The making of Marvel’s latest superhero flick, Ant-Man, has been bugged by controversy, from director substitutions to crew re-shuffles.
The blockbuster started out as the pet project of Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) who wrote the film’s screenplay, along with Joe Cornish (Attack The Block), but the quirky writer-director eventually left the enterprise following differences in vision with Marvel studio execs.
While Wright’s exit represents a missed opportunity for Marvel to escape its own fatigued formula, Ant-Man’s irreverent comedy and novel, pocket-sized hero make it the studio’s most original yet.
The source of Ant-Man’s energy is a smart, animated cast that breaks the Marvel mould. Michael Peña multiplies the fun as Ant-Man’s harebrained sidekick, stealing the most outrageous comedy from under his hero’s nose.
Paul Rudd meanwhile, is perfectly cast as Ant-Man himself. A former Robin Hood style burglar, Rudd’s Ant-Man is a loveable underdog who would rather call the Avengers than put on the hero’s suit to prevent shrinking technology from falling into enemy hands.
Raising the comedy stakes and picking fun at Marvel’s own cliches, Ant-Man is the Marvel film for Marvel haters. Unconventional, tongue-in-cheek action sequences that take us into a bath tub, a city-scape model and a children’s play-set more than make up for the film’s forgettable, underwritten villain. Marvel’s bland formula continues to creep in but the remnants of Wright’s audacious vision breathes fresh air into this superhero brand.