At times Ant-Man feels more like a first date than a movie. It starts out a little awkward, looks good in its best clothes, tries a little too hard, explains itself a little too much, and is probably lying about its age a little but, overall, is pleasant enough to consider a second outing.
The better-than-average cast and general good humor help you to forgive this slighter-than-usual Marvel opus.
One could argue that Paul Rudd is ten minutes too old and ten decibels too preppy for this role, but he's so damn charming that you can't help but be seduced as he grins and winks through this cliche sandwich.
He's worked out a lot. A whole lot on those abs. So much so that it's a shame you only see the results of his exercise regime for mere seconds. I don't know why superhero movies are so loathe to embrace their inner homo-eroticism. Damn that bat-suit with the nipples. It ruined everything.
The rest of the cast is fun too, from Michael Douglas looking both younger and older than he really is, to Evangeline Lilly making excellent use of the wig Bryce Dallas Howard ran around in throughout Jurassic World. I'm not kidding--it looks like they snatched that hearty hairpiece right off of Howard's heard, sprayed it black, and beat another movie out of it. Swear to God. I always respect good performances by wigs and think Paul Giamatti is taking advantage. They don't have a guild or union. Yet.
Anyway, wigs et al, this is still an "A" cast in a "B+" movie.
As the preview signals, the plot is a little self-conscious of its own silliness and tries to over-explain what really can't be explained. And the story suffers from the lack of a truly compelling villain, which is kind of the norm lately in these Marvel extravaganzas.
Greed + Military = Conflict. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Still, you can take your kids to this without any fear of unnecessary "darkness" as it makes no attempt to be The Dark Knight and, instead, aims for a Fantastic Four kind of lightness. Better than average 3D.
My only thing is this: with the addition of new heroes in the Marvel cinematic world, it can dilute the brand unless every entry feels completely necessary. While fun enough, this doesn't feel necessary.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews to be read in under a minute without spoilers.)