Ant-Man is a Marvel superhero film released in North America on July 17th, 2015. It was directed by Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) and stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly (@EvangelineLilly).
Everyone is wondering when the superhero genre will reach the saturation point. Marvel has been releasing two or three movies a year almost without fail and some people are beginning to become numb to the awe factor we all felt seeing the avengers assemble for the first time back in 2012. I was even more worried about this movie when Marvel announced back in 2014 that the original director Edgar Wright was leaving the project due to “differences in their vision of the film.” It seemed Ant-Man might be Marvel’s first flop since Iron Man 2. I’m pleased to say that almost the exact opposite is true. Ant-Man show us that there are still great stories to be told and cool ideas to be explored in the superhero genre.
Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang just as he’s released from prison where he was serving time for burglary. Scott is determined not to go back to jail and turn his life around so that he can be a good father to his estranged daughter. But Scott soon falls back into his old ways once he realises how hard trying to turn his life around would actually be. This is where he meets Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, who offers Scott a second chance by donning Pym’s old suit and becoming the Ant-Man for the noble cause of toppling deranged scientist Darren Cross, played by Corey Stoll from House of Cards fame.
Rudd’s portrayal of Lang is spot on. He has a very happy-go-lucky attitude towards life and reminds me much of Tony Stark. Lang is much more likable than Stark though. He is an everyday man trying to be a good role model to his daughter instead of a billionaire, playboy philanthropist. I drew several correlations between Ant-Man and the first Iron Man. Both follow their respective hero on their journey to master their powers. Both have an evil genius villain who copies their power to try to become better than them. It’s a very familiar story but not in a way that bothered me.
The only thing about Ant-Man that wasn’t exceptional was its villain. Marvel movies have never had the best of villains and Darren Cross, or the Yellowjacket, is another one. He’s a very two-dimensional character who spends most of the movie with an evil grin on his face telling us how great he and his company are. Corey Stoll does bring a lot of heart to the character but even he can’t make up for a simply uninteresting villain.
Ant-Man shines brightest when it’s on the ant’s level. The first time Scott shrunk down to ant size I was giddy with excitement. Rudd’s first experience as an Marvel’s miniature hero is one of the highlights of the film. I was on the edge of my seat eagerly awaiting what normal, everyday object would become his next obstacle. It’s a brilliant scene and one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a Marvel movie since Hulk and Thor fought together in The Avengers. Double Negative is the production company who made all of the shrinking effects and scenes and they should be applauded for their work on this movie.
Ant-Man is also full of wonderful easter eggs for the Marvel faithful. There are several nods to other Marvel movies which made me outright smile. There’s one scene in particular that I won’t spoil where several of us in the theater laughed out loud. Ant-Man is an extra special movie for those who have been following and watching Marvel movies in recent years. Ant-Man is an exceptional movie and whether you’re one of the Marvel faithful or just enjoy a good action movie I would highly recommend seeing it.