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[Movie Review] Ant-Man

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    Posted: Jul-20-2015 at 11:36am
ant man movie posterAnt-Man (2015) Rated PG-13
Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll
Directed by Peyton Reed
Reviewed by Dave Felts
Rating: (3.5/5) three and a half stars

Ant-Man? Yep. Ant-Man. I know, I know.. but Marvel hasn't turned out a stinker yet, right?

In 1989, scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after he learns about them trying to replicate his shrinking technology. Pym thinks the technology is too dangerous and decides to keep it secret. Flash ahead to present day. Pym's daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Pym's former protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) now run the company Pym started, and Cross is close to duplicating Pym's shrinking technology.

Enter Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Lang is an ex-thief fresh out of prison who's finding life on the outside harder than he anticipated. Unable to find a decent job, Lang falls in with some old associates and agrees to perform a burglary. Said burglary finds him in possession of Pym's old Ant-Man suit. Now the real adventure begins as Pym leverages Lang into his plan to stop Cross from selling the miniaturization technology to the highest bidder.

I left the theater feeling a mixture of two main thoughts. I enjoyed the movie. Great effects, lots of action, likable characters, funny wisecracks.. there a lot here to have fun with. But I also left thinking that the whole thing was sort of dumb. My issue wasn't with the concept that a man can shrink and control ants, but rather the inconsistent way the science is treated....

In the movie, we're told that the technology miniaturizes by making the space between atoms smaller. So my take-away from that was that it compresses matter. OK, I'm good with that. I was good with the explanation that the tech make a six foot tall 200 pound man into a 1 centimeter tall 200 pound man. Good with that too. The technology can also make things larger by increasing the space between atoms. Ok. No problem. 

But then the movie tries to have it both ways. A 200 pound man one centimeter tall still weighs 200 pounds. You just told me that. So when he's running along the barrel of a gun, how does the guy hold the gun up? When he punches someone with the force of a full-sized 200 pound man, why doesn't his fist, which is smaller than the head of pin, not just puncture skin and bone like a tiny bullet? If he falls, won't he still hit the ground with the full force of a 200 pound man?

Why does the key chain-sized tank not weight several tons, just like in real life? Why does the now-giant Thomas the Tank now weigh as much as a real train engine? If all you did was add more space between atoms, wouldn't it be the same weight as before, just with more space between the same number of atoms?

And controlling ants with thought waves and pheromones. Since Ant-Man is directing their actions, how does he control the ants he can't see? 

Sad how my mind works, isn't it?

I know I'm over-analyzing things. I did enjoy the movie. But, even for a "comic book movie" it just seemed sort of silly and the tech not all that well thought out.  I read an interview with Paul Rudd where he relayed the story of telling his son he was going to be in a Marvel superhero movie. His son was pretty stoked and asked what superhero he was going to be. When Paul Rudd replied, "Ant-Man', his son replied, " I can't wait to see how stupid that's going to be."

I feel you, Paul Rudd's kid, I do. 

My OCD about tech cohesiveness aside, this was fast-paced and fun and certainly worth seeing. Good for all ages, especially the kids. 
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