Marvel is a licence to print money these days even the secondary characters that the select few have heard of are getting an outing, step forward Ant Man. Unfortunately his powers leave a questioning gaze on the face: the ability to communicate with ants seems a bit to ridiculous, thankful his primary ability that of shrinking to the size, well of an ant, is exciting and dangerous.
It all starts enthusiastically and quickly enough, Paul Rudd is out of prison and unable to pay his child support so he is looking for one last job. Step forward the ever amusing Michael Pena, he knows a guy… And so it begins, the tired and clichéd plot of one last job is rolled out and glossed over in double quick time. A lot can be forgiven when Rudd and Pena’s entertaining con man is on screen, as the two form an easy going and amusing partnership. Unfortunately the two convicts back and forth is not expanded upon to full effect as Pena is relegated to the scenery.
As well as teaming up with his criminal cohort the ex Friends star shares screen time with Michael Douglas, this pairing veers the film away from the heist movie it was becoming and towards melodrama as Douglas’s Hank Pym has a tragic tale to tell. This bogs the film down as Pym spins his yarn but thankfully the silver heard fox manages to deliver his story with the expected gravitas and the action is only briefly out of commission.
Another misfire is the villain of the piece, Corey Stoll is given no real reason for his attitude problem and dislike of the main players yet his simplistic nature fits the Marvel mould. Given that he is allotted little license to roam and what could be a sneer filled foe is yet another by the numbers antagonist.
The transition to ant size is where the movie really earns its plaudits, whether in the thankfully brief training or the conclusion of the heist it is a joy to behold as director Peyton Reed handles the action easily even finding time to throw in some jokes along the way.