Ant-Man (2015) – Review

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The world sure seems different from down here, doesn’t it, Scott?” Hank Pym whispered through Scott Lang’s ears from afar.

Last chunk of fast-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 doesn’t buzz big—remember, Age of Ultron precedes this one. Instead, it swarms like a horde of ants, like literally ants. Without getting any bigger just like how its tagline sounds, Ant-Man strongly affirms that same rule applies—literally.

Following the tumultuous production—long-hiatus in development hell until Edgar Wright’s sudden pullout due to creative differences—Ant-Man‘s finally approaching, not as an A-lister Marvel Superhero, not as anybody, but I saw it coming. Guardians of the Galaxy made it, why don’t I give Ant-Man a try? 

However, it’s a completely different version of tumult. GOTG got the buzz as Marvel’s Star Wars in disguise; but all I know about Ant-Man is only some superhero who has the super-suit which enables him to shrink into size of ants. Moreover, there were speculation over Ant-Man‘s on-screen alter-ego long before the trailer even hit the internet. Ant-Man had a higher likeliness to be Marvel’s first flop… but it didn’t, eventually, although it is a limp one.

Instead of pulling a start with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) as the titular hero, Marvel fast-forwarded it and took another arc with Scott Lang (charismatic comical Paul Rudd) as the hero and Hank as the mentor. An arc that, I think, is effective and fit to the interwoven Marvel Cinematic Universe with superb timing—giving the background to Pym and Stark’s discrepancy plus fuel from conflicts in Age of Ultron to heat up the upcoming Civil Wars. Therefore, it made Ant-Man the best superhero origin movie in Marvel’s line-up so far ’cause it came out complexity to add complexity in the universe.

The plot is,obviously, a Marvel template. It started off very slowly trying to make sure that audiences understood Ant-Man is dangerously important. Once it got the groove, this tale to astonish became very astonishing with vast-but-sloshy action scenes and CGI galore of size-bending heroes and army of ants. As a one-peak kind of superhero bonanza, Ant-Man is quite fun as it paved the way among the all-stars Avengers soon. YES. Soon.

As the story goes a bit sentimental but rapidly thrilling, the highlight goes to the ensemble of casts, which I think is the best since Chris Evans being Captain America. Michael Douglas bring balance and depth to the unstable Dr. Pym while Paul Rudd gives balance to the whole story with his charismatic, standout performance. While his comic persona emanates in right amount, it fits Marvel’s sense of humour. I cannot wait to see him sharing screen with Chris Evans or RDJ; Avengers will get much crowd after all.

Impressed? Maybe not as much impressed as many other Marvel films. Yet, this one pops out just in the right time, right place to complete the big picture of Phase 2. Thanks to Marvel’s back men who had crafted and adapted Ant-Man back story to fit the cinematic story. And, perhaps, if there will be a sequel to Ant-Man, it would finally shout that heroes need to get bigger, not to literally no need to get bigger.

In the end, do not get any bigger is what Ant-Man actually do on-screen and off-screen. The film doesn’t get any bigger, it stays a small film that completes the grand image of a bigger one; and with effective proportions, Ant-Man could have been bigger. Everyone worked so hard to finally make this “small” film a decent one… and Ant-Man can start aiming a place among the stars.

Ant-Man (2015)

Action, Sci-Fi Director: Peyton Reed Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd Starred by: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly Running Time: 117 mins Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence

IMDb | Official Site

Review Bahasa Indonesia: Kepingan terakhir Fase kedua Marvel Cinematic Universe ternyata tidak terlalu besar, tidak penuh hingar bingar—perlu diingat Age of Ultron malah sudah dirilis sebelumnya. Kepingan kecil ini justru merayap pasti seperti semut—secara harafiah. Tanpa perlu menjadi besar, Ant-Man menetapkan aturan mainnya.

