“Ant-Man” is big on fun. The exciting, super special effects ride, directed by Peyton Reed, is based on the Marvel comic character Scott Lang. Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is Ant-Man and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is his mentor. Before becoming Ant-Man, Lang’s con past consisted of million dollar tech thefts that affected the wealthy. Now aligned with Dr. Pym, they are on the road to saving humanity.
There are many surprises and renowned Marvel comics references, not to mention Marvel characters showing up, such as Anthony Mackie (the Falcon) and Chris Evans (Captain America).
Notwithstanding the many movies done on the subject of diminishing size—“Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “The Fly,” or “Dr. Cyclops,”—“Ant-Man” astounds audiences and captivates them with its technically enhanced 3D visual effects.
Among Paul Rudd’s many accomplishments is the SNL skit that has been named as one of Saturday Night Live’s most hilarious. He appeared as the director of “The Single Ladies” video with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake as one of the all male backup dancers clad in leotards and high heels.
Whether on the big or small screen, Rudd commands attention. Directed by Judd Apatow, “Trainwreck” also stars Evangeline Lilly [the ending reveals she’s one to watch], Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Judy Greer, TI, and Wood Harris.
“Trainwreck” is just that, a smash up of clichéd ideas, predictable and boring cinema. In one of the early scenes, Amy (Amy Schumer) is sitting on the toilet in the ladies’ room talking to a co-worker in the next commode, whose drawers are wrapped around her ankles in a desperate display for attention for at least five minutes—well, maybe not that long, but it seemed like forever. This lame reference is a throwback to the controversial 1989 “Back to the Sh**t” Millie Jackson album cover.
And what is all this hype about flipping the script? The sexual revolution is something that took place decades ago. Because Amy supposedly takes on the embodiment of the male species and jumps from bed to bed in one-night stands, the shock factor is expected to make up for the scarcity of humorous material.
In addition to the schlock factor, it doesn’t help either that Amy is a very unlikable player. Part and parcel to a successful story are the engaging and likeable characters. A supposedly well-educated writer who engages in gibberish at times and thinks bloody tampons floating unflushed in a toilet is not funny.
Although a key writer at a high falutin magazine, Amy has many insecurities that are the basis for her bizarre behavior. When she falls for her assignment subject, a successful orthopedic surgeon (Bill Hader), Amy treats him like vermin. After learning the error of her ways, Amy turns over a leaf. However, by that time, she has left such a bad flavor on the palate, mouthwash could not get rid of the bad taste; it would take a lobotomy. The film is 2½ hours, two hours too long.
Directed by Judd Apatow, “Trainwreck” also stars Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, and LeBron James.
Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]