This summer the Marvel movies continue. After “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” was released earlier this year, and next came “Ant-Man.” And while the film has only garnered just over $106,000,000 since its release July 17 on a $130 million dollar budget, it’s certainly not one of Marvel’s biggest blockbusters to date. Watch the trailer below.
However, the film is not without its merits. Edgar Wright was at the helm before he bowed out. Reportedly Adam Mckay and Paul Rudd penned the rest of the script along with Joe Cornish. They created a lighter tone with this film than the other Marvel films. And it was more lighter and seemed more “family friendly.” I will admit that I’m not an avid comic book reader. I didn’t read a lot of comics in my younger days. I did follow G. I. Joe, Star Wars and Spider-Man some. And maybe a few others here and there. I knew some basics about other superheroes such as Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Batman, and Superman. This review is as any of my other reviews as I base it on my view of the script, acting, story and so forth.
There are some spoilers below.
This is my first Marvel review and I will say that it did not disappoint. As mentioned, it has not grossed as much as previous films from Marvel in its release, but I don’t necessarily think it has to do with the film being a poor film. I believe Marvel has stated that the character is more or less obscure and not in the mainstream of Iron Man, Captain America, or Spider-Man (even though the previous Spider-Man films were owned by Sony prior to this. Now that the iconic hero is in Marvel’s hands, it should be exciting to see what happens with the hero). It does fit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe well as it does connect with The Avengers and future characters within that universe.
The story revolves around Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his invention of the “Pym Particle,” which allows the shrinking of organic material to a smaller size. Of course we learn Pym was the Ant Man and fought along with S.H.I.E.L.D in his younger days. To make a long story short, in present day USA a former protégé of Pym’s, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), has discovered the Pym Particle and is upset with Pym because he locked it away for many years so he could keep it out of the wrong hands. Well apparently it falls into the wrong hands when Cross gets a hold of it. Pym tells Cross, “There’s a reason I buried this.” Cross wants to sell it to the military and create a powerful army of “unseen” soldiers.
Meanwhile, Pym has enlisted the help from his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and an ex-con, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who has just been released from prison and is trying to make a life for himself. Pym allows Lang to steal the suit, with the help from his con buddies Luis (Michael Pena) and Dave (T. I.), and discover its possibilities. After a little give and take, Lang agrees to become the Ant Man and try to stop Cross, who has developed a suit of his own and now calls himself the Yellow Jacket.
The film was a bit more comical than the other Marvel superhero films and it seemed to work for this one. Stoll wasn’t particularly menacing as the antagonist here but still brought conflict into the story and became an obstacle for the hero Lang to overcome, especially when he brought his daughter into the fight. Earlier, Lang is told to “be the hero she already thinks you are.” Of course, Lang rises up and becomes the hero to save the day. The hero and villain appear to have the same type of powers in the film. But what makes the conflict interesting is Yellow Jacket actually has weapons – laser type weapons to be exact. The visual effects made the fight scenes particularly entertaining, especially the climactic battle involving the Ant Man, Yellow Jacket, and a Thomas the Train toy.
Rudd plays a bit of himself, or at least a bit of other roles he’s played before. He seems to play the somewhat cocky character with a seemingly smart ass answer to everything. But I felt it worked for this film. The connection he had with his daughter touched the heart a little and allowed him to do what needs to be done as Pym tells him, “It’s not about saving our world, it’s about saving theirs.”
The supporting cast added to the humor and good overall feel to the story with Judy Greer playing Lang’s ex, Maggie, and Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie, Lang’s daughter. Bobby Cannavale plays Paxton, a cop and Maggie’s new beau. And Saturday Night Live alum Garrett Morris even makes a cameo. Pena and T. I. as Lang’s buddies, along with computer tech Kurt (David Dastmalchian) bring more humor into the mix.
The story and characters were true what the script served. I will say that I may not have enjoyed this film as much as say Iron Man or Captain America (mostly because I didn’t really know about the character until recently prior to the film’s release). This was an enjoyable film and did have entertaining characters and a classic hero/villain conflict that produced some big fun.
“Ant Man” is rated PG-13 and runs just under two hours at 117 minutes. The film is produced by Kevin Feige and directed by Peyton Reed. He took over after Wright left and has directed such comedies as “Bring it On,” “The Break-Up,” and “Yes Man.” The film included two “extra” scenes at mid-credit and a post credit scene. These scenes, of course, allude to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.