These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
For my redux review of this movie, with a fresh opinion years later, click the following link: ANT-MAN (redux)
Like most of the general public that saw the first teaser and trailer for this movie, I cocked an eyebrow. A super-hero that wears a suit that shrinks and he fights crime and controls ants. Sounded pretty lame. But I had to remember that this was a Marvel movie, and even the not-so-good ones are still pretty good and or enjoyable in their own right. Soon as the first trailer came out, a lot of the bits had me laughing. Thomas the tank engine running over the villain… genius. Hilarious. But I was still relatively unconvinced that this was going to stack up against the likes of WINTER SOLDIER and GUARDIANS. What eventually got my hopes up were early reviews saying that this movie was so funny, it might be one of the funniest movies that Marvel has made. Now I’m thinking that means it’s up there with GUARDIANS, IRON MAN, and THOR. So my expectations rose sharply.
Starring: Paul Rudd (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR , SAUSAGE PARTY , and upcoming films IDEAL HOME  and ANT-MAN AND THE WASP ), Corey Stoll (GOLD , CAFÉ SOCIETY , BLACK MASS , and upcoming films THE SEAGULL  and FIRST MAN ), Evangeline Lilly (THE HURT LOCKER , FREDDY VS. JASON , TV show LOST [2004 – 2010], and upcoming films ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and AVENGERS: ENDGAME ), and Michael Douglas (HAYWIRE , YOU, ME AND DUPREE , and the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP)
Support: Michael Peña (A WRINKLE IN TIME , MY LITTLE PONY , COLLATERAL BEAUTY , THE MARTIAN , and upcoming films ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and EXTINCTION ), Judy Greer (15:17 TO PARIS , WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES , TOMORROWLAND , and upcoming films ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and HALLOWEEN ), Abby Ryder Fortson (FOREVER MY GIRL , and the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP), Bobby Cannavale (JUMANJI 2 , SPY , and upcoming films GOING PLACES  and THE IRISHMAN ), and Anthony Mackie (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR , DETROIT , TRIPLE 9 , AGE OF ULTRON , and upcoming films IO  and THE HATE U GIVE )
Director: Peyton Reed (the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP)
Writers: Edgar Wright (BABY DRIVER , and the upcoming SHADOWS ), Joe Cornish (the upcoming THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING ), Adam McKay (THE BIG SHORT , and the upcoming BACKSEAT ), and Paul Rudd (the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP)
Composer: Christophe Beck (GRINGO , AMERICAN MADE , TROLLS , THE PEANUTS MOVIE , PITCH PERFECT , and upcoming films ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and HOLMES AND WATSON )
Cinematographer: Russell Carpenter (XXX 3 , and the upcoming AVATAR )
Editor: Dan Lebental (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING , and the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP) and Colby Parker Jr. (PATRIOTS DAY , DEEPWATER HORIZON , and the upcoming MILE 22 )
This is my honest opinion of: ANT-MAN
In 1989, a younger entomologist and physicist, Doctor Hank Pym (Michael Douglass) is called in by a committee to convince him to tell them the secrets of the Pym Particles. Believing that the power he created shouldn’t belong to anyone, Hank resigns and storms off. Fast forward to today, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just been released from prison. He is picked up by his friend Luis (Michael Peña), who wants to involve him in a new thieving job, but Scott is adament that he wants to go straight and be a better dad to his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). However, trying to keep his criminal past a secret from his new job, his manager finds out about him and fires him. Unable to see Cassie for very long at her birthday party, due to his wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her police officer boyfriend Paxton (Bobby Cannavale), Scott takes up Luis’ job. He is to break in to this rich guy’s house and steal the contents of this man’s safe. The job goes swimmingly until Scott actually opens the safe and finds a suit. Upset at this bust, Scott takes the suit anyway, unknown to him that Hank watched the whole thing. Scott takes the suit back home and puts it on, wondering why such a thing would be locked away. He soon discovers that the suit shrinks and gets hooked into a company conspiracy that may abuse the Pym Particle.
With a heavy heart, I have to say that this movie was a colossal disappointment to me. Lead to believe that this was one of the funniest Marvel movies to date, turns out to be probably the worst. I’m talking right up there with Ang Lee’s HULK. It’s that bad.
Before I go into my rant, let me just get out the only 2 things I did enjoy about the film. First off, I’m a sucker for cute child actors. Fortson as the daughter was absolutely precious and darling. Being given an ugly toy for her birthday, even commenting that it’s ugly, still screams how much she loves it, even though no one else agrees. I might not believe that a little girl her age would be unafraid of a giant black and yellow man in a scary and destructive suit, but I’m letting it go because she whole-heartedly believes that her dad will save her.
Also, Judy Greer. Why do I feel like her filming schedule turned out to be something like this:
Judy Greer: “Okay JURASSIC WORLD crew, thank you so much for having me in your movie. ANT-MAN crew, come on in, it’s your turn to have me be the 5 minute cameo mom going through a divorce with a kid being endangered.”
Seriously, that’s the only bit of comedy that I found hilarious and I know it wasn’t intentional. But seriously Greer, hurry up and star in a movie already. You’re a talented actress. Get a real role already!