Pasca proses produksi yang tak tentu—mulai dari pra-produksi yang penuh hiatus sampai cabutnya Edgar Wright dari kursi sutradara karena “perbedaan ide kreatif”—Ant-Man akhirnya rilis. Bukan sebagai superhero A-lister tapi kita sudah tahu keberadaannya justru karena rumor di belakang layar. Tapi, kalau Guardians of the Galaxy saja bisa, kenapa Ant-Man tidak?

Namun perlu diingat. GOTG dan Ant-Man ada di tingkat kompleksitas yang berbeda. GOTG sudah digadang-gadang sebagai Star Wars-nya Marvel jauh sebelum filmnya rilis; sedangkan Ant-Man hanyalah superhero berkostum super yang bisa mengecilkan badan—yang produksinya penuh sandungan. Ditambah lagi spekulasi tentang alter-ego tokoh ini yang juga sama tak jelasnya. Ant-Man jelas punya “kualitas” sebagai calon film Marvel pertama yang flop… tapi ternyata tidak.

Alih-alih mengambil kisah Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) sebagai sang superhero seperti di komiknya, Marvel malah memutuskan untuk mengambil arc Scott Lang (yang diperankan dengan karismatik oleh Paul Rudd) sebagai hero-nya dan Hank sebagai mentornya. Arc ini ternyata cukup efektif dan pas untuk melengkapi puzzle MCU dengan timing yang pas—dengan background perselisihan Pym dengan Stark serta konflik terbaru Avengers yang mengarah ke Civil War. Maka, sah kalau dibilang Ant-Man punya origin story yang cukup berani.

Memang plotnya terlalu template, ditambah awal film yang berjalan sangat lambat, seolah-olah ingin memastikan bahwa Ant-Man adalah tokoh yang penting. Namun, sekalinya tancap gas, film ini berubah menjadi pesta action Marvel yang cukup seru dan cukup segar. Dengan kurva plot yang hanya memiliki satu puncak, Ant-Man cukup berhasil menata jalannya untuk bersanding dengan tim all-stars Avengers sesegera mungkin.

Ceritanya makin jauh makin sentimental tapi thrilling. Pujian pantas diberikan untuk Michael Douglas sebagai Dr. Pym serta Paul Rudd yang keduanya mampu memberikan keseimbangan bagi cerita. Rudd adalah contoh casting brilian Marvel dengan persona komedinya namun cukup bisa diandalkan sebagai pahlawan. Bagaimana kalau dia bergabung dengan Chris Evans atau RDJ? Cool!

Ant-Man mungkin tak seimpresif film Marvel lainnya. Hanya saja, film ini muncul tepat waktu sebagai pelengkap Fase 2 MCU. Kalau akan ada sekuel, seharusnya Marvel mau membuat Ant-Man lebih “besar”—bukannya film kecil yang sukses.

Kesimpulan akhirnya, Ant-Man adalah film kecil yang melengkapi kerangka dunia yang lebih besar. Sebut saja, film proporsional. Namun, film kecil ini berpotensi menjadi hit besar karena Ant-Man pasti mengincar satu kostum all-star di musim mendatang.

Review Ant-Man ini ditulis dan diterjemahkan dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh Paskalis Damar.

6 responses

  1. Great review 🙂 I don’t know where I would rank Ant-Man yet, but after a slow start I really enjoyed it. Michael Pena’s character in particular was a real highlight for me!
    – Allie

    1. True that! He’s been a penal comic relief for the whole movie. Nailed it.

  2. Tri Fajar Avatar
    Tri Fajar

    Saat ini Marvel jadi ahli membuat superheronya yg gak begitu dikenal menjadi terkenal bahkan menjadi sosok penting. Contohnya Iron Man, Guardian of the Galaxy, dan sekarang Ant-Man yg cocok dengan jaman sekarang yg dimana-mana ada cctv, jadi senjata ampuh buat menyusup.

    1. Ada yg bilang: Marvel pegang heronya, tapi DC selalu pegang villainnya. Kalau dipikir2 bener juga, heronya Marvel likeable tapi villainnya DC lebih worth drpada villainnya Marvel so far…

  3. Tri Fajar Avatar
    Tri Fajar

    Itu karena Marvel ceria sedangkan DC lebih dark.

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