Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
I’m sure everyone is well aware of the problems that they came across during the production of this movie with regards to Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish leaving the project due to creative differences. A lot of us were probably expecting a mess of a film which has lots of contrasting elements that don’t really work. Well the end product here is as good as could possibly be expected considering the aforementioned problems.
Going into Ant-Man, I didn’t know what to expect. Coming out, however, I was left pleasantly surprised. Ant-Man isn’t the tightest or most well-made film in the MCU, but still manages to be quite entertaining. Good work by Peyton Reed (though with much help of Edgar Wright’s previous production work) it deftly mixes humor and action, Ant-Man largely succeeds because of its leading man’s performance, as well as its more personal and intimate focus, which reminds the audience that not every superhero/comic- book movie needs to end with a bombastic finale.
Paul Rudd delivers a charismatic performance that elevates the whole film which cements him as Scott Lang. Rudd makes the role his, proving the naysayers wrong by demonstrating that no one else could’ve been better for the role. Michael Douglas also shines in his role as Dr. Hank Pym, the creator of the Ant-Man suit and tech. Decades since his big-screen debut, Douglas continues to be an enjoyable presence in the films he stars in. Pym’s daughter, Hope van Dyne, is played by Evangeline Lilly, who is quite solid and manages to be one of the better leading ladies in a Marvel production. The rest of the cast is also quite enjoyable, especially Michael Peña as Lang’s former cellmate Luis, who manages to steal almost every scene that he is in.
Although the supporting cast is solid, some of the characters feel underdeveloped, namely Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Stoll’s performance is actually quite solid, and he manages to make Yellowjacket a better villain than say, Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith from Thor: The Dark World. However, as is the case for the majority of the films in the MCU, Yellowjacket simply doesn’t compare to the rest of the film. His motivations for evil are murky at best and he deserved some more development to prevent him from feeling one- note.
The first thing you’ll notice about this film is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film’s biggest action scene, as shown in the trailers, is the best part of the film as it cleverly juxtaposes the characters and their respective sizes with the world around them with the camera smartly zooming in and out as the characters are constantly changing sizes. The film does start off a little slowly compared to other Marvel films but the choice to introduce and flesh-out all of the characters which made me care for them more. Instead of throwing in gratuitous explosions and the like some action films do, the film logically builds up its action sequences making them feel more memorable. Although I could not help to think how Edgar Wright’s version would be. That would have been amazing.
In terms of other MCU Phase II films, this one has to be the funniest one and the funniest MCU film overall since the first Avengers film. To me, this debut film for Ant-Man is the second best debut film (behind the first Iron Man and slightly better than the first Captain America).
Ant-Man gets an 8.2/10.