In Marvel’s Ant-Man, armed with a super-suit that has the ability to shrink in scale, but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
My first impression of this movie is that it’s funny. It has the usual Marvel style of humor, yet it’s not afraid to poke fun at other Marvel characters (particularly The Avengers). Michael Peña provides some great comedic relief throughout the film as Scott’s best friend, Luis, and is one of the film’s most memorable characters. Ant-Man is also not afraid to poke fun at itself and its small scale destruction. While previous Marvel films have seen the destruction of whole cities, Ant-Man shows the destruction of a building model and a “Thomas the Tank Engine” play set. With some of the action scenes, the film walks a fine line between compelling action and revealing the comedic small scale of its nature. It’s because of this that Ant-Man has it’s own unique feel to it, making it separate from the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Story wise, I felt that there was a lot of exposition and not a lot of action. The first half of the film basically explains the technology, the history behind it and the characters involved. It’s only towards the end of the film when the action really kicks in. However, when the film does pick up, it plays out really well. Some of the story elements are surprisingly cliche for Marvel. The villain’s motive in the film pretty much boils down to wanting respect which has been seen before.
The acting in the film was well done. Evangeline Lilly really holds her own as Hope van Dyne, Dr. Pym’s daughter, and it will be interesting to see how her character will play out in the rest of the MCU. Paul Rudd fits well in his role as he pretty much plays your quintessential Paul Rudd character and you can see his own personal touches in the film. Michael Douglas is well cast portraying an older, experienced mentor ready to pass on his legacy. Corey Stall also fits nicely into the role of the villain. Last but not least, need no fear, there is a nice Stan Lee cameo in the film.
I did like that the film is not too bogged down in being a part of the MCU. Meaning that, if you haven’t been paying attention to the previous Marvel films, you still would have a good idea of what’s going on. There were only a few scenes that tie Ant-Man into the MCU and some of them seemed almost unnecessary. There is a good scene at the start of the film connecting Michael Douglas’ character to Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Howard Stark (John Slattery) and S.H.I.E.L.D. However, it seemed that the cameo by Falcon (Anthony Mackie) was not necessary for the plot line. Quite frankly the scene between him and Ant-Man is only in the film to reference the other Marvel film that came out this year and to link Ant-Man to The Avengers and to potential appear in Captain America: Civil War.
The bottom line for Ant-Man is that it’s a nice super hero film that makes up for its shortfalls with plenty of humor and a great cast. I recommend seeing it, and of course, as with most Marvel films, it’s worth it to stay through the credits.
Image by Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant-Man_%28film%29)