Plot: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Review: With disappointment surrounding this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man is a breath of fresh air for the end of phase 2.
What Ant-Man brings to the table is something new. With more people focused this year on what AOU was going to do to the Universe Marvel has created, it’s a surprise that Ant-Man actually moves the franchise forward more in terms of what we have to look forward too.
That’s not to say that Ant-Man isn’t perfect; to be fair it shares a few faults with the rest of the Marvel films. But it makes up for it with a great amount of humor and care for the characters. Paul Rudd enters the action genre and brings Scott Lang to life. Lang. a thief with a smart mouth, is trying to get his life together for his daughter, Cassie Lang (played by Abby Ryder Fortson.) When Lang takes one last job from his friend, Luis, who is played by Michael Pena, to make some extra cash, he ends up stealing the Ant-Man suit. This leads him to meet Hank Pym, the creator of the suit, played by Michael Douglas, who recruits Lang to train as the new Ant-Man and steal another suit just built by the stories villain.
The story boils down to a heist movie with bits of superhero action set pieces that Marvel is known for by know. What’s refreshing is the heist part, because though Lang is a superhero, he’s not the cleanest hero out there. He’s an everyman, which makes him relatable from the start. The story is a bit more adult than audiences may be used to from a Marvel movie but after the slack AOU got for the obvious jokes (the cucumber line from Tony Stark comes to mind) it’s good to see Marvel point in the direction of their older fan base. That’s not to say that kids won’t enjoy it, this isn’t Daredevil level violence, the jokes are designed just right that it will probably go over the younger generations heads.
Michael Douglas’ Pym is a relatable character too, as he is trying to fix the relationship he lost with his daughter, Hope Van Dyne, played by Evengaline Lily. The father-daughter theme is rampant throughout the movie.
Ant-Man is not without its bite-sized flaws (of course I intended that pun, I’d hate myself if I missed that). The biggest issue is nothing new the Marvel universe but it is one they should start correcting soon. Save for Loki, who audiences fell in love with, Marvel villains are lacking the reason to destroy the world. They just do. The villain in Ant-Man, Darren Cross or YellowJacket, doesn’t have a real reason for wanting the world to end. Sure, it is talked about a bit, but not enough for audiences to care about him. That’s not to say the actor wasn’t bad, Corey Stoll does an excellent job with what he is given, it was just no one cared.
Putting that aside, the movie still holds up and brings a sense of something that AOU clearly missed this year. As with other Marvel films, the Mid credits ending and the After credit ending are teasers of what is to come. The After credits, which is actually footage from another upcoming Marvel film, will leave you wanting more. There are way more things throughout the movie, including a fight with another Avenger and a reference to a certain web-shooting hero.
Ant-Man succeeds in doing something new and like last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it introduces us to what else is going on in the universe that Marvel has sculpted. Now we just have to wait to see if he returns in Next year’s Civil war. It may influence which side you choose. 9/10