Friday, 10 February 2017

Ant-Man (2015)

When Scott Lang gets out of prison he is determined to go straight.  But it's tougher for an ex-con to make a go of it than he expected, and until he's earning money, he can't see his daughter.  So when word of a "sure fire" job comes his way, he reluctantly decides to pull one more heist.

Scott's understandably nonplussed when the only item in the vault he cracks is a strange leather suit. But in pretty short order that's going to seem comparatively tame, as he finds himself thrown into a world of minuscule heroics and a desperate plan to prevent dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands.

After Guardians of the Galaxy was inconveniently successful, the Marvel Doomsayers turned their attention to this film.  After all, clearly that film had succeeded because it had tapped into rising space opera fever a year out from the new Star Wars, or something.  Nothing of that sort would save this little number, however.  People had to be tired of super heroes by now.  And it was about a hero no-one outside of comic book nerds had ever heard of. And it was helmed by the director of Bring It On.  Who the heck would turn out for that?

Well, I would, for one.  Bring It On was great fun.

Anyway, the "sure-to-fail" Ant-Man would go on to be a modest but palpable financial success, leaving the doomsayers to console themselves with the fact that eventually they're going to be right about a Marvel film flopping.

So why were they wrong about Ant-Man?  Well, probably partly because the so-called "glut" of super hero films is nowhere near as big as people like to make out.  A half dozen or so major releases a year across Marvel and DC is not really so punishing a schedule as all that.  It's certainly not like the torrent of slasher films that eventually eroded that genre's marketability, for instance (though even that was far less total than people like to think; slasher films are still being made and still making money, they've just evolved a bit).

Probably the bigger key to the film's success though, was that Marvel had built up a reputation for delivering solid films, and this movie is no exception.  It has an engaging cast, a fun script, some great action scenes, and some genuine laughs.  As long as you're willing to buy into the whole spandex thing to begin with - and clearly, most people are - then you should enjoy it.

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