Well, I just got home from seeing Ant-Man and… wow! That was a FUN film to watch! This is a really solid film to watch. There is some stuff I want to get to.
Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who struggles to get a job once he is out of prison. He robbed a big company, taking millions of dollars from them and returning it to customers who they scammed out of. Lang is down on his luck until he steals a suit from an old man named Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Pym allows his suit to be stolen and when Lang puts it on he realizes he has the power to shrink. Before he can return the suit back, Lang is arrested and Pym makes an offer to him: Lang helps Pym steal some dangerous tech from a company that Pym founded and in exchange Lang will be able to see his daughter. Pym and Lang are assisted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily), Pym’s daughter.
First off, Paul Rudd leads the way in this new heist film. That’s right. This is a heist film first and foremost. You know what I love about Marvel films? They change the genre and add in superheroes to keep it fresh. It’s like their films are different flavors of ice cream. Each of their films are ice cream (superhero films) but you get different flavors (spy thriller, action, space drama and heist film). It really is an ingenious way of telling these stories and not becoming stale. This is like Marvel’s Ocean’s Eleven (though Oceans was a MUCH better film, I’m just comparing genres). It was fun to go through a plan and while in the third act we got the final battle, the rest of the film told the heist story very well.
The other thing about this film is that it’s funny. There are so many comedic elements that are smart and point out the silliness of some of these dramatic moments in summer blockbusters (like when Lang makes a quip after Hope and Hank’s exchange about Hope’s mother). This is definitely one of the funnier Marvel films, up there with Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. It didn’t make me laugh as much as Guardians but it was still very funny.
Even though Edgar Wright left, I could still see so many of his finger prints it was more like he had hand prints on this film. It was smart, full of heart and charming. Though there were instances I wondered how Wright would have handled certain scenes, Peyton Reed still did a marvelous job. I felt that outside a few naughty words this was family friendly film.
Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas not only had good chemistry together (I wish I had seen more of them directly interacting and exchanging quips) but they both played their parts very well. Rudd kicked ass once again and made me really cheer for the guy. Michael Douglas also brought a gravitas and helped ground the film. Michael Douglas did not remind me of Liberache when he said “Scott” over and over again, now THAT’S the mark of a truly good actor.
The action scenes are pretty badass. The way that Reed plays with scale is imaginative and unique. We saw how they would fight in a small world from their perspective and how it looked from ours. Visually, the whole film was smooth (because when you change points of view it could come off as very choppy) and the transitions were fantastic. I thought that Reed did an exceptional job with the fighting and action scenes. It was fun seeing a hero and villain change sizes and fight it out. It was great.
This was not a perfect film, however. The villain was bland and the end of the film was very much an action film. Also, the whole outline of the film was very formulaic to Marvel. It was an origin film and there is only so many times I can watch that.
There were definitely some surprises in this film. If you haven’t seen the film, STOP READING. SPOILER ALERT.
OK, this isn’t a huge spoiler but Falcon makes an appearance. It is a fun exchange and a fun fight they have. It incorporates Ant-Man into the MCU very well. I also like that in these films we have the potential of seeing different characters making appearances. It is pretty cool.
Also, near the end, there is a line that says the following:
“We have a person jumping, a person swinging and a person climbing walls.” H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T. SPIDER-MAN WAS MENTIONED IN THE MCU! I’m counting this as the very first hint or mention of Spider-Man. I just about peed my pants in happiness hearing this. I was so pumped and that line kept going through my head over and over as I was leaving the theater.
“Spider-Man was mentioned. Spider-Man was mentioned. Spider-Man was mentioned.” I’m super pumped for this first appearance in (I hope) Captain America: Civil War.
Speaking of Civil War, it looks like Captain America and Falcon captured the Winter Soldier. I didn’t quite get what the plan was but it looked like they didn’t want Tony Stark involved. This is hinting at secrets being kept from fellow Avengers which could lead to the Civil War. Now, at the end Falcon said he knew a guy, I’m assuming Ant-Man, who could help. I’m trying to figure out who would be on Iron Man’s side in the upcoming film. If the chips are down I see Scarlett Witch, Ant-Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier and Black Widow on Cap’s side. Who would be on Iron Man’s side? Vison, Hawkeye and War Machine. Actually, with Iron Man, Vison and War Machine that’s a damn fine group. Anyway, I’m excited for Civil War now. And the best part is that it’s the next Marvel film (coming out next summer).
Overall, Ant-Man was a solid film with some great twists, good laughs and fun performances. However, it was an origin story that didn’t break from the Marvel formula which takes away from what could have been a very unique film.
Rating: Watch it in the theaters. Ant-Man is a good time no alcohol necessary.