Ant Man (2015) reviewed

I’m not one of those mouth-breathing Marvel Universe fanboys, truly. I do catch the films that interest me, which means I have gone to see Iron Man, Captain America and the Avengers, and slept through the others on cable or maybe in a bargain movie theater. Despite this trend, I felt a desire to see ANT-MAN. Why? Mostly because of the early Edgar Wright connection. Wright is a director I respect and enjoy, and he can tell a ripping story while maintaining a level of humor throughout. I also liked the casting of Paul Rudd, who has this great, humorous everyman appeal consistently throughout the picture. The cast is fantastic, with a few exceptions– Evangeline Lilly did nothing for me, she did not appear to be engaged in her character very much, and Corey Stoll, who is so good in THE STRAIN, is very much a one-note villain in Ant-Man. Daddy issues? really? With all that said, I thought it was hugely entertaining and as funny as the first Avengers. The plot itself is fairly conventional and contained, but it does hook Ant-Man into the larger Marvel Universe effort nicely, interacting with The Falcon, one of the more likeable characters from Captain America: Winter Soldier.

I also applaud the decision to make Ant-Man the later Scott Lang character.  Hank Pym is one of those characters that would be difficult to write for a modern audience.   He’s been around in the Marvel Universe, and has had many odd iterations, including Yellowjacket, Goliath and Giant-Man besides the first Ant-Man.  Also, there’s the issue of the spousal abuse and mental unstability– do you remain true to form or sanitize the guy?  Anyway, they dodged the bullet and streamlined the many iterations of Pym into being forcibly retired, embittered Michael Douglas, who is both light hearted and determined in his role as the elder Pym, forced out of his company by his own daughter Janet.

I’m not going to reveal any spoilers here but the first post-credits scene definitely states that they are going to hook the Paul Rudd version of Ant-Man into the Avengers in a big way in the upcoming Civil War Captain America film, and that’s a good thing.  Rudd adds an essential humanity to the ensemble, the same way Hawkeye  and Falcon do.

In summary, not my favorite Marvel film but a damned enjoyable trip to the movies.  Ant-Man certainly takes “giant” strides over any Thor, Hulk, and the last two Iron Man movies.