Ant-Man is the newest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly and chronicles the story of Scott Lang, a thief in the vain of Robin Hood. It is due to these skills as a thief noticed by Hank Pym, creator of the Ant-Man suit. Hank recruits Scott to become his successor so together they can stop a potential threat to the world posed by Hank’s former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) who is now in control of Pym Industries.
Going in to see Ant-Man I was skeptical and told myself that if this was a serviceable superhero movie I would be satisfied. However, Ant-Man was more than serviceable. This movie is simply a lot of fun and, incredibly against my pre-viewing feelings, Ant-Man works well within the MCU. Ant-Man is funny and Paul Rudd knocks his portrayal of the next generation Ant-Man out of the park. He is a welcome member to the stable actors in the MCU; just as Robert Downey Jr. is and always will be Iron Man and just as Chris Evans is and always will be Captain America, Paul Rudd is and always will be Ant-Man.
Michael Douglas was excellent as Hank Pym and was given a back story that mattered to the plot of the movie and I was glad that this was not glossed over. This attention to Hank’s detail gave Douglas a chance to prove his acting chops once again. Hank’s past also included an arc that showed the tenuous relationship he has with his daughter, deftly played by Evangeline Lilly. As much as they care for one another they are also adversarial with one another. This could have bogged Ant-Man down with an all too heavy and often seen daughter-needs-the-approval-of-her-father vibe but under the direction of Peyton Reed it was handled perfectly.
Just when things begin to get too serious we get a comedic dose of Luis (Michael Pena), a friend and former cellmate of Scott Lang. Again, this is handled in such way that we are not put off by a character that if given larger chunks of the movie would become annoying. This let’s Pena shine and he is truly a comedy gold here and he nails every line he was given. Another tip of the hat goes to the direction for not overusing Pena to the point of disliking the character and by proxy pulling the movie down.
I saw Ant-Man in 3-D because I misread the show times but decided to pay the couple extra bucks and watch instead of waiting for the next 2-D showing. Man, was I impressed. Typically I cannot stand 3-D but for Ant-Man this worked exceptionally well. This was especially evident in the sequences when Ant-Man shrunk down to miniscule size. In my opinion 3-D is gimmicky at best but I believe Ant-Man is best viewed in 3-D. It truly adds something to the movie.
The action sequences are stunning and are the highlight of Ant-Man. Visually, it is almost perfect. There is a photo realist quality to the movie that lets the viewer feel as if they are actually watching a small man shrink down and jump through a keyhole or run with a colony of ants as man of their same stature. This attention to the CGI also allowed for a tie-in scene with an Avenger that is not hokey and made a believer out of me that Ant-Man could work in the world that also includes the Avengers.
So far I have lauded nothing but praises for Ant-Man and you would think it was my favorite movie of 2015. Well, there are a few flaws in Ant-Man. Two that will be specifically addressed…The villain and also Scott Lang’s daughter. First up: The villain. This was the typical bad guy. We’ve all seen him before. He is corporate, greedy and has an ax to grind with one of the main characters. His motivations to be the “baddie” are sketchy at best. He does evil things because, well, he is evil. There was very little fleshing out of this character and I would have wanted a villain with real purpose with real reason to be the bad guy. All we get is the “he is bad because he is bad” type of character. That seemed a bit lazy. Batting second is the daughter. In Ant-Man, Scott is estranged from his daughter due to his criminal past (no spoilers there) and he is desperately trying be a part of her life again against the wishes of the ex-wife and her new husband. Something we have seen time and time again and it comes as no surprise when the climax of Ant-Man revolves around this.
Overall, Ant-Man is a very funny, well-acted and exceptionally an entertaining superhero movie. It is one that I would definitely recommend. With that being said, I give Ant-Man four out of five stars. Oh, and one last thing. Be sure to stick around for the mid and after credit scene. They are worth watching.