Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Role Models, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, Knocked Up... Certainly all of those titles are hilarious movies and they are the movies that seem to personify the bulk of Paul Rudd's career. After all, I doubt few people remember him as much from Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

Paul Rudd is probably the last guy on the planet one might expect to join the Marvel universe as a hero. Although Robert Downey, Jr. was the first to be the last guy one might expect to be considered for a family-friendly superhero. I mean, fifteen years ago who would have though Robert Downey, Jr. would ever have a career again much less an iconic film role? Much like I highly doubt that anyone seriously expected Robert Downey, Jr. to be box office gold after his troubles, I'm fairly certain that even less was expected from Paul Rudd's turn as superhero. Then again Chris Pratt succeeded in becoming box office gold after an unlikely turn as hero in last year's Guardians of the Galaxy.

So there's precedent for these odd casting choices to be successful, but where does Paul Rudd stack up?

Paul Rudd not only has a slightly more obscure career compared to Downey, Jr., but he also has a far more obscure character. Sure, all of us know of Ant-Man, but saying "I love Ant-Man" is like saying your favorite musical instrument is the harponette. Nothing wrong at all with the choice, but it's obscure and therefore largely removed from mainstream eyes. You probably don't even know what a harponette is without Googling. Same goes for Ant-Man. You know every single thing about Batman, Iron Man, Superman and Wolverine, but Ant-Man? Not a damn thing. Ant-Man is basically the Daniel Baldwin of superheroes.

Timing is everything, too. Ant-Man came to fruition well into Marvel's dominate run that began in 2008 with Iron Man. So basically when a movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out and seems like the "unappreciated sequel" to many folks (not me, I liked it), Ant-Man obviously doesn't seem so groundbreaking. The only difference this time around is that the heroes and villains are smaller.

Ant-Man is also a character that is tough to take seriously compared to other superheroes because his abilities are silly:

  • "Wow, he can shrink. Didn't Rick Moranis do that already?"
  • "What's so cool about being able to jump through a keyhole? Hulk would smash the door down. Thor would use his hammer. Tony Stark would just stare at the door until Jarvis told him what was on the other side."
  • "Ant-Man is strong? What about that green guy that almost killed a god?"

Yeah, there's a lot of unconscious sentiment against this movie and this character.

But with Guardians of the Galaxy being a success despite a bunch of weird superheroes (like that talking plant named Groot and his raccoon buddy) it would seem that maybe Ant-Man could be a success after all.

If this movie isn't bringing home the "big bucks" it isn't because this is a bad movie. This movie's earnings just reflect, rightly or wrongly, that most people think the idea of Ant-Man is stupid. I thought the same... until I actually watched it and then I thought, "Yeah, this is way better than Jurassic World."

This movie is everything a movie should be. It's fast-paced, but character-driven. It plays the Ant-Man story with a mostly straight face, but there are quite a few moments where the absurdity of the situation is acknowledged and that's good for some comedy. Since Paul Rudd fits this semi-comedic sort of approach I honestly couldn't think of a better actor for the job. And we have a veteran actor like Michael Douglas that finally gets a shot at a blockbuster type movie and lends some weight to the movie for those of us that like more traditional actors.

There are also plenty of ties into the rest of the Avengers universe to keep the nerds happy. The coolest is probably the fight between Ant-Man and the Falcon. And that credit scene at the end of the movie that promises that "Ant-Man will return."

Honestly, Marvel has done it again. This might not be one of their more popular releases, but it is one of their winning ones. Where exactly would it rank among the Marvel releases? Well, maybe I need to do a list about that one day...

1 comment:

  1. This seemed kind of silly to me when I saw the trailers but Marvel has done such a good job with the other flicks, I know I shouldn't judge before I see it. Hopefully I can get to see it this week.