So, every summer, Marvel kick-out a “new” film that hasn’t been part of the main cannon.
Sure, it fits in, bolts on etc, but it’s starting life as a stand-alone (depending on success, obviously).
Last summer’s Guardian’s Of The Galaxy was an epic success, both artistically and commercially, but there’s no way they can repeat that. Is there?
Guardians took £800m at the box office last year, and Ant-Man is already halfway there (at time of writing), so there’s a chance the bums on seats figures could be at least matched.
So, it can’t be as good a film then, surely.
I’ll be honest – and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can admit this – Ant-Man hasn’t played a major part in my Marvel experience so far.
I’ve read more than the odd book or two, and while I know the character and what he can do, he hasn’t exactly played a big part in the main story arcs.
If you’ll pardon the pun.
Then there’s casting Paul Rudd in the lead role.
He’s no Chris Pratt. In fact, upon hearing the news that he was to star in the film I was mildly underwhelmed.
I mean, sure, he was fine in Friends, but that – like most of his film roles – was part of a bigger cast. He was hardly the shining star.
How the hell was he going to lead the line here?
Pretty bloody well, it turns out.
With subtle humour, Rudd delivers an under-stated performance – moving seamlessly from shlubby criminal to reluctant hero.
And it turns out he had a hand in the screenplay too, the clever sod.
Rudd’s performance is so note perfect, in fact, he more than matches Michael Douglas, who is in some kind of late-career renaissance.
In fact, the more you look back and think and reflect on Ant-Man, the more you realise there’s precious little to complain about.
It’s long, but doesn’t feel so. It’s action-packed. It’s got strong characterisation. It’s dramatic and gripping. It has geeky bits for the uber-fans.
And it’s laugh-out-loud funny.
It’s got subtle gags, slapstick, obvious jokes, and giant things and stuff.
It all works.
In fact, the only complaint i have is how long it’s taken me to write the bloody review, but for that I blame Terminator – a film so bad it left me numbed.
Only ranting about it on the podcast has released the shackles.
At some point, Marvel’s bubble is going to burst and one of their films will be terrible.
But for now, Ant-Man continues the high bar that’s been set, and proves that even the smaller characters can play a big part in a a fantastically enjoyable, hugely fun movie.