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Ant-Man: Oh joy...Another comic-book movie

2015-08-02 12:17

Ant-Man

Director: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas

Ant-Man is Marvel’s latest superhero release and I’m possibly the wrong person to review this movie. I seem to be one of those rare viewers who is not thrilled with the way our cinemas are being saturated with comic-book adaptations.

I mourn the loss of original screenplays and fresh, new stories. It seems like we have to plod through the third Iron Man, the 12th Spiderman, the fifth Captain America almost every week.

And then there are travesties that should never even have been made, including Green Lantern and the last Superman movie, Man of Steel.

Anyway, Ant-Man is about Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who comes across a suit that not only allows him to turn into the size of an ant, but to control ants with his mind.

If the premise sounds stupid, that’s because it is. But Ant-Man has one saving grace: it never takes itself too seriously. The makers of this film know it’s a ridiculous concept and they’re running with it.

Rudd rides around on houseflies, gets washed away by bathwater, slides through electricity cables and fights on top of toy trains. As the cliché goes, it will have kids screaming with laughter and is fun for the whole family.

Observe me melt into a grey puddle of contempt while I write that sentence.

Having a zany concept and some cool effects is not my idea of captivating cinema. It’s all so formulaic, so intentional, so transparently focused on a specific audience to milk a specific dollar. Kids will like this movie. Comic-book fans, you will like this movie.

But who am I? US critics have been raving about Ant-Man, with it getting a 79% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wonder why studios keep churning out comic-book movies?

The plethora of Marvel and DC comic-book movies we’ve been seeing is about studios retaining intellectual property rights and very little about creativity, or even viewer demand. When a studio buys into the intellectual property rights of say, Spiderman, a contract caveat stipulates they must keep producing films on this character, or they will lose their licence to it.

This is why you might see sequels – or quickly produced, cheap sequels when viewers did not seem to ask for them – for something like Wolverine

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March 29 2020