Ant-Man Film Review
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is an ex-con fresh out of prison trying to get his life together. Most of all, however, he wants to be a good father to his daughter, who he can only see on limited visitation rights.
After a string of layoffs and mess-ups, it looks as though Scott Lang has no choice but to return to a life of crime just to make ends meet.
When his latest caper, one which promises great riches, turns out to be a bust, Lang is left with a weird looking "motor cycle" jacket / suit. Little does Lang know that this is no ordinary suit and he has inadvertently stumbled upon the Ant-Man suit.
Caught red handed in the heist, Lang is returned to prison when, out of the blue, a hundred tiny ants return the suit to him in his cell. Activating the helmet, Lang is met by the ominous voice of none other than Dr. Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man (Michael Douglas).
Pym tells Lang to put the suit on and to listen what he has to say. And, well, the rest is a grand adventure on a rather small scale!
What I Liked:
Ant-Man is part of Marvel's phase three roll out. What is most impressive about it to me is that they didn't go for your epic, all out, big scale action adventure like The Avengers. Like the character Ant-Man, capable of shrinking down to the size of the ant, the story is rather small in scope. It's a straight forward caper story, with a twist. I won't give away the twist, but it's a fun story that acts as a great introduction to these less well known Marvel characters.
Another thing that I liked is the fact that there is an Ant-Man movie and that it's actually pretty damn good. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, another relatively unknown superhero franchise, Ant-Man is only known to die-hard comics fans, not your average movie goer. With that said, it's nice to see Marvel taking risks and treating its auxiliary characters seriously and telling engaging stories as they continue to flesh out the Marvel Cinematic Universe and integrate it into the whole of the Marvel mythos. A technique which has made Marvel comics so enduring for decades and sets it apart from the DCU which is all over the place in terms of worlds. Whereas the DCU can have fun with its myriad of alternative universes, Marvels has a much more integrated and cohesive feel to it. And this translates extremely well into film.
What I didn't like:
Surprisingly, there is very little not to like (pardon the pun). I must say that the only thing that struck me as somewhat cliche is that the villain is pretty generic. It's Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), the Yellowjacket, who has the same shrinking tech as Ant-Man, and he wants to sell his secret formula to the military. Hank Pym will do anything to stop that from happening. Along with the help of Pym's daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), they recruit Scott Lang to help them make sure Cross's plans are foiled.
Even thought the villain is pretty white-bread, it sort of works to the films advantage as it fits will with the small scale story telling.
Everything else is pretty tight, and it's apparent the script was polished by an entire team of the best script doctors coming off an already impressive script. In other words, Marvel wasn't taking any chances putting out a dud at the end of phase three. Instead, they put out something quite -- incredible.
What Bothered Me:
Relatively little. I found that there were some pacing issues whenever we got off the main characters. But it's so minor that I can't really complain. As I said, a lot of effort went into making sure this movie was good. And I can honestly say it's one of the more fun superhero films I've seen.
Final Two Cents:
One thing that struck me as pretty nifty was how kid friendly this movie was. Unlike the violent Iron Man films or the darker and move violent Avengers: Age of Ultron, this movie was fun and light hearted. Even Guardians of the Galaxy had some sexual innuendo, cursing, and death scenes, but Ant-Man is relatively sparse these while continuing to be engaging and fun. It's a great family film. I took my daughter and she loved it. She laughed out loud through the whole thing, and even though she still says Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie, she enjoyed this film a lot.
Overall, I have to say Ant-Man is probably my favorite MCU film after Guardians and Captain America Winter Soldier. And although I enjoyed Age of Ultron much more than the first Avengers film, I still think it fell short of a good movie let alone a good superhero movie. Although, I've already written that review, I'm just glad that Ant-Man could deliver on all fronts, and it was a much needed guilty indulgence for us die hard comic book geeks who want our other favorite characters to get a little love and respect too. It's nice to see that in the MCU this can actually happen. I personally will be looking forward to phase 4 and all the great films to follow in Ant-Man's impressive, yet tiny, footsteps.
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.