Friday, June 10, 2016

Mock Squid Soup: Ant-Man

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to welcome you to Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society, meetings on the second Friday of each month.  Last week, society members posted three clues as to their chosen film for the month.  Today is the big reveal.  A reminder on my clues:

- The hero is played by an accomplished comedic actor.  In his first big role, he played a borderline-incestuous love interest in a Jane Austen adaptation.

- The female lead is played by an actress who first came to prominence when her character was stranded on a tropical island.

- The actor who portrayed the villain was also a sleazy politician in a popular streaming series.

Title: Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Original Release: 2015
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Over the past several months, I've been playing catch up with superhero movies.  In advance of our going to see Captain America: Civil War, Mock lent me a couple of DVDs to watch in preparation: Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.  Of the two, Ant-Man was my favorite: a self-contained story with clearly drawn, well-acted characters.

Ant-Man made his first comic book appearance in 1962.  Scientist Hank Pym discovered a serum that allowed him to shrink to insect size.  As we join his story in the film, Pym (Michael Douglas) has fallen out of favor with his own company.  His former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is the new man in charge and he's out to replicate Pym's technology.  Pym is worried, justifiably as we learn, that Cross's motivations are less than noble.

Pym needs a new guy to wear the Ant-Man suit.  Enter Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an expert cat burglar with his heart in the right place.  Hank and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) convince Lang to join the cause.

Obviously, the movie plays a lot with the idea of scale.  For instance, there's a great chase scene on a toy train set - not quite as awesome as the one in Wallace and Gromit's The Wrong Trousers but still pretty cool.  I also enjoyed Lang's training, especially as he was learning about the different species of ants and how to work with them.  Apparently Rudd bought a huge ant farm in preparation for the role.

Rudd's natural comedic instincts also brings something new to the genre.  The humor doesn't feel campy at all with him.  It's also not so much humor that the story feels like a spoof.  It's a nice balance.

Getting back to my clues...

- The hero is played by an accomplished comedic actor.  In his first big role, he played a borderline-incestuous love interest in a Jane Austen adaptation.

Rudd's breakthrough came in the movie Clueless, adapted from Jane Austen's Emma.  

- The female lead is played by an actress who first came to prominence when her character was stranded on a tropical island.

Evangeline Lilly played Kate in the ABC series Lost.   Full disclosure: I disliked Lost intensely, the character of Kate especially.  But to Lilly's credit, she has shown surprising dynamism in her roles since, including this one.

- The actor who portrayed the villain was also a sleazy politician in a popular streaming series. 

Corey Stoll played Representative Peter Russo in Netflix's House of Cards.
 
Next meeting is Friday, July 8th.  I'll post July's blog list tomorrow.  For July, pick another society member's choice from our ever increasing library to review.  Today, please visit my fellow cinephiles, listed below:


22 comments:

  1. Oh man! NOt Kevin Spacey! I don't even know this guy who is the villain. I love Lost! I even miss the show.....hahahaaaa. Great clues and this is a film I do want to see

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    1. Lost drove me nuts. I will admit, there was plenty of promise in the beginning but once it went off the rails, Holy Mother...

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  2. Well it seems many of us were close with Spacey, just not close enough. I also enjoyed this movie. The humor did come off very natural.
    Have you seen Civil War yet?

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    1. I did see Civil War and I did enjoy it. Ant-Man, however, is definitely my favorite Marvel so far.

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  3. The casting was excellent, and the movie very well done. I especially liked Stoll as the villain...he is a scene-chewing maniac. I wonder if he'll return in the sequel...?

    The Scott Lang Ant-Man was always a favorite of mine as a kid.

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    1. The Marvel franchise has done well with villains.

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  4. Well, I didn't get it at all. It's been driving me crazy, so I'm grateful to know the answers.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I really didn't expect it to be so challenging. I suppose it makes up for the times when I felt I was exceedingly clever and people got it right away.

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  5. I completely forgot Rudd was in Clueless! It's been ages since I've seen that.

    I loved Ant-Man. I need to watch it again.

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  6. I haven't seen it yet. Probably amusing. Rudd is pretty good for that.

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  7. Hi AS! Haven't seen it, but it sounds great.

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  8. All my answers (in my head) were wrong. sigh.

    Loved Ant Man. It is a movie I would see again.

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  9. Well I just got that one all wrong !

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  10. I have not seen Ant Man and I didn't know much about it. I learned a lot. Great clues- I wouldn't have guessed it in a million years. :) Glad you enjoyed it!
    ~Jess

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  11. I also haven't seen it...yet loved this clue and comments!

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