Ant-Man (USA, 2015)

mv5bmjm2ntq5mzc2m15bml5banbnxkftztgwntcxmdi2nte-_v1_sx640_sy720_Directed by: Peyton Reed. So, speaking of stupid superhero movies, this was the one that I had successfully ignored, a victory over my completist anxiety and general regressive nerdity. I mean, honestly, why would anyone possibly need to go out of their way to see…this thing? Back when Edgar Wright was attached to it, maybe then it would make sense (it would have had a ton more personality, and thus more artistic value); as it is, nuh-uh. But then, y’know…it was on Netflix, and I was bored, I didn’t give a shit so…whatever. And you know, within those coordinates, precisely those coordinates, this was a perfectly enjoyable movie. Not good, not great, but not terrible. Okay, by the standards of a decent movie, this is a little absurd, the idea of shrinking and ants and whatever. And by normal standards, the characterization of everyone in here is a little flat and undercooked: the hero is only likeable because he’s supposed to be the hero, and the villain is villainous because he’s supposed to be a comic book villain. The “romance”, if you can call it that, is one of the most perfunctory, half-assed things I’ve seen in even this stunted genre. But somehow, while I was watching, none of it bothered me. Maybe it’s because it’s literally Ant-Man, and there’s a diminutive quality built-in, so the film undercuts itself from the get-go. I suspect that this quality was what drew Edgar Wright to this project in the first place, and this could have been the first great fun, self-mocking, example of the genre (and honestly, I think I would have enjoyed an Edgar Wright Ant-Man more than the nihilistic cesspool of “edginess” that we got with Deadpool and Suicide Squad). Perhaps that will go down in history as one of the great squandered opportunities in film, alongside Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote and Orson Welles’ Heart of Darkness. Or maybe not, because there’s nothing in this movie worth remembering. Okay, okay, to be fair, that whole business where he can fall into the infinity of subatomic space, going past the limits of human understanding, was among the coolest things I’ve seen in one of these stupid movies. But if that was this genre’s 2001 moment, then I’m afraid it was squandered.

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