Ant-Man: Marvel in miniature

Jon Fuge

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Since the first Iron Man was released way back in 2008, Marvel has become a force to be reckoned with in the cinema superhero stakes. After a patchy series of releases in the early 2000s, the comic giant has created a smorgasbord of popular movie franchises in recent years, tying each superhero universe together with ease in the similarly hugely successful Avengers movies.

The concern, of course, is that constantly churning out films and planning new releases into the next millennium will inevitably lead Marvel to become inconsequential and stale.

And so we come to Ant-Man (don’t laugh), the launch pad for Marvel’s third phase of movie domination. Loveable comedy actor Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a small-time thief armed with a high-tech suit that allows him to shrink in size, increase in strength and communicate with, er, ants, obviously. In the style of a heist movie, Lang is tasked by a shady scientist into stealing a similar piece of technology from the scientist’s rival. And so, the game is afoot.

Ant-Man is in the same vein of much of Marvel’s output to date, but there is some semi-successful attempts to mix things up. The heist element certainly spices things up, as does the imaginative and hilarious possibilities that the shrinking-effect creates. The sight of Lang running along the barrel of a gun, or fighting on a toy train track, easily tops anything seen in Avengers 2.

There are some more sizeable issues, though. The few novelties it offers do little to veil the plodding, predictable plotline. One can only wonder what the original director, Edgar Wright (of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim fame), would have brought to film. No doubt, something more original than Peyton Reed’s somewhat limp effort.

With the arrival of this fun and serviceable film, it’s clear the bubble hasn’t burst yet. But, at this point in the series, we need a bit more than Marvel in miniature.

Jon Fuge is a writer based in London.

Watch the trailer for Ant-Man:

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