant ManThe gargantuan climactic spectacles of superhero films reached a new height in the last act of this year’s The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, which saw a city uprooted and sent floating into the sky. As the Marvel universe continues to expand and promises bigger and badder threats, the set pieces promise to become even more bloated. It is a breath of fresh air, then, that Ant-Man is content to confine its action to suburban homes or the occasional laboratory. Beyond the reduced scale of the world, so too are the character motivations more concise and palatable–how refreshing it is to have a superhero who isn’t inflated by his sense of serving the moral good, but rather for the selfish (if entirely altruistic) purpose of finding personal reconciliation. Unfortunately, Ant-Man is saddled with a great “what if?”, with Peyton Reed’s uninspiring direction occasionally showing flashes of what Edgar Wright’s vision might have been. Furthermore, it’s a project that feels cobbled together, with half-baked ideas and dialogue that reads as stilted and often embarrassingly direct. Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket, the next in a line of forgettable Marvel villains, gives an appropriately menacing performance with a suave, urbane touch, but as the film reaches the climax he’s reduced to shouting cliches. It’s encouraging to see that Marvel hasn’t become so cynical that they’re content with dwelling on a consistent tone from film to film, but in this case the intimate, light-hearted ethos seems at odds with a screenplay that seems more interested in preparing audiences for the next movie than in telling a contained story.