The Appeal of Paul Rudd
How does Paul Rudd do it? With his boyish good looks, he appears to have not aged for the last twenty years. Perhaps acting in comedies and Marvel movies is the key to staying young? Or maybe it’s the candy?! He turned 54 on April 6th and co-owns a candy story in Rhinebeck, New York with a few other couples. Born to British parents, Rudd studied theater at Oxford University for a summer and still has a fondness for British sweets.
Happily married for 20 years, Rudd’s wife Julie Yaeger is a Hollywood producer. He met her at the casting office where she worked when he was starring in his first film, “Clueless” (1995). They have two children and tend to stay out of the spotlight. Rudd is a big supporter of the Kansas City Royals and has been photographed with his son at games. He also supports various charities and was People Magazines “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2021.
He’s often referred to as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. His costars will comment on how humble he is and refer to his great work ethic. His biggest diva demand is to have his PG Tips tea served with milk. He has an impressive list of films, tv series and theater work and he’s both well-loved and respected. A favorite of the late-night hosts, he’s a welcome guest for his willingness to make fun of himself and his profession.
Will audiences grow tired of Rudd’s particular brand of goofiness? He’s starring in “Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania” (Peyton Reed) still playing in theaters. He gives the same self-deprecating performance we know and love. Scott Lang is earnest and goofy. He’s such a “dad”. Though she receives second billing, Evangeline Lilly, who stars as The Wasp and Scott Lang’s wife, has a much smaller role. It’s the daughter, ably played by Kathryn Newton, who gets the larger amount of screen time. The interactions between her and Rudd are well-done.
The actor who steals the show is not the villain, Jonathon Majors as Kang, but Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer is the hip grandmother who was previously trapped in this realm of Quantumania for many years and has learned to adapt to its dangers. She has a secret that she never shared with her family.
The Quantum Realm is impressively realized. I’ve recommended that this film be experienced in 3D or IMAX for the full experience. Oddly, it shares a few character designs with the animated “Strange World” out on Disney+. It has a canteen scene like the famous one in “Star Wars”.
The first Ant-Man film was more of a comedy. It was fun to learn of this diminutive superhero’s struggles and origin. It was a smaller film with an emphasis on character and world development, less a Marvel film than an action movie with a goofy star. The second film in the series, “Ant-Man & The Wasp” let the crime-fighting couple work together. Lilly was often rescuing her husband. Sadly, the bigger budget didn’t mean a better film. The next adventures were all part of the larger Marvel Universe as Ant-Man was in two Avenger films.
This current film has the largest budget of the Ant-Man films and is in many ways, the least interesting. There are a lot more characters to keep track of but less character development. The Quantum Realm is eye-candy but much of the action is predictable. The battles are inventive– the story takes advantage of the new creatures and their attributes, but the narrative arc is like most Marvel films.
The most interesting aspect of the film is when the action involves the older actors. Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas star as the grandparents. He’s the scientist that began this ant crusade and they’re both given crucial roles in the action. The film benefits from their star power and they bring both class and humor to their screen time. It’s a little sad that Hollywood hasn’t kept them busy with other roles but it’s a benefit to this film. “Ant-Man & The Wasp” may star Paul Rudd, but it’s the effects and creatures that you’ll remember. And it’s the superior performances of Pfeiffer and Douglas that make the film.
Drinks with Films rating: 1 shot of translation juice (and now you can understand any alien tongue) out of 5