Newspaper article International New York Times

'Ant-Man,' with Paul Rudd, Adds to the Superhero Infestation

Newspaper article International New York Times

'Ant-Man,' with Paul Rudd, Adds to the Superhero Infestation

Article excerpt

The movie is a passable piece of drone work from the ever- expanding Marvel-Disney colony.

Ant-Man. Directed by Peyton Reed.

I wish I could assure you that no insects were harmed in the writing of this review, but that would be a lie.

The ants who are regular summer visitors to my kitchen have lately been sending scouts into the study. One just crawled across my laptop screen, and as I crushed its tiny body between my thumb and forefinger, an alarming thought crossed my mind: They know what I'm up to. Ants are highly intelligent creatures (at least collectively), and are famous for their determination and commitment. Here I was, about to pass judgment on one of their rare forays into popular culture, and here they were, checking up on me.

But to what end? Were they sniffing out bad press in advance, or trying to warn an honest journalist that their species was terribly misrepresented by "Ant-Man"? In my thoughtless, murderous haste, I hadn't bothered to ask, or to check my victim for a Marvel logo tattooed on its thorax.

So someone else will have to tackle the hot topic of "What 'Ant- Man' Gets Wrong About Ants." Directed by the comedy specialist Peyton Reed ("Bring It On," "The Break-Up," "Yes Man") from a script credited to Edgar Wright, Adam McKay, Joe Cornish and Paul Rudd (who stars), this film is a passable piece of drone work from the ever- expanding Marvel-Disney colony. It provides obligatory, intermittently amusing links to other corporate properties, serving essentially as a sidebar to the "Avengers" franchise. Like "Guardians of the Galaxy," last year's off-brand Marvel hit, "Ant- Man" dabbles in the bright, playful colors of the superhero spectrum, reveling in moments of cartoonish whimsy and smirky humor.

It's an origin story, which is too bad, but at least relieves a reviewer of tedious explanatory duties. The background is that a brilliant scientist, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas, a fine goateed curmudgeon), has developed a secret particle that makes objects shrink. His onetime protege, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll, a fine bald villain) wants to perfect the invention and put it to nefarious use. A hapless ex-con named Scott Lang (Mr. …

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