I need to admit something right up front. I’m not the type of guy that follows the rules on liking that person that everyone else loves, or loving that show or movie that everyone else raves about, or being a huge fan of that musical act that is supposed to be the best. For instance I can’t stand Oprah, Tom Hanks or Will Smith. In my opinion they are all minimally talented people, that just managed to market themselves right into a thing. Game of Thrones is just an excuse to show pretty people killing each other and has no storyline that is heading anywhere. And I don’t care how many music critics tell me differently Clay Aiken is more of a musical genius than Kanye West, and Clay Aiken is far from a musical genius.
I mention all of this because today I went to go see Ant-Man, Marvel’s second big film of the summer. And lord knows we are all supposed to love any movie that has the flipping Marvel comic book at the beginning of it. But here’s the rub, while I don’t hate Marvel films, I don’t love them. They aren’t great. They are alright for what they are, summer popcorn films, just not great films. They are formulaic. The writing is subpar and full of plot holes so big that the Incredible Hulk could saunter through them. And the special effects are so carefully placed so that we never have time to realize that the acting in the scene immediately prior to them wasn’t all that great.
Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd. You know the guy who is supposed to be one of the coolest dudes walking the planet today. The guy that if you don’t want Chris Pratt to be your best friend you are mandated by the laws of Hollywood to want him to be your best friend. The guy every hipster guy on the face of the earth wants to date their sister so they can “hang” with him. But again, I just don’t feel the love for him that I am required to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike him with the burning passion I have for, say EgOprah. But I just don’t want to hang with him. I mean if one of my nieces wants to date him (my sisters are too old to date him) I’m fine with it, but he’s not the guy I want them to settle down with. That may be because I have yet to see the guy that is good enough for my nieces, but I’m not for sure. He’s a decent enough actor and I think he may have a little more range than Will Smith, but unless you are Vin Diesel (DUDE CAN”T ACT) who doesn’t? He’s just not a guy who I’m going to go see a movie just because he’s in it.
So anyway today I saw Ant-Man, and I would love to tell you that I have changed my mind about Marvel films. I would love to tell you that I now see what the big deal is about Paul Rudd. Okay not really, I have no desire to tell you either of those two things, because they just aren’t true.
The movie is alright. I have certainly seen worse. Minions comes to mind as the latest bad film I have seen. I was going to write a post about how bad that film was but I forgot the whole story by the time I got home. I did not forget the story to Ant-Man, I may want to, but I didn’t. The thing is with Ant-Man is that it’s just alright. The acting is alright, the special effects are alright. The writing is flawed but alright. The music is alright. The lighting is alright. It’s just alright.
The cast is full of great supporting actors and each and every one of them is wasted. Michael Douglas is given a few scenes where we are supposed to realize that he is a powerful dramatic actor, but those are thrown away with Paul Rudd’s cutesy routine. Bobby Cannavale is a cop with half a storyline. Judy Greer gives her second performance of the summer in a blockbuster film as a character that maybe serves a purpose, I just can’t figure out what it is. Michael Pena is written as the comic relief of the film but has to compete with Paul Rudd. Corey Stoll is the villain that is written as, well your typical Marvel villain. Seriously, why didn’t the director at least give him a mustache to twirl between his fingers. Haley Atwell is given a really bad make-up job to appear as an older Peggy Carter. And then there is Evangeline Lily, who is “lost” trying to be something that she just isn’t, and yes I mean an actress with complex emotional range.
Edgar Wright, who is credited as the first writer of the film, was originally supposed to direct the film but backed out after having issues with the people at Marvel. My guess is that the issues were he wanted to direct the script that he wrote that probably had some semblance of reason and logic within it. Marvel wanted a film that had none. MARVEL WON!!!! I wish I could begin to tell you the major plot holes in this film without spoiling the ending of the movie, but I can’t. And besides I want those major plot holes to spoil the end of the film for you. Let’s just say that there is absolutely no logic to anything with Dr. Cross or Yellowjacket in it. I mean none. There might have been in some script somewhere. They may have even filmed some of it. Bot none of it made it past the editing room.
I do have to tip my hat to the people at Marvel though. They keep these films following a solid trajectory and they all flow in together well. There is even a great Avenger appearance and it stays on track with the Marvel Universe timeline. I’m guessing we will see more of Mr. Rudd in the next Marvel release or ten.
Oh, like I said the special effects are alright but certainly nothing spectacular. And I don’t encourage you to waste the extra dollars to see it in 3-D. I did and I want my money back. In fact I kept my 3-D glasses just to keep them from getting repurposed for some other schmuck who actually loves Marvel and Paul Rudd. Believe me fella, I did you a favor.