Movie Review: Marvel’s Ant-Man

Rating:

Marvel Studios’ newest and tiniest superhero is here. The 12th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, Ant-Man continues their winning formula. Without delving too deeply into cheesy clichés such as, “Ant-Man has big heart” or “Big surprises come in ‘small’ packages,” this movie should make a “small” fortune.

Though not a very popular character, a “small” fish in a big pond if you will, Marvel Studios has proven that they can make any character, big or “small” into a franchise. In the comic books, Ant-Man was one of the original Avengers, along with Iron Man (Tony Stark), Hulk (Bruce Banner), Thor and Wasp (Janet van Dyne).

A lineup of the original Avengers. (Photo credit: moviepilot.com)
A lineup of the original Avengers. (Photo credit: moviepilot.com)

With the original Ant-Man being Hank Pym, three others have also donned the mantle, the most famous being Scott Lang. In the normal storyline, Hank Pym’s genius rivals that of Tony Stark. Their only difference was that Stark was interested in creating a financially prosperous company whereas Pym wanted to make the world better.

Along came Scott Lang, who broke into Pym’s laboratory to use the Ant-man suit to help save his daughter’s life. In doing so he eventually came to be an Avenger. Marvel uses this storyline to an extent.

The film’s story is solid. All of the origin films that come from Marvel Studios usually follow their comic book origins to a lesser extent, and this trend is continued in Ant-Man.

Originally, I wasn’t impressed with the casting for this film, as Marvel usually prefers to get a B-list celebrity as their star and then surround them with an A-list cast who lets them grow into the parts. Iron Man had a resurgent Robert Downey Jr. paired with legendary Jeff Bridges. Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, had the amazing Anthony Hopkins. Captain America’s Chris Evans had the fantastic Hugo Weaving.

Ant-Man and Yellowjacket in comic books form. (Photo credit: comingsoon.net)
Ant-Man and Yellowjacket in comic books form. (Photo credit: comingsoon.net)

Don’t get me wrong, Paul Rudd is a solid actor, but I originally couldn’t picture him as a superhero, as he’s normally known for his comedic antics in films such as 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman and Knocked Up. But I can thankfully say that, after seeing it, that’s not the case.

He’s backed with a great cast including the legendary Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, T.I. and Michael Peña. Michael Douglas, who plays the genius Hank Pym who originally built the Ant-Man suit, leads the ensemble cast. Evangeline Lilly perfectly portrays Pym’s daughter Hope, who doesn’t trust Rudd’s character Scott Lang.

Corey Stoll portrays David Cross/Yellowjacket, the antagonist of the film. It was fun to see him take on a role like this, as his more notable roles show him as the lead in FX’s The Strain (Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) or as a tragic secondary character as in Netflix’s House of Cards (Congressman Peter Russo). As if that wasn’t enough, T.I. and Michael Peña serve as a comedic presence that cuts into the some of the seriousness of the film.

Corey Stoll's Yellowjacket. (Photo credit: latinoreview.com)
Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket. (Photo credit: latinoreview.com)

My favorite scene in the film is a fight between Rudd’s Ant-Man and a character which I won’t spoil for you. If you’re a fanboy like me, you’ll be smirking the whole way through the scene.

In common Marvel fashion, there are two scenes for you to watch after the film ends that directly tie into future films. The first is a mid credit scene that relates directly to the film itself and the second… well, you’ll have to wait to see what happens. But definitely wait till the very end.

This film elicits several feelings from me. I felt childhood nostalgia for Honey I Shrunk the Kids. I also started having second thoughts about stepping on ants when I see them in my house.

Ant-Man running with the ants. (Photo credit: marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com)
Ant-Man running with the ants. (Photo credit: marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com)

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to see this film, I say go! It’s easily the most family friendly film Marvel Studios has made yet, in my opinion. This film makes a lot of references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so if you’re a fan of continuity you’ll definitely be pleased. It’s highly enjoyable and lots of fun.

 

(Slider image credit: youredm.com)

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Creator and host of the podcast Beer, Bros & BS, teller of stories, drinker of beers, reader of (comic) books, watcher of sports, devourer of food, mostly entertaining. From Miami. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @thebiglibrarian.

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