The most recent Marvel movie prior, Avengers: Age of Ultron raised the stakes unimaginably high only to be diluted because we know that an onslaught of Marvel movies are still waiting to be released. Ant-Man, on the other hand, takes the superhero story down to a smaller scale (pun intended) and focuses on a handful of characters instead of on saving an entire universe.

If you’ve been keeping up with the film’s production, then the question that comes to mind is how the film has been affected by the departure of director Edgar Wright. There are still many remnants of a bolder, more eccentric version of the same story. It definitely feels a little more out there than the usual Marvel fare but still remains safely within the wheelhouse. While this will appeal to the mass audiences, the question will always remain of how different Ant-Man could have been under its original director. Regardless, you can see the film without registering any of that drama as you watch.

His superpower is maybe the most visually appealing of any so far…

 

What the film is best at is fulfilling the premise of the Ant-Man character. His superpower is maybe the most visually appealing of any so far: it’s a genuine blast just to see him discovering his powers, and finding himself at a different scale. The best moment of this is unfortunately shown in the trailer, but it’s still a lot of fun to see on the big screen.

More than most superpowers, his ability to grow and shrink in size is easily able to be captured (better yet understood) on screen and be entertaining, as opposed to something more pugnacious or abstract.

The story itself is pretty mild with another origin story of how a hero came to be. Nothing in this camp feels particularly new, except, as mentioned above, this is a story that comes across as rather small scale. Instead of major set pieces, we spend quite a lot of time with just a handful of characters interacting – fitting for the small nature of this character, but not always the most riveting. The cast all deliver solid but not outstanding performances – although I did find Michael Douglas to be a refreshing addition to the Marvel canon.

In short, Ant-Man is another solid entry into the ever-consistent Marvel Cinematic Universe, which still has yet to have any major misfires, but continues to move closer to complacency with their style. I hope that they can find themselves moving into more unique territory, but if this film is any sign, it is that the opposite direction is more inevitable.

Ant-Man opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.