Review: Ant-Man

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

I was concerned about Ant-Man. Would the film that comes out just a few months after Avengers: Age of Ultron be overshadowed by its more epic older brother? Would the last-minute creative changes cause a rush to production that would affect the film’s quality? Would Ant-Man’s “lame” power set turn off movie-goers?

When will I learn… In Kevin Feige I trust.

Ant-Man is the story of Scott Lang, a noble criminal who is trying to get his life back on track as he tries to restore his relationship with his daughter following his time in prison. Through a series of events, he finds himself in possession of the Ant-Man suit working with the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. Hank is concerned about the goings-on at his former company which is now run by his former mentee Darren Cross. Caught in the middle is Hank’s daughter Hope who has a strained relationship with her father due to something that has happened in the past. Scott, and his criminal friends, are persuaded by Hank to go and steal some dangerous technology.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ant-Man. As far as I am concerned, Marvel deserves to have another hit on their hands. The folks at Marvel have mentioned in the past that they want their films to cover different genres. At its heart, Ant-Man is a heist movie. But unlike most heist movies that have humans fill the various roles in the heist team, Scott Lang’s team is made up of humans and ants.

Marvel's Ant-Man..L to R: Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hank Pym/Ant-Man (Michael Douglas)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Speaking of Lang’s team, they are a highlight of the film. Carlos Pena, T.I, and David Dastmalchian bring a lot of fun. Antony, the head ant, will also find a special place in your heart. But the heart of the film lies between the emotional relationships between Hank, Hope, and Scott. Michael Douglas’s performance in what easily could be a boring role, really brings Hank Pym to life. Paul Rudd’s likeability, helps sell Scott’s motivations which sometimes cause him to do less than legal things. With Hope, you just want to see her have a bigger role in the inevitable sequel.

For those wondering about the film’s connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, but there are some very fun connective tissue which at times were very unexpected. On a related note, be sure to stay through both post-credits scenes.

Disney fans will find some a few Easter Eggs that pay homage to Disneyland attractions. (One obvious, one a little more obtuse). This continues a trend of Marvel movies referencing their Disney connection. One has to imagine that the folks at Marvel are also big Disney fans.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have seen Ant-Man, and I can’t wait to see it again once it is released. With that excitement for a second viewing, how can I not give the film anything but the highest rating? 5 out of 5 atomobiles for Ant-Man. (Get it?)

Ant-Man will be released on July 17.