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Non-Review Review: Ant Man

Ant Man was always going to be a tough one to crack.

There are obvious reasons. Some of them involve the unique production history of the film, which arguably serves as an example of the downside of the tight managerial style operated by Disney and Marvel. Some of them are more fundamental, tied into the legacy and impact of the source material that make adapting Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne to screen a particularly dicey proposal for a family-friendly blockbuster movie studio. There’s a lot of pressure on the film, and a lot that could go wrong.

"You couldn't have called him 'Giant Man'?"

“You couldn’t have called him ‘Giant Man’?”

As such, director Peyton Reed does a pretty good job bringing the character to screen. Adam McKay and Paul Rudd adapted the original story written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, providing a movie that sits more comfortably within the framework of the ever-expanding shared universe. Ant Man is a little clumsy in places, suffering from some of the stock weaknesses of the Marvel film franchises, but it is also clever and fun. All involved shrewdly play to the Marvel house style, offering a light run around populated by likable characters with clear-cut conflicts.

However, Ant Man‘s real strengths become obvious when the film deviates (even slightly) from the standard formula. After seven years of watching superhero films grow bigger and bigger, it’s nice to have a smaller story.

"One size fits all, eh?"

“One size fits all, eh?”

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