I have to admit, my knowledge on Ant-man is not as extensive as other Marvel characters. I wasn’t introduced to Hank Pym before he was Giant-Man. When I heard that the film was going to focus on Scott Lang, I honestly hadn’t heard of him. I of course did some research prior to the film to have some sort of context. The film stars Paul Rudd as our protagonist and follows him on his journey to becoming the hero he needs to be. The film co-stars Michael Douglas as an older Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly plays Hope van Dyne. Our antagonist, Darren Cross a.k.a. Yellow Jacket, is played by Corey Stoll.
The plot is a bit more complex than some advertisements might lead on. Hank Pym discovers a way to decrease the distance between atoms in the 80’s. Years later, Darren Cross becomes his protege. The film takes place today where Hank Pym is retired and his daughter, Hope Pym, is Darren’s right hand man. Scott Lang is brought in after Hank Pym discovers that Darren is attempting to sell suits to military contractors that have the same abilities as the Ant-man suit. Scott is an ex-con down on his luck and is given a second chance to put a stop to Darren Cross and his Yellow Jackets.
I really enjoyed how this movie was very “paint-by-numbers” but still made it feel fresh due to various comedic moments, lovable characters and great special effects. What makes this plot also so clever is we don't have a typical origin story. Ant-man is an already established, retired hero within the history of the MCU. Scott has an entirely different story arc than other supers. Being an ex-con allows for us to see him not have incredibly strong moral restraints. Hank is a bit of a mentor to Scott simply due to Hank having already been Ant-Man. Point is it allows for stronger character development versus character building and that's always a good thing.
The visuals were fantastic throughout the whole film. Not once did anything feel out of place even when Ant-Man is literally riding on an ant. Speaking of the ants, there are a lot of ants on screen at multiple moments. Whether they are building a bridge or being a raft, it was always fun to see them on screen. The clever thing about the ants was how they made them not creepy. In most movies where a bug of some type is supposed to be a friend, it can come off as gross and weird, however for Ant-Man, they are adorable.
There aren’t many gripes with this movie. Some that I imagine people will have is that it's too short. I of course disagree with this and feel that it's the perfect length. I imagine some are saying that Darren Cross’ antagonist arc isn’t fleshed out enough, my argument there is that it isn’t necessary. Giving him more screen time would have bogged down the film's pacing and made for a disconnect to the audience. There is a reason his back story scenes were cut from the film. Another thing I’m sure others are not happy about were the side characters who served as comedy relief and allies to Scott. They were here to show a distinct difference between Scott and other ex-cons and how well Scott can get along with others.
Overall I found this movie to be absolutely wonderful and a great addition to the already stellar Marvel Cinematic Universe. I would hope that Ant-Man not only returns in future films but gets a well deserved sequel. Everyone brought their A game when presenting a character with a sordid past. I would also love to see more older Peggy Carter and Howard Stark running Shield. I give Ant-Man a 9.5 outta 10.
What did you think of Ant-Man? What are you most looking forward to in the future of Marvel?
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