Rudd is a winner in Ant-Man adventure

Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Photo: PA Photo/Zade Rosenthal/Marvel
Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Photo: PA Photo/Zade Rosenthal/Marvel

ANT-MAN (12A, 117 mins) Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Comedy/Romance. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly.

Although its ambitions are grander than the incredible shrinking hero of the title, the latest franchise in the cluttered Marvel Comic universe is refreshingly modest compared to the computer-generated bombast of The Avengers.

The screenplay, which was initially written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish,

and was then revised by Adam McKay and Paul Rudd when Peyton Reed replaced Wright in the director’s chair, leans heavily on deadpan humour.

That changing of the guard in 2014 hasn’t negatively impacted on Ant-Man.

Reed’s boisterous action adventure is anchored by a winning lead performance by Rudd, who made his mark as Phoebe’s boyfriend in the sitcom Friends.

Director Reed has great fun juxtaposing perspectives,

especially during a showdown on a child’s train set that is thrilling in close-up, with

carriages crashing off rail tracks, but laughably pedestrian when witnessed actual size.

Rudd invests his reformed do-gooder with charm and chutzpah, and Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly provide solid support.