Honey, I shrunk the superhero
Hoyts Highpoint, 25/07 12:40pm
Running time: 117m
Country: United States
Classification: PG (Mild science fiction violence and coarse language)
Release date: 16/07/15
Cost: $10.00 (Optus Rewards and Hoyts Rewards)
Rating: 6.5/10 (ME 3/5, DP 3.5/5)
In Ant Man, Paul Rudd plays the smart and essentially good Scott Lang, who struggles to get his act together and provide support for his young daughter after being released from prison. At the end of his tether, Scott succumbs to the temptation of one final crime and while breaking into the home of the reclusive inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), he stumbles on a mysterious suit with remarkable capabilities that allow the wearer to shrink down to the size of a small insect and simultaneously develop super-human strength. Through a strange (and even quite hilarious) turn of events Scott is eventually recruited by Pym to become the wearer and master of the suit and to participate in the greatest “break and enter” of his life, in a plot aimed at keeping the shrinking technology away from Pym’s old protégé and now arch-nemesis, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) who wants to sell the technology to the nefarious Hydra organisation (Marvel fans will understand), to be used for evil rather than good. We are also introduced to Pym’s lovely but emotionally distant daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) who works with the clumsy and awkward Scott to master the powers of the suit and learn very necessary super-hero skills. And hijinx ensue!
It may sound like there is a lot going on here but Ant Man never actually feels too confusing or complex. Indeed it is a bit more contained than many of the Marvel franchise movies and you feel that you actually get to know and care about many of the central characters. There is much to be said about the actual likeability and charm of Paul Rudd in the title role, which makes this superhero almost relatable to the audience through a very effective use of charm and comedy. Ant Man is well paced and there are many great special effects…imagine if Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was a superhero adventure movie and you will get the picture. A side benefit of this movie is that we learn a surprising amount about the various different types of ants that exist and probably even come to like them. Fans of the Nintendo's Pikmin games will recognise many similarities in the six legged cast of supporting characters.
Some notable highlights throughout the film include a somehow very young (and quite creepy looking) Michael Douglas making an appearance in early scenes; the flawed but very funny training regime that Scott is put through to attain his super hero status; many scene stealing moments from Michael Pena as Scott’s friend and former cell-mate Luis; a giant Thomas the Tank Engine; and last but not least, Apple’s Siri making a cameo as herself while introducing The Cure’s “Disintegration” in a perfectly timed comedy moment.
To get the most enjoyment out of this film, don’t think too hard about the science at work or look for Oscar winning performances. Expect solid performances from a strong cast and a story that is generally light and lots of fun. Action fans may feel slightly unsatisfied as no cities fall from the sky nor do we enter other time dimensions in alternate universes, but they will still have a fresh and fun adventure/heist experience. One final tip is to stay to the end of the credits to get a little surprise and an insight into the possible future for these characters. Have fun with Ant Man. (DP)
2016 BAFTA Awards