Granger on Movies: ‘Ant-Man’
Electrical engineer-turned-cat burglar Scott Lang is determined to go straight after being released from San Quentin — if only for his adored daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). But, as an ex-con, he’s unable to get a job. Frustrated, Scott agrees to another heist.
That’s where he steals a “suit” that enables him to shrink to microscopic size. It’s the invention of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, reclusive tech genius Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who wants him to break into his old company to stop his villainous protégé, Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll), from selling his innovative technology to the military.
After some rigorous martial arts training from Hope, Scott learns not only to shrink but also to command an army of CGI ants, riding atop a winged carpenter ant named Antony, in preparation for a final showdown atop a Thomas the Train Engine set.
Cobbled together as two father/daughter stories by Edgar Wright, Jon Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd, it is fragmented and exposition-heavy, often reminiscent of “The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957).
And when British screenwriter Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) was abruptly fired as director because of “creative differences,” helming was taken over by Peyton Reed (“The Break-Up”).
FYI: When he made his comic strip debut in 1962, scientist Hank Pym was the Ant-Man, who created a protective helmet with which he could communicate with ants in order to fight Communist agents. Later, Pym assembled the superhero team of Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Pym’s beloved Wasp.
So how does Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man measure up?
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Ant-Man” is a splashy, simulated 7, utilizing macro-photography and motion-capture technology. There are two end-credits scenes. The first acknowledges the advent of a new, female superhero; the second is a teaser for Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
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