Ant-Man review: 'Silly but brilliant'

It’s only a couple of months since Joss Whedon’s hugely anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron hit the cinemas. Nevertheless, the Marvel Cinematic universe is back with their final instalment of their ‘phase 2’ of the franchise. This time it’s the first on-screen outing for stand-alone comic book icon Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), otherwise known as ‘Ant-Man’. For those who don’t know much about Ant-Man, he can, using the atom-shrinking technology of his suit, vastly decrease in size, where he simultaneously increases in strength. In this case, he has been recruited by his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to perform the ultimate heist. 1420640266_paul-rudd-zoom If you’re a dedicated Marvel fan, you’ll be excited regardless, but it’s fair to say there was a little less buzz around this superhero flick than some of Marvel’s recent successes. Ant-Man may not be as large in scale as the Avengers, but size doesn’t matter, right? What the action lacks in mass, it makes up for in wit, heart and sheer ambition. The effects are spectacular – with this being one of the rare occasions where your 3D glasses pack a real impact throughout the narrative. Paul Rudd is also surprisingly competent in his first effort as a leading action hero – balancing his usual humour with impact and drama. Ant-Man also works well as a parallel with the larger than life events of Age of Ultron. While being full of genuinely thrilling action sequences, which are executed with precision and detail, the film never takes itself entirely seriously (which is necessary for a film called Ant-Man). To keep the fan boys (and girls) content, there’s plenty of nods and surprises to tie Ant-Man in with the rest of the franchise. Without giving too much away, this instalment nicely sets up for 2016’s eagerly anticipated Captain America: Civil War. antman-paul-rudd-jpg Yes, Ant-Man is silly, but director Peyton Reed fully embraces that, and the audience in turn accepts that as part of the film’s whimsical charm. It may take a bit of time for the story to get going, but when it does it becomes a high octane thrill ride and exactly what you need from a summer blockbuster. Another brilliant addition to the ever-growing cinematic Marvel universe. Words by JOE PASSMORE Ant-Man is released in the UK on Friday July 17.