Quick Summary: A Marvel movie featuring a smaller (no pun intended) hero with smaller stakes than most of their more recent efforts. It's a fun movie, laced with a bit more humour than usual for a Marvel movie.
Note: There are two post-credit scenes. One mid-way through the credits, and another after all the credits have finished.
More Info: IMDb
Ant-Man Official Trailer (Minor Spoilers)
Ant-Man was a movie that I was looking forward to with a smidgen of apprehension. For starters, the original writer/director, Edgar Wright, left the movie after completing three drafts of the script, citing creative differences. He was then replaced with Peyton Reed. Now, I am not very familiar with both directors and I don’t have strong feelings against them, but having one leave over creative differences does make me a bit wary. Furthermore, the Ant-Man featured in the film would be Scott Lang, as opposed to the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. I'll admit that I don't have a great deal of familiarity with either character as Ant-Man, but I do possess a stronger affinity for Pym nonetheless. Thankfully, my fears proved unfounded and I was still treated to another fun, entertaining Marvel movie.
So let's get to the plot of the movie (minor spoilers). Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a criminal who has just been released from jail. He's separated from his wife, can’t see his daughter as much as he'd like to, and he needs to find a way to make some money and get back on his feet. Lang did time for burglary, and now that he's out, he's decided to give up crime and try to figure out how to make ends meet legally. In the meantime, Lang crashes with his former cellmate Luis (Michael Peña). Luis, on the other hand, isn't averse to a bit of stealing to make some money.
Meanwhile, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) appears in the movie as an older scientist, who left his own company years ago over a disagreement on how to use technology he’d developed. (While he is the original Ant-Man in the film as well, he's only seen as Ant-Man in a few brief flashbacks set 30+ years ago). His company is in new hands, and he doesn't approve of the direction it's heading, veering too closely to the technology that caused him to leave his company years ago. Pym needs a thief with a moral compass to help him "break into a place and steal some shit." This is where Pym and Lang cross paths. (I won't spoil what brings them together, as a review shouldn't say more about the plot than necessary).
The movie itself feels much smaller scale than the recent Age of Ultron, or even Winter Soldier. It does contain some references to the rest of the MCU, which helps make it feel like a piece of something bigger; which of course is a good thing given that each Marvel movie is a mere piece of a larger world. The action isn't as fantastic or breath taking as other Marvel movies, but it's still fun in it's own right.
One thing the movie has more than the other Marvel movies is humour. Not that Marvel movies are devoid of laughs, but there's a greater emphasis on comedy this time around (don't make the mistake of thinking that it's a comedy though). Some of this stems from hijinks stemming from the size-changing properties of Ant-Man's abilities. Watching a Thomas the Tank Engine train get supersized and burst forth from a house is pretty hilarious. The scene that showed the train’s gigantic eyes mindlessly moving from side to side (while itself lying on its side) is a nice touch too.
Don't fuck with trains, beyotch!
Helping add a good deal of humour is PeÃ±a's character, Luis. He's a silly guy who always has a smile and a good humour to him. PeÃ±a described him as "He's the kind of guy where you're like 'Hey, what'd you do this weekend?' and he's like 'I went to jail, dawg,' with a smile on his face." This describes Luis' demeanor in the film pretty accurately, and it's pretty amusing to watch him tell stories.
So the other day I got arrested, and it was by this guy that I used to do hard drugs with back in college. So anyway, he cuffs me, and throws me in the back of the squad car, and also in the car is this prostitute I punched last week. I was drunk at the time, it was a mistake. And then we took a ride downtime, and there's this big robbery going on downtown. I mean big, like, crime of the century big. And I see this guy...
The plot itself isn't particularly noteworthy and I've already touched on the basics of it earlier, so while it's not a gripping story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, it's still entertaining enough to prevent you from getting bored. It does its job in helping the movie move forward, but that's about it.
In typical Marvel fashion, there are a pair of scenes during and after the credits. Likewise in typical Marvel fashion, they're brief -but fun- scenes that help set up future Marvel movies. I won't spoil them, but it'll probably be pretty obvious to those that keep up with the MCU and have some familiarity with the comics what the scenes are setting up.
In the end, Ant-Man isn't a must see movie, but it's a lot of fun for what it is. While it's not the best film of the MCU, anyone that's a fan of superhero movies, Marvel ones in particular should check it out. It's nice to see a smaller name comic character get a big screen movie, and after the success of Ant-Man and last year's surprise breakout success in Guardian's of the Galaxy, things bode well for future Marvel films featuring lesser known characters.
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