Can Paul Rudd pull off being ‘Ant-Man?’ Well, critics seem pretty torn. The new Marvel movie hits theaters July 17, and basically we’re answering everyone’s questions: should you spend your money on this one?
With Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, it’s hard to imagine that Ant-Man would be anything less than amazing. The trailer alone absolutely cracks us up, but with Marvel, there’s always that wonder: will it go too cheesy? Will it be too realistic? And how will it compare with the comic? Here’s what the critics are saying.
The vibe throughout is playful and unpretentious, from the incorporation of a few upbeat Latin tracks by music supervisor Dave Jordan (with a particularly plot-specific use of “La Cucharacha”) to the film’s nimble yet largely functional visual style, though Reed does pull off one relatively eye-popping, mind-bending sequence that immerses us in the dangerous effects of shrinking to subatomic levels.
If ever there was a sworn devotee — a chanting, face-painted worshipper — of the Big, it is Marvel. So the prospect that Ant-Man, the miniscule Mighty Mouse of Marvel’s stable of powerhouses, might join the brawny big-screen ranks of the Hulk, Thor and the rest has long held some pleasing irony. But that enticement — Oh, if it was something different! — went out the helicarrier window when, just weeks before shooting was to commence, Edgar Wright, the British blender of genre and comedy who had worked on the project for eight years, departed over “creative differences” — a sacrifice, seemingly, to the Marvel colossus.
The foundation of the film’s success is in the spot-on casting. Rudd is naturally likable and though he’s been a movie star for the bulk of his adult life, he still reads as “one of the guys” on screen. Michael Douglas brings a necessary gravitas to the film as Hank Pym, the man responsible for the Ant-Man suit and who now would charge Scott with wearing it. Yet there’s a lightness and playfulness to Douglas’ portrayal that is in sync with the tone of the film. This is a snappy, quirky comedy that fits nicely within the tradition of Hollywood heist movies… with a comic book twist. If you’re a MCU aficionado, there are certainly connections to the larger unfolding story present, as well as the groundwork for things to come. Yet this is a self-contained tale that is effective and entertaining whether you’ve seen every preceding Marvel offering or not.
Will you be seeing Ant-Man this weekend?
— Emily Longeretta