Ant-Man, that superhero most people knew existed, but only knew him because the concept sounds incredibly stupid. He was the character everyone including some comic fans made fun of for obvious reasons, and by far the oddest candidate for a standalone Marvel film. Yeah we all laughed about it even up to opening day while in the face of all the positive buzz. But deep down we all knew we were going to see it. If Marvel could sell us on talking raccoons and trees the previous year, we had to see how they would sell us on Ant-Man.
Having just been released from jail, Scott Lang attempts to gain a normal life for the sake of seeing his daughter again. Due to his criminal record, Scott can’t maintain a normal job and must once again return to petty theft. Hoping to find great riches in a wealthy man’s safe, all he finds is a strange suit, which he discovers has the ability to shrink a man to the size of an insect. Eventually, he is approached by the creator and owner of that suit, Hank Pym, who wishes to recruit Scott for a heist of his former company. His expertise and intelligence is just what Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne need to regain Pym’s shrinking technology.
How do you make a movie about a character like Ant-Man and do it right? Well first you just need to make a good movie, and Ant-Man is a very good movie. Ant-Man, like Guardians of the Galaxy, can only work in a tongue in cheek fashion where the film mocks its own weird concept; but at the same time it knows when to stay grounded and just tell a good story. It’s very much a comedy but also a heist film, continuing the Marvel trend of using different sub-genres for every property they adapt to film. And this blend of action, comedy and heist works so beautifully.
No doubt in my mind, though, the aspect we value the film for most is the comedy. This is Marvel’s second funniest movie ever made (sorry but Guardians was a tad funnier). This is thanks to both the genius writing and the hilarious cast. Every character has their funny moments, but the funniest of them all was Michael Peña as Scott’s friend Luis. He was a riot. At the same time, there isn’t a bad performance in the entire film. Paul Rudd is perfectly charismatic, compelling and witty in this movie, and the same goes for Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglass. And I think Corey Stoll is one of the best Marvel villains we’ve gotten in a while.
Very quickly, as if I even have to say it, another impressive feat for this film is its effects. Of course all Marvel films have really good effects, but this one was distinct. Both the set-peices and implementation of Ant-Man and Yellowjacket into the shrinking scenes were superb. And if anyone had doubts of Ant-Man being able to kick ass alongside an Avenger before, consider that worry officially diffused.
This movie is proof that no film is too weird of out there for Marvel to tackle. Ant-Man is just as good a Marvel film as any of the others, and I await seeing him in Civil War soon. Any action movie fan, especially the Marvel fans, looking for a fun, charming and epic movie shouldn’t pass this up. Buy it now… or, you know, just break into a building a steal this shit. Just like Ant-Man would!
Need further convincing? Check out my full review from July.
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