And that’s it. I hated almost everything else. We have a scientist who created a special suit of power that his antagonist wants to make as well but is unable to because he’s not nearly as brilliant as that scientist and wants to use it for nefarious purposes. Oh wait, that’s the plot to the first IRON MAN. My bad. ANT-MAN is about a scientist who created a special suit of power that his antagonist wants to make as well but is unable to because he’s not nearly as brilliant as that scientist and wants to use it for nefarious purposes. Silly me, for getting those completely different stories mixed up…
Can you spot the problem I already have with the story? It’s almost beat for beat, the first IRON MAN. Seriously, it’s shameful. Granted, there’s an argument to be said that even the trailers made it seem like IRON MAN, but man, I was holding out for at least some left field twists and turns to help distinguish it. Admittedly, that might be too harsh to say. Of course Tony Stark is vastly different than Scott Lang, and how their motivations to get to their super-hero alter-egos is different, but none of the ideas are original. Why couldn’t Darren be a level-headed guy who does want to recreate the Pym particle, but wants to use it for the right reasons, but fails and causes destruction? Wouldn’t it be a more interesting character if we see him become a villain, but coming from a place of good intentions? Nope, apparently audiences want an obvious penis-wrinkle that’s only missing a maniacal laugh. Stoll is obviously giving it his all to the performance, but his character is weakly written that it just doesn’t save it. He’s not menacing or threatening, he’s just crazy and that didn’t work for me in this movie.
Speaking of the actors, it’s all the same. Douglass, Lilly, Rudd, they’re doing everything they can to bring life into these performances, and scene by scene it works well, but the overall package just falls flat. Rudd has done insanely better work and feels almost too restricted. I understand that most comedies he’s in required him to be over-the-top and weird, but to see him in a role like this where he can’t do that is kind of heart-breaking. I know he’s funny. But in this movie… he just isn’t. He plays the character straight enough, but since when do you hire Paul Rudd to play a straight character? Where’s the fun in that? And if you have to do that, then write a character that works for the actor. Bring something new to the table. All I got from Rudd is a bland version of Tony Stark. Even Thor has a more interesting personality than Scott Lang.
The only two people that truly showcased their talents were Douglass and Lilly. When Douglass talks about his history, you really feel his pain and anguish. When he talks about Darren, he’s clearly troubled and you feel the urgency in his voice that this man needs to be stopped before shit hits the fan. His performance is very convincing and probably one of the few highlights.
Lilly is a bit of a question mark for me. Being a huge fan of the TV show LOST, I’ve always been a fan of her. She’s got acting chops and can tear your heart out when she’s sad. Her role as Hope is no exception. She clearly despises her father for never doing right by her, and not telling her the truth of how her mother died. She’s a bad ass who clearly knows how to fight. But the problems with her character is that she… doesn’t do anything. Oh sure, she provides the inside information that gets Hank and Scott inside the building and gives them a real shot at carrying out their plans, but she doesn’t do any fighting. She doesn’t do much other than have a forced attraction to Scott and a forced and brief make-out session at the end. I get that these two might be an item in future installments, but their relationship just isn’t explored enough to merit that make-out session. Where did that attraction come from anyway? We only get a hint of it when Rudd has his shirt off. Way to make her shallow. Let’s not fall for his resourcefulness or his protective nature or his strong desire to be a better person, his muscles are bulging, instant lady-boner.
There’s even a bit where she cold-bitch-stares at her dad and says, “why did I even come to you?” I get that the two don’t get along… so… that’s a valid question, miss van Dyne. Why did you go to your dad and tell him what Darren was planning. What did you owe your dad? Why do you feel any loyalty to him? Why are you going so far out of your way to help him? And the movie doesn’t dive into that. At all. She’s just there for the sake of being there and that’s a crying shame.
And why did daddy-dearest lie about how Hope’s mom died? What’s this heart-wrenching reason that he had to keep it all bottled-up inside? “I was only trying to protect you.” Dear God in Heaven even Lilly didn’t look like she could keep a straight face. Instant face-palm in my case. She’s a grown-ass woman, you old fart. Lying works when they’re kids because they’re usually not too perceptive of your lying habits, but when you’re an adult with some mileage on your bullshit, patterns come up and becomes beyond infuriating.
And the last thing I wanted to say before wrapping up, this movie is JUST NOT FUNNY!!! 90% of all the jokes just fell flat. I’m hearing everyone in my theater laughing and… I’m struggling to find the humor in all of it. The Thomas the tank engine stuff was funny, wasn’t it? You mean that stuff that played over and over again in the trailers? Yeah, it was funny in the trailers. But I’ve seen the joke play out there. I’m not laughing anymore. But yes, the Thomas the tank engine stuff that followed was pretty amusing, but what does that say about your movie when the funniest thing IS NOT your lead actors?
You know what this movie is? It’s the IRON MAN that everyone initially expected. When it was announced, IRON MAN was on the fast track to failure. It had an unknown director, an unfinished script, and a lead actor that used to be a drug addict and occupier of jail cells. Everyone thought this movie was doomed to be bad. Then is came out and everyone promptly opened their mouths to laugh at Downey Jr’s performance and the chemistry he had with everyone around him. Here, it’s a botched IRON MAN movie that so insignificant, it just doesn’t belong in the MCU. I just can’t bring myself to recommend it to anyone, even for fans of Rudd.
My honest rating for ANT-MAN: 2/5
UPDATE: I fully plan to do a redux review of this film as I feel like I was being way too harsh. I’ve not seen the film in years, so before ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is released, I’ll revisit this movie with a more current perspective. “Up there with Ang Lee’s HULK”? Yeah, I don’t remember it being nearly that bad.