Eppler: 'Ant-man' too often feels like Ant... meh
I've enjoyed this universe of characters Marvel has created with "The Avengers" and with individual characters getting their own movies to develop.
"Ant-Man" has some fun visuals with the hero shrinking to the size of said insect, but it's not one of the better movies Marvel has made.
That's mainly because the hero, Scott Lang, is one of the most boring, vanilla characters a Marvel movie has been built around. I know that sounds wrong because Paul Rudd is a charming, funny, charismatic actor. But the script he co-wrote doesn't play to any of those strengths. As Lang, the cat-burglar given a shot at being a hero, Rudd is mostly playing it straight. There's no Tony Stark spice, no Star Lord sharpness.
Michael Douglass is also playing it serious in what could be a fun role as Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man training this new hero.
Although there's a lot of comedy pedigree behind the scenes of this movie including Rudd, co-writer Adam McKay and director Peyton Reed, they all seem to take this material rather seriously which is crazy because this is the story of a man performing mind control on a huge ant army. It's kind of insane.
The MVP of this movie is Michael Pena, who's having so much fun it's contagious. He steals every scene he gets.
Marvel does have a big problem in these movies with not being able to give us compelling bad guys - they're all the same. Unfortunately, Cory Stoll from "House of Cards" is stuck with another cookie cutter character.
But I quite enjoyed the scenes where Lang is training in the Ant suit, learning how it works. And there are some fantastic visuals like making a bathtub feel like a barren wasteland.
"Ant-Man" is the most kid-friendly movie Marvel has made yet. The little ones are sure to be thrilled, but for me, too many times "Ant-Man" felt like "Ant-meh."