Paul Rudd nixed alcohol, carbs for ‘Ant-Man,’ jokes it’s the Chris Pratt regime | News Entertainment

Paul Rudd nixed alcohol, carbs for ‘Ant-Man,’ jokes it’s the Chris Pratt regime

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Ant-Man’ cast would mostly sneak into stuff if they were ant sized.

Which is fine. Marking the end of the second phase of films in Marvel’s cinematic universe, Ant-Man also has the unwelcome distinction of being Marvel Studios’ most problem-plagued production to date, with original director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) walking away from the project after butting heads with Marvel over the movie’s vision and tone.Both an entertaining and eminently disposable superhero movie, Ant-Man rounds out Marvel Studios’ much-vaunted ‘Phase Two’ of its masterplan to maintain world domination of mainstream cinema.

But he’s looking noticeably more toned these days, thanks to his “insane” diet and workouts for Ant-Man, in theaters Friday. “I’d never exercised harder than this for an extended amount of time,” Rudd tells PEOPLE of his intense, gymnastics-heavy workouts to become the Marvel superhero. “My day was centered around fitness and health, and that was kind of a first,” he adds. “Every other time, I had to go about my day and try and find the time to work out. Combined with a character who is barely known outside of comic book fandom, a set of superpowers that seems kind of absurd and a star (Paul Rudd) who almost exclusively does comedy, it was clear this wee hero was going to be a big, big gamble. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Pena and director Peyton Reed admit that they’d use that power for access to fun stuff — hey, who wouldn’t? — but Douglas redeems them all. Let’s get one thing straight upfront here: is not the genre-bending crowd-pleaser that last year’s Marvel smash Guardians Of the Galaxy refreshingly turned out to be. Peyton Reed: As a fan, I was sort of watching and reading: “I’m psyched to see Ant-Man, I can’t wait!” And then the thing happened, and all of that preceded me.

In short, thanks to some catchy comedy stylings and a breezy, easygoing take on its hero’s origin story, Ant-Man will simply show you a good time and then show you the door. Based on a comic-book character that debuted in print over 50 years ago, charts the microscopic misadventures of a wisecracking white-collar crook named Scott Lang (a breakout for long-serving comedy specialist Paul Rudd). I could – with a decent pint and a tailwind – explain to you exactly and at great length why Batman Begins is a very fine film, while The Dark Knight Rises is a tedious load of old bollards. I had known Kevin since 2003; I had developed The Fantastic Four for about a year at Fox, when Kevin was a junior at Marvel, and then later I came in and pitched on Guardians [of the Galaxy].

Unable to hold down a normal job but committed to providing for his young daughter, Lang reluctantly re-enters the criminal realm by joining in a job organised by his kooky ex-cellmate Luis (a scene-stealing Michael Pena). Where Avengers: Age of Ultron was all globe-trotting action and bluster, Ant-Man uses its small size to tell a more contained, character-driven story, with lots of laughs and a surprising amount of heart.

However, after completing a complicated safe-cracking job that comes up empty, Scott learns he has become the unwitting linchpin in a grand scheme designed by veteran molecular scientist Doctor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The famous creator of “the Pym particle” — a miraculous bit of tech that can reduce the size of anything (or anybody) to the most minute proportions imaginable — Hank has a heist in mind for Scott that might just save the world from oblivion. And though the intense regimen was “almost kind of impossible to sustain” – particularly for a guy who has a pub in his basement – Rudd reveals that he’s still keeping in shape. “I’m still doing all the workouts, I’m still eating pretty well.” The results are evident, even if Ant-Man was the actor’s toughest physical transformation for a role. Upon his release from prison he vows to go straight, but when his estranged wife (Judy Greer) threatens to cut him off from his daughter if he doesn’t get some sort of steady income, Lang is talked into one more big heist by his pal Luis (Michael Pena, who steals most of the scenes he’s in).

While Hank has prevented his super-shrinking research from reaching the public domain, an evil former protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), is on the brink of fully developing his own weapon of mass reduction. Pym wants Lang to infiltrate the headquarters of Pym’s former research company, where the megalomaniacal Darren Cross (House of Cards’ Corey Stoll) is using Pym’s technology to create the Yellowjacket, a militarized version of the Ant-Man suit. It was their idea to key off that Marvel Premiere issue, “To Steal An Ant-Man,” about the introduction of Scott Lang, and make it a mentor-pupil story. The self-deprecating sense of humour at work here (obviously the work of Rudd, who had a hand in the screenplay) carries a long way as a viewing experience. The inventor of the suit is the requisite benevolent-scientist-who-hid-his-invention-from-those-who-would-use-it-for-evil, here played with a kind of weaponised avuncularism by Michael Douglas.

This is important, as the novelty of watching so much small-scale action unfold in incongruously confined settings (the first big sequence kicks off in a bathtub) will invariably wear off for some onlookers. But when the Yellowjacket threat becomes very large and very real, Lang’s superhero trial by fire begins, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep his loved ones safe. Though we are often straining to keep our eyes focused on Scott’s minuscule misadventures in full flight — sometimes it’s though we are looking at a computer-animated blur — the massive gravity of his micro-mission is never lost on the viewer. However, as an energetically crafted and unapologetically fun exercise in outsized escapism, it can stand tall with the likes of Thor and Captain America.

I wished for flight myself, with enough strength to rescue Megan Walsh from any earthquakes or alien invasions should happen to befall our Standard 3 class at Insoll Avenue Primary in Hamilton. And even though Ant-Man’s origins differ markedly from the comics, the movie does hook into the greater Marvel milieu in several nifty ways, including a 1989 prologue sequence that features a familiar face (and some mind-blowing digital de-aging effects – you’d swear Michael Douglas is in his 40s), as well as the very first appearance of another Marvel super-type, in a flashback scene that’s a bit of an emotional gut-punch. There’s the section where Scott goes in to steal the suit, and McKay had called in this securities expert, and we sat with him and talked about how you would get into a safe. But there are also lots of daddy-daughter issues — not just the ones between Pym and Hope, but between Lang and Cassie, who thinks he’s a hero when everyone else sees him as a criminal. By and large, the effects are good, and a micro battle atop a Thomas the Tank Engine train is edited cleverly — a joke Reed evidently found so funny he uses it twice in a couple of minutes.

There is the obligatory Avengers tie-in (hello Falcon!), and the mid-post credits and after-credits blips that Marvel has become known for. (The payoff is pretty meager.) But for all its shortcomings, there are some things to like here. Because I think for someone that has never seen a Marvel movie or read a Marvel comic, if you see a poster — ! — it’s like, come on, what is that?

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