When it was announced that Marvel Studios was making an “Ant-Man” movie, I shook my head. When Edgar Wright left the project, I shook my head. When I saw the first trailer, I shook my head. I was convinced that the movie was going to be worse than the creative mess that was Iron Man 2. Again, I was wrong.
Perhaps the quickest way to convey the heart and soul of “Ant-Man” is to tell potential moviegoers to listen to Camilo Azuquita’s “Borombon,” which is featured on the soundtrack. The laid back Latin music sets the tone for the film, which in many ways is a welcome reprieve from the doom and destruction found in The Avengers or Age of Ultron.
Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Evangeline Lilly (Hope) all do a commendable job. Michael Peña (Luis) is amusing while managing to never become as annoying as Rob Schneider in similar roles from the 1990s.
Perhaps the weakest link was Bobby Cannavale (Paxton), who seemed to have zero chemistry with Judy Greer (Maggie Lang) or Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang). Yes, he was supposed to be “the other guy,” but never anything like “Jerry” from 1997’s “Liar Liar.” Scott Lang’s ex-wife did a romantic 180 degree turn when he went to prison for robbing a giant corporation; she fell for a cop — understandable — but there should at least be some kind of spark between she and her new love.
Perhaps my only real gripe with “Ant-Man” (and Marvel Studios in general), is its trend over the last few movies to use explicit language for no other reason than as a punch line. In a movie theater packed with little kids, it seems weird to be generating laughs on Paul Rudd’s well-timed delivery of “ass hat” and “shit bag.” It almost seems as though the writers add moments like that just so Marvel isn’t accused of being too wholesome. Regardless, if you are a fan of the Marvel Studios formula, then you should probably see “Ant-Man” before it leaves theaters. As far as summer movies go, it is well worth the price of admission.