Ant-Man Review Round-Up: A Small Addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By James O Malley on at

Ant-Man review embargoes have been cast aside and it is safe to say the film has had a mixed reception. The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film is technically counted as the final film of Marvel's "Phase 2" movies (before Phase 3 kicks off with Captain America: Civil War next year).

The film stars Paul Rudd as a cat burglar who ends up becoming the eponymous hero thanks to a suit that enables him to shrink down to the size of the ant, simultaneously enhancing his strength. But will the film stand out in an increasingly crowded field of superhero franchises?

The film itself has had a rocky beginning - with Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/The World's End) working on the film for as many as 8 years before dropping out of directing the project. He was replaced by Peyton Reed who is perhaps best known for directing Yes Man many years ago. So how did these internal politics affect the production? What did the critics think, and how positive were the Ant-Man review write-ups? Let's find out.

Ant-Man Review Verdicts

"The Marvel Cinematic Universe can be an awfully big, noisy and repetitive place to spend your time and money, but at its best, it can also allow for humor, whimsy and lightness of spirit — all qualities that come into play in “Ant-Man,” a winningly modest addition to the ever-expanding Disney/Marvel family."

Variety - Justin Chang

"It's ironic that superhero movies are about regular Joes and Jolenes who grab power or have it foisted upon them. They are bestowed with a resource that allows them to change the world. Directors of superhero movies should themselves be superheros, willing to put their neck on the line for an eccentric, long-odds play. But, for whatever the reasons may be, they so seldom do. Maybe I just need to stop thinking about things so much and "just have fun with it"? Yet why shouldn't I expect more? Why?"

ant-man review

Little White Lies - David Jenkins

"Besides being a breezy superhero heist movie, Ant-Man is the latest in a succession of shrinking-people movies which have shown off state-of-the-art effects at the time of production — worthy successor to the likes of The Devil-Doll, The Incredible Shrinking Man and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In brilliantly realised moments, Ant-Man clings to the grooves of a vinyl record, feeds a drop of water to his favourite ant, explores the infinitely small (a genuinely cool 3D trip) and has a climactic confrontation with an equally miniaturised baddie in an out-of-control Thomas The Tank Engine tabletop layout which seems huge and dangerous to them, though a witty shot pulls back to show the frenetic action-movie fireworks just boil down to a toy train falling over."

Empire - Kim Newman

"Ant-Man is a cut-and-shut muddle, haunted by a ghost, produced by a high-end hot dog factory, by turns giddying and stupefying. Watching it is like channel-surfing between Hot Fuzz, a duff early 90s Michael Douglas drama and the very schlockiest bits of Interstellar."

The Guardian - Catherine Shoard

"Disappointingly, but perhaps inevitably, Reed never makes the movie his own; much of Ant-Man plays like Reed is just trying to make sense of the notes Wright left behind. (The script is credited to Wright, Joe Cornish, Rudd, and Anchorman director Adam McKay.) And while there are some inspired moments to be found, overall the film is slapped-together; not bad, certainly, but rushed and inarticulate."

Vanity Fair - Richard Lawson