Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket
Bobby Cannavale as Paxton
Judy Greer as Maggie
Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie
To explain the existence of Ant-Man, you must first ask the question: which major Marvel superhero has not gotten their own movie? Well, let’s go down the list:
- The X-Men
- The Hulk
- The Punisher (OK, he’s an anti-hero, but let’s not get picky)
- Ghost Rider (yeah, he got a movie)
- Iron Man
- Fantastic Four
- Captain America
- The Avengers (some of whom had their separate films)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy
Is that all? Why, no! More obscure films about Dr. Strange, The Man-Thing, and Howard the Duck also exist. The point is that after so many years of the movies, Marvel is beginning to run out of new characters to adapt to film. The only choice is to start making movies with smaller names. Ant-Man, is an example of this need, though it do very well at the box office despite this drawback.
The main character, Scott Lang, is one of those thieves with hearts we sometimes see in cinema. Scott has been released from prison and seeks to become a productive member of society. Unfortunately, society is less than forgiving, so Scott is unable to find gainful employment. He instead joins a group of thieves. What Scott steals turns out to be a weird-looking suit. He tries it on and shrinks to the size of an insect. This is too much crazy for Scott so he takes it back, getting himself incarcerated again. He is visited by scientist Hank Pym, inventor of the suit. Seeing that Scott isn’t a bad person, Hank gives Scott the choice of prison or being busted out, and with the help of Hank and daughter Hope, use the suit to become the world’s smallest superhero. It’s implied that there’s really no choice because Hank will be putting this plan into motion regardless and Scott will be a wanted man either way.
Yeah, it’s a rather complicated plot for a comic book movie. As you may have guessed, it is quite far-fetched at times. There are some decent interactions, particularly with Scott’s ex-wife and estranged daughter, but they are hampered by mediocre dialogue and misfired humor. Also, the relationship between Scott and Hope is forced, not to mention predictable.
One nice thing about this movie is how it handles Ant-Man’s shrinking. Although we generally don’t think of superheroes as small, we’ve got a good thing in a small package here. Strong effects and camera angles enable a feel for shrinking that Honey I Shrunk the Kids could never have possibly managed. This also allows for some excellent small vs. big fights (one of which is with a briefly appearing Avenger known as The Falcon).
All said, Ant-Man has its ups and downs. It’s neither good nor bad. OK, mediocre, and so-so are good ways to describe it.
Overall: 5 out of 10