Small hero packs big punch

Paul Rudd stars as the title character in the latest Marvel superhero film, “Ant-Man.” The movie debuted at No. 1 last weekend at the box office. / The Associated Press

Reviewed by Alexis Dickerson
Times-News correspondent
teens20@thetimesnews.com

Paul Rudd is not the actor people think of when casting for an “Avengers” movie, but then Ant-Man is a not the superhero most people would think of as an Avenger.

A man with the ability to shrink in size, as well as telepathically communicate with ants, seems more like a bunch of rejected ideas thrown into one character (Marvel’s land version of Aquaman).

Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is the original Ant-Man who recruits recently released cat burglar Scott Lang (Rudd) to become the next Ant-Man. Armed with a suit that allows him to become the size of an ant while maintaining normal strength, and the ability to communicate with ants, Lang needs to prevent Pym’s protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stall) from recreating the same technology and selling it as a weapon.

Lang receives help from Pym’s daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and his three accomplices, Luis (Michael Peña), Kurt (David Dastmalchian), and Dave (rapper T.I.), who also provide some comedy relief.

Director Peyton Reed embraces the overall ridiculousness of Ant-Man the hero to create a Marvel movie slightly different than the previous standalone “Avengers” movie. The dialogue is slightly more mature (due to language), but knockout performances by Douglas and Peña, as well as Rudd’s charm, bring out the recognizable family friendly tones found in Marvel films.

Moviegoers who have seen the previous Marvel movies will be pleased to see references relating to the past movies, too.

“Ant-Man” has the generic formula for a Marvel movie, but the combination of dialogue, outstanding supporting characters and an open embrace of its own silliness makes the film stand out. The film is rated PG-13 and is 1 hour, 57 minutes long.

Alexis Dickerson is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Teens & Twenties writer.

 

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