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I went in to this film worried. Edgar Wright is a personal favourite of mine, and to suggest I wasn't concerned that his departure from this project after 11 years would result in a subpar film would be blatantly untrue. Thankfully, I walked out pleasantly surprised.
It may not officially be an Edgar Wright film, but it still maintains his signature style, with many scenes feeling like they could have happily been at home in an episode of "Spaced". The content was kept light, which suited the unusual subject matter, and the tone never went too far into the realm of dark and gritty.
Issues with pacing, and clunky "LOOK AT ME, I'M A MARVEL FILM," dialogue aside, this movie was popcorn escapism at its finest.
While there's still a part of me that wishes to have watched Edgar Wright's vision, Ant-Man still surpassed my low expectations and proved to be an improvement on Age of Ultron on several aspects. While Ultron had an excessively large scale, this film actually takes the opposite approach: the stakes are high, but not "world destruction" high. Another improvement is the use of humor. I'll admit that although many jokes in Ultron made me laugh, Whedon misplaced their use in several ocassions, causing an unfocused tone, frequently switching between serious and dumb at the drop of a hat. Here, despite a few serious scenes, the tone is consistently pretty light.
The CGI is impressive throughout, with the first shrinking sequence a particular highlight. Several sequences reminded me of Wright's style, such as the "tip montages", although surprinsingly enough, despite containing his humour and similar editing style, weren't part of his script. Paul Rudd is effective in a role that doesn't ask too much of him, Evangeline Lilly was surprisingly tolerable considering her mediocre role as Tauriel, and Michael Douglas proves that he makes a scene instantly more interesting by his mere presence.
Ant-Man was a fun night at the movies, though one really can't help but wonder what might have been had Edgar Wright stayed on as director. You can plainly hear his script, but the pacing's off (Michael Douglas is probably the biggest victim, as I thought his sarcastic wit generally fell flat). And there are flights of directorial fancy, like the way Luis tells stories, but not enough of them. Nevertheless, I thought Ant-Man did a good job of creating a fairly large supporting cast, which is perhaps why some thought it akin to a TV pilot in some respects (though some, the villain in particular, kind of got short shrift), and loved how they gave the cinematic Marvel Universe more depth and history with a Cold War-era Ant-Man and Wasp operating before the Avengers ever got together, though I could certainly have done without an Avenger cameo (though it works and ties into the next film). As for the shrinking effects, they were pretty awesome. The shrunken world was interesting to look at, and the shrinkers' tricks were clever. That's why I love shrinking heroes in the first place, so I wasn't disappointed. Could have had more punch, but definitely one I won't mind revisiting.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #210 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #568 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office