Review of Ant-Man

antman

It’s a shame that Spider-Man is Marvel’s most recognisable character because ants are by far my favourite insect. Huh? What’s that? Spiders aren’t insects? Bah, shut up. No one likes a smart aleck. Anyways, for those of you who don’t know Ant-Man (Hank Pym) is a superhero that can shrink in size and command bugs to do his bidding. Back in the eighties Pym retired from public life, as he feared that the tech responsible for his powers could fall into the wrong hands. Twenty years later Pym gets word that his protégée Darren Cross has designed a suit capable of turning soldiers into deadly Lilliputians. Cross plans to sell his invention to some unsavoury characters, so it falls on Pym to steal the suit before the transaction can be finalized. Hank is however too old for this shit.

OVERVIEW

Like an elderly Bruce Wayne passing the mantle of Batman to Terry McGinnis, crotchety Hank Pym needs to find some new blood to don his Ant-Man jumpsuit. He sets his sights on a thief named Scott Lang, who has previously served time for breaking into Vista Corp’s high security headquarters. Making the protagonist a common criminal may be controversial, but the writers succeed in portraying Lang as a charismatic rogue. Not only is Scott a loving father, but it’s also revealed that the heist he committed was justified. Like a modern day Robin Hood, Lang broke into Vista Corp to refund monies that the company had been covertly siphoning away from unsuspecting clients. Man, where was this guy when Barclays pickpocketed my account with sneaky bank charges?

The movie’s final act sees the new Ant-Man infiltrate Cross’ empire with the aims of pilfering his prototype Yellow Jacket suit and purging all research data pertaining to the project. Before that Pym coaches Lang in the intricacies of height manipulation and ant warfare. The training montage in question is rather humorous, even by Marvel standards. No surprise given that funny man director Edgar Wright was the chap who championed an Ant-Man live action film in the first place. Wright didn’t helm the movie himself though, after severing ties with Marvel over creative differences. That’s the same reason a furious Ed Norton cited for leaving the role of Bruce Banner. Don’t make Norton angry. You wouldn’t like him when he is angry.

VERDICT

My rating for Ant-Man is a four out of five. Despite focusing exclusively on superheroes I like how Marvel Studios make their movies feel distinct. Ant-Man for example is more of a heist caper than a traditional costumed vigilante tale. Much of the film’s comedy revolves around the banter Hank and Scott share. Paul Rudd (Lang) delivers the wisecracks whilst Michael Douglas (Pym) plays the duo’s sarcastic straight man. Thanks to Ant-Man’s stature altering talents the action sequences are like nothing I have ever seen before. One showdown takes place inside a briefcase for instance and the movie’s finale sees Lang trade blows with Cross atop a Thomas the Tank Engine toy. Gripes! I don’t think the Fat Controller would approve of that behaviour.

Speaking of Darren Cross, the follicly challenged villain lamentably fits into the underdeveloped Marvel antagonist mould. The writers do however succeed in making Cross a despicable prick that you want to hate. Not only does he experiment on cute lambs, but he also murders a beloved sidekick later on in the film. Corey Stoll wasn’t given much material to work with, but still did a decent job playing the bald evil entrepreneur. Where was this guy when Lex was being cast in Batman versus Superman? Anyways, overall I had a great time watching Ant-Man. Not bad given that a hero who talks to insects sounds goofy. If they made this work maybe Aquaman, who talks to fishes, will be okay too? You must admit that communicating with dolphins is a lame power. Huh? What? Dolphins aren’t fish? Grrr. What did I say earlier about being a know it all?

35 thoughts on “Review of Ant-Man

  1. There were a lot of people skeptical about this movie; they certainly weren’t expecting it to be this good. That’s what I like about Marvel movies; they manage to make good films out of their lesser known characters.

    • Yeah, the likes of Spider-Man and Batman are overdone. It’s nice seeing the lesser known guys get to show what they can do. In a way Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy are similar. People thought they might both flop due to lack of name recognition. Thanks to witty writing both flicks won over audiences in the end.

  2. I also enjoyed Antman more than many of the other Marvel films because it dared to be a bit different. I guess you can do that with a less well known character. It was definitely a risk that paid off though.

    • Yeah, a character with a big fan base you cannot tweak or else you’ll get a backlash. From what I hear Ant-Man in the comics is a bit dull and a wife beater so I welcome this funnier adaptation of the character.

    • Some movies benefit from repeated viewings, whilst other don’t. I have no idea how well Ant-Man would hold up if I watched it again, but based on my one screening I am looking forward to the sequel (especially because Wasp will be joining in on the fun.)

      • Will the WASP’s weakness be her “white privilege” or will that be a way to enhance her WASP powers.?
        “Jeeves, pull the car around … ” etc.

        Ha – she could fight against evil college student “social justice” majors.

  3. RE: “If they made this work maybe Aquaman, who talks to fishes, will be okay too? ”

    WHAT???!!!
    Ant-Man is MARVEL — Aquaman is DC COMICS — you BLASPHEMER!
    Ha Ha. You know there are actually people who take that stuff seriously.

    • It is amusing how some fans take the Marvel/DC rivalry so seriously. They are two sides of the same coin. Hawkeye/Green Arrow. Flash/Quicksilver. They pretty much steal each others ideas all the time.

      • That tends to be what happens when there’s only two big name companies in the industry that the creative talents within frequently bounce between. At least the companies themselves are relatively friendly about it, even if they do try too hard to stay safe by copying each other’s story beats.

    • If you like Paul Rudd you may enjoy this movie, as he is a very likable lead. Don’t worry too much about Ant-Man being a superhero because the film itself feels more like a heist movie.

  4. No insects are my favorite insects. Blech.

    Haven’t seen the movie, but this was probably the Marvel movie I was least interested in. But I guess I should give it a shot!

    • Marvel has many whacky heroes. Squirrel Girl for example is a genuine character who can communicate with bushy tailed rodents. In her first appearance she teamed up with Iron Man to defeat Dr Doom. Civil War would have been better had Stark recruited her instead of Spidey.

  5. Really smart casting. Rudd is his charismatic self and Michael Peña was hilarious. I can see how people are getting super-hero movie fatigue but Ant-man makes a great case for why branching out beyond Batman and Spider-man can be worthwhile.

    • I thought movie goers would have tired of the superhero genre by now, but thankfully that hasn’t been the case. There is a big geek audience that laps this stuff up and the fact that all the movies are interconnected keeps folks tuning in to see what happens next.

  6. What I loved about the Thomas the Tank Engine scene was that it was such a departure from the usual smashing up cities finales that other Marvel films seem to rely on.

    • I can’t blame the government for wanting to keep the Avengers in check in Civil War. Every time someone with a cape shows up you know that a city is going to be in need of reconstruction.

    • The nature channel airs documentaries about nature? That’s good to know. Last time I watched the History Channel all I saw were features about aliens and reality shows about pawn shops.

  7. Great review! I agree that Marvel makes their movies distinct, and this comedy heist direction they went in for Ant-Man worked perfectly for the movie and for my own enjoyment of the movie.

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