Yes, his name is Ant-Man. Get over it.
Set in the mega-film-world known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has brought us global successes such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy, comes a new title; Ant-Man. Paul Rudd takes the lead as Scott Lang, a robin hood-type burglar who has just finished a stint in jail and is hoping to change his way to be a better father to his daughter.
Unfortunately life as a convict makes it difficult for Scott to keep a job and he is forced into burglary again. With the help of his friends that manage to break into an old guys house and break open a safe only to find what seems to be a biker outfit. Unbeknownst to Scott and co, the house belongs to super-genius Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), founder of Pym Technologies, who is the owner of said suit which has the ability to miniaturize a person to the size of an ant and give control over ants (because why not?).
Surprisingly, one of the best parts of this film was in fact the ants. They explain the different types of ants and the advantages of them. Paul Rudd was also another highlight from this, bring his charm to the role. Scott Lang isn’t as smart as Tony Stark or as strong as Captain America but he is more resourceful than both. Quick on his feet and able to MacGyver his was out of situation was fascinating to watch. As Scott Lang learns more about the suit and the ants, he is able to add his unique qualities of sharp thinking and resourcefulness to form into this new and unique type of hero.
This film has plenty of heart, not only thanks to Paul Rudd but also thanks to its supporting cast. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (who plays Hope van Dyne) share a father-daughter relationship which beautifully echoes that of Paul Rudd and his daughter Cassie. With Scott Lang being the first Marvel superhero who has a child, they don’t shy away from that and make sure to address it correctly. Bringing in the comedic value was Scott Lang’s small team of enthusiastic convicts played by Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian and T.I.
The villain, played by Corey Stoll, was just a tad better than the average Marvel villain. He had an awesome suit in the form of Yellowjacket and a clear reason about why what he was doing was wrong. However he doesn’t actually get that many scenes and it would have been beneficial to see him at a younger age to explain some of his back-story.
This film manages to stand on its own, there are elements only made possible by being in the Marvel-verse, but it doesn’t heavily rely on them. It has been a while since we’ve had a standalone superhero film which isn’t a sequel, other than Guardians of the Galaxy. In essence, this film is a comedic heist film that happens to feature a superhero. What was refreshing was that we saw Scott Lang as a hero foremost and added the ‘super’ later. At the same time they manage to open up the Marvel world by exploring the micro-verse and showing us a small insight into the world of quantum.
The biggest shame is that Ant-Man is going to be a hard sale to conventional audiences. Yes, people find the trailer funny and they love Marvel films, but when the title is Ant-Man it sounds ludicrous, and not in a positive sense. Please ignore that initial impression you may have and give it a chance; you’ll be happily surprised.
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