ANT-MAN (Peyton Reed). 117 minutes. Opens Friday (July 17). See.

ANT-MAN (Peyton Reed). 117 minutes. Opens Friday (July 17). See listing. Rating: NNN

Where to watch: iTunes

It’s impossible to say what sort of movie Ant-Man would have been had original director Edgar Wright been able to make the picture he developed for nearly a decade, but it likely would have been more tonally consistent than the one Peyton Reed ultimately delivered.

That said, Ant-Man does some things very well, like letting Paul Rudd inhabit a comic-book character in precisely the same way Iron Man put a goatee on Robert Downey Jr. and called him Tony Stark. 

Rudd’s gentleman cat burglar, Scott Lang, is tapped by Michael Douglas’s Dr. Hank Pym to stop an unethical colleague (Corey Stoll) from replicating Pym’s shrinking process to make tiny super-soldiers in high-tech battle suits, while Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) scowls in the background.

But Reed never synchronizes the concept’s spirited silliness with Marvel’s master narrative, so the movie’s charming creative flourishes grind up against the franchise’s greyness. Wright’s movie would have been its own thing, for better or worse.

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