Unlike most folks, I did not think Guardians of the Galaxy would be Marvel’s first miss at the Box Office. I believed that honor would belong to Ant-Man. With the drama of Edgar Wright suddenly leaving production, and a rather lackluster marketing campaign by Marvel’s standards, who could blame me. Contrary to my initial assumption, Ant-man was a pleasant surprise.
If you have trepidations about this Marvel film, put your mind at ease. If you’re a fan of the previous Marvel films, Ant-Man has the same beats as all of your favorites. The film offers a fun ride as you follow the adventures of Scott Lang as he transforms into the Ant-Man. This film reminded me of the first Thor film in several ways. Like Thor, Ant-Man is an obscure character from the comics that is a risk to introduce in the cinematic universe. Yet it ended up being a surprisingly good character story. Ant-Man is no different. I’d even venture so far as to say that we’ll see several Ant-Man films in the future.
The story focuses on Scott Lang and his path to redemption. Redemption and the father daughter relationships in the film were heavily involved in the plot points of the movie. This is another link I found to Ant-Man and the original Thor movie. While Thor focused on the relationship of two siblings, this movie’s subplot centered around fathers and their daughters.
The story was compelling and interesting. There was a balanced amount of action with some chuckle worthy comedy. We’ve come to expect that in Marvel movies now. However, Ant-Man is a heist film at its core rather than a knockdown drag-out brawl against the main villain.
Speaking of villains, Darren Cross A.K.A. Yellow Jacket isn’t quite the typical maniacal Marvel villain. He does have some character depth and is an understandable villain. I do feel Marvel missed an opportunity to really establish another enthralling bad guy. Clearly Cross feels justified for his relentless obsession with Pym’s research. This resentment towards Hank Pym is eluded a couple of times. It would have been interesting to explore why Cross feels the way he does towards his former mentor.
For those worried whether Ant-Man ties into the overall MCU, fear not. Ant-Man provides an entertaining sequence that will ultimately link Ant-Man to the rest of the Avengers. But surprisingly, Ant-Man didn’t need it. Ant-Man would be a good Marvel film without the inclusion of any other Marvel characters. The scope of the story is more compact and contained. Which was refreshing after the string of world ending, universe shattering blockbusters Marvel has produced lately. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those films too. But every now and then, its ok to not have grandiose stakes.
The supporting cast was excellent and rounded out the movie. For me, Paul Rudd did a good job as a movie version of Scott Lang. However, it was Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Pena that made this film for me. Michael Pena did well providing the comedic relief. Michael Douglas portrayed a more fiery Hank Pym then I anticipated. Evangeline Lilly was a strong mentor, and at times foil, to the goofy Scott Lang. Her role will increase as this franchise moves forward. By the way, if you are reading this before watching the film, stay for both end-credit scenes.
Ant-Man was a fun summer blockbuster that really didn’t feel like a blockbuster. It was more contained for a Marvel flick which was refreshing. This film is more in the same vein as Marvel’s early films before the Avengers mega-hit. Ant-Man is a movie that can be enjoyed by comic fans and movie-goers alike.
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