The Avengers

“Ant-Man” film review

In short, Ant-Man was more enjoyable than I thought it’d be. In fact, it’s excellent. While Avengers: Age of Ultron almost collapsed underneath its sheer girth with all the characters and plot threads, Ant-Man benefits greatly with just four core cast members, all new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It works very well as a stand-alone film, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. There are nods to the other movies and of course its original source material, but they don’t confuse audiences who aren’t a follower of this mega-franchise.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a former systems engineer who just left prison after serving a sentence for petty theft. After he discovers a suit that allows him to shrink in size but also become physically stronger, he becomes a part of a “save the human race from their own demise by stopping a weapon getting into the wrong hands” plot that becomes much bigger than him (ha!). Guiding him is scientist Hank Pym (Michael Dougles), who became the original Ant-Man in the ‘60s after mastering the [INSERT SCIENCEY-FICTIONEY STUFF] that makes the shrinking ability possible. His estranged daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), along with his former protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) have taken over Pym’s company and pushed him out. There are fantastic side characters, but these are the four that matter.

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During this heist movie, arguably the biggest theme is family, especially with father figures. Lang’s wants to be the hero his young daughter thinks he is (she’s currently in the care of Lang’s ex-wife and new fiancé), and Pym has a strained relationship with his daughter and Cross, who Pym once saw as “the son he never had”. Cross despises Pym yet at the same time wants his approval so badly, that he’s willing to revive his mentor’s dangerous secretive technology.
All the personalities are brilliant. You root for Lang, because he made a terrible mistake and wants so badly to make everything right. Cross’s demeanour may be one of the most bloodcurdling in the entire MCU, yet he’s not some crazy super villain trying to conquer the world. Pym’s arc with his daughter becomes the most satisfying in the picture, and both are just bad arse characters.

You may be sick of origin stories at this point, but I doubt most non-comic book fans had even heard of Ant-Man, so watching him learn how to shrink in size, control ants and attack targets so much larger than him is simply thrilling to watch. The script and ideas are on point, and the sight of a vicious fight scene at microscopic size on a Thomas the Tank Engine train set was hilariously awesome. Despite the stakes of the heist hinging on a potential dangerous weapon, the characters are so good you just worry whether they get out alive, rather than if we all do.

Ant-Man is a superb motion-picture. For some, the superhero featured in this film seems a tad lame, but trust me, just go see the movie and you’ll change your mind. A great script, great cast, great action and a running time that doesn’t drag on at all, just go see it.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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“Iron Man 3” review

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If you think they were going to downscale Iron Man after The Avengers than you were wrong! Iron Man 3 is here and it blew away all expectations!

Tony Stark is experiencing post-traumatic stress order after “New York”, which refers to the alien invasion that occurred in The Avengers. His ways of dealing with this stress takes a toll on his relationship with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.  After his home is destroyed by a huge threat, he sets out to get revenge on those responsible and to protect America from the Mandarin terrorist group that has blown up a series of bombs on American soil.

The beginning was slow. Real slow. We go through a flashback to 1999 to introduce a couple of characters. Maya Hansen, one of Stark’s one-night stands, is a scientist who invented the Extremis, which is a treatment that can regenerate crippling injuries. Aldrich Killian, a disabled scientist, wanted Stark and Hanson in his company, but Stark rejected the offer and humiliated him in the process.

Even after this flashback, the story continues to be a slow starter. Once the action starts, it doesn’t stop. The jokes don’t stop, and I think this has the funniest dialogue of any Marvel film adaptation. This film is over two hours long, and I just did not want it to end. The plot may feel overwrought at times, but it’s not too difficult to follow. Action movies have the ability to make you think in your head “Oh my God, this is just so awesome”. I thought that multiple times, because these action sequences did not let up. Tony Stark did not stop being Tony Stark, which is great because Robert Downey Jr does a fantastic job with the character.

I remember loving Iron Man 1 and The Avengers, but I also remember not liking Iron Man 2 for reasons I can’t recall…I will remember how good Iron Man 3 is for a very long time.

It’s not all perfect; I picked up a few flaws, but almost everything else I overwhelmingly view positively.

Downey Jr once again plays a great starring role as the one and only Iron Man. The film starts off a bit slow, but once we finally get into the swing of things, we don’t look back because we simply can’t resist the awesomeness inhabiting our screen. The only way I possibly couldn’t recommend this is if you have a very strange dislike for Iron Man, The Avengers or superhero movies in general. To everyone else: you should have seen it by now!

Rating: 4.5/5.

I also would recommend you read my friend Pigeon’s review too, he is a film/TV university student, so he knows what he’s talking about!