Ant-Man Review

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It’s been a long time coming for Ant-Man. The history and drama behind Ant-Man has been highly publicized by everyone in the industry. Edgar Wright leaving, directors passing on the project, stars leaving — everything seems to be going against it. Does this mean that Marvel’s first failure is on their hands?

Not at all. While Edgar Wright’s spirit is in the film, it isn’t the disaster that everyone thought it was going to be. Ant-Man is an extremely funny, charming and entertaining film that also has a lot of heart. You’ll definitely have a lot of fun in the movie theater.

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Ant-Man follows Scott Lang and Hank Pym as they try to protect the secret behind Pym’s Ant-Man suit from a slew of towering threats. Along with Pym’s daughter Hope, they must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel Studios’ success comes from their affinity to find new ways to play within the confines of a comic book movie. With Ant-Man, Marvel structures the film as a heist movie. Much like it’s protagonist, the film is much smaller in scale in comparison with Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy. This allows for a funnier and more intimate film that helps the film a lot since Ant-Man is a very obscure character to the general public. This smaller storyline allows audiences to relate with this cast of characters.

The downside is that the Ant-Man’s stakes feel insignificant compared with other Marvel Studios films. While the stealing of the Yellowjacket suit is touted as another “saving the world” scenario, it really doesn’t feel that dire. Instead the stakes are set on a more personable and dramatic level. The film’s theme of fathers and daughters is what gives the film its exciting conflict and adds some depth to the film as well.

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Much of the film’s success is through its exceptional cast. Similar to a heist team, each cast member brings something different to the table yet work so cohesively together. Marvel has a great track record of casting its superhero leads and Paul Rudd is no different. Paul Rudd is just naturally likeable and a joy to watch on screen as Scott Lang. It also helps that Scott Lang is one of the most relatable superheroes Marvel’s put on screen. Rudd also flexes his dramatic muscles with the way that he tries to be with his daughter despite being a habitual screw-up. The combination of the character and Rudd will have you cheering for him to succeed at the end of the film.

Michael Douglas also brings a gravitas to the film similar to Sir Alec Guinness in A New Hope. Hank Pym is the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Scott Lang’s Luke Skywalker. Unlike his previous roles, Douglas feeds off the comedic energy of the film and portrays Pym with some playfulness. Evangeline Lilly is engaging as Hope van Dyne and also sets the emotional tone of the film with the relationship with her father. Corey Stoll is intriguingly nuanced as Darren Cross.

However, honorable mention must go to Michael Peña as Luis. Typically, the comic relief characters are set up to annoy audiences instead of providing laughs (see: Darcy and Jar Jar Binks). Yet, Peña absolutely knocks it out of the park and steals every scene that he’s in. Needless to say, he’s got impeccable comedic timing.

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Although much credit should go to Edgar Wright, Peyton Reed is able to firmly stand his ground. Reed created an Ocean’s 11-style comedy caper that just happens to have superheroes in it. He also created some of the most inventive and visually striking (not to mention funny) action scenes to date for Marvel. Despite the ghost of Edgar Wright’s influence, this is definitely Peyton Reed’s film and he’s a brilliant choice for the film.

Marvel’s track record for making audiences fall in love with their obscure characters (see: Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Falcon, etc) continues with Ant-Man. It’s Marvel’s most accessible film to date and its hero is its most relatable. It’s not the best Marvel film to date, but it is very funny and charming. What it lacks in size, it makes up for it with its heart.

Rating: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1488 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.