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Director: Peyton Reed
Writers: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Hayley Atwell, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Martin Donovan, Garrett Morris, Gregg Turkington, Dax Griffin, Hayley Lovitt, Darcie Isabella Cottrell, Nicholas Barrera, Carlos Aviles, Lyndsi LaRose, Robert Crayton, Stan Lee
Synopsis: 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.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
7.6 / 10
- Special effects were good
- Costume and character designs were both unique and innovative.
- Pacing was decent
- Acting was great
- Well choreographed
- Humor was funny
- Paul Rudd's laid back dry sarcastic wit is a perfect mesh within the MCU's style of humor
- Michael Peña and Paul Rudd both had great chemistry together
- Michael Douglas is great as always
- I liked how they didn't go the traditional route of vilifying the step parent like they do in most movies.
- The two end credit scenes are interesting to watch, and it gives us subtle hints on what to expect in "Captain America: Civil War."
- Great movie to watch in 3-D if you can afford it, as it helps immerse into the experience.
- Story is very predictable
- Lame cartoon-esque villain that's easily forgettable, as he's essentially nothing more than a cheap knock off of Jeff Bridges' character in "Iron Man 1."
- Love story is rushed, and it feels a bit out of place within the context of the story itself.
- While Paul Rudd does a tremendous job, it's still worth noting that he still seems to play himself again in this role.
Whoever would've guessed that the best superhero movie of 2015 is about a guy that can talk to ants....Oh my god....
If someone had told me that the best superhero movie of 2015 was going to about some a**hole that can shrink to the size of a freaking ant, and talk to them as well, then I probably would've laughed my a** off. Seriously, Ant-Man has always been one of the lamest characters that Marvel has ever conceived. Before seeing this movie, I honestly couldn't see how the hell you can make a character like "Ant-Man" remotely interesting.
However, I'm a big enough man to admit when I'm wrong. Not only did Marvel create arguably one of the most underrated superhero movies of all time, but it's arguably the best one of this year? Even over the f**king "Avengers: Age of Ultron?" Well, I guess stranger things have happened, but why is that? For starters. Not to take anything away from "Ant-Man", but it benefits mostly by being better by comparison to the other superhero movies of this year.
Josh Trank's dark and gritty "Fantastic Four" reboot flat out sucked (oh don't you worry folks, as i have a lot to say about that stinker in another review). And of course, Joss Whedon's over hyped "Avengers: Age of Ultron" may have been one of the top grossing films of 2015, but it's a far cry from the quality "Captain America: Winter Soldier" gave us, or even "Ant-Man." But why is that? Surely a film that made over a billion dollars has to be better than "Ant-Man" right?
The sad reality is that if you look past the hype, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was presented with so much exposition and subplots, in order to set up future films, that it never had time be it's own story. You never get a chance to get to know who any of the new characters are, which made 'Avengers: Age of Ultron" arguably one of the most over hyped movies of this year.
Whereas a smaller film like Ant-Man (no pun intended), it was a simple tale that focused squarely on the story it was trying tell, which allowed it to stand on it's own. Granted, there's still quite a few nods and winks to suggest this film does take place within the overarching lore of the MCU (short for Marvel Cinematic Universe), but it never comes at the cost of the story itself.
Although die hard comic book purists might be pissed off that the original Ant-Man wasn't featured in this film, but if you can look past that aspect, then you might find yourself enamored in a high stakes heist flick, with a bit of a personal redemption arc for both the leading male characters, Hank Pym and Scott Lang.
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is trying to make up for the wrongs he's done in his life, by trying to keep his formula from falling into the wrong hands, while mending his relationship with his estranged daughter, Hope. Meanwhile, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) plays an ex thief, who's trying to go straight after getting out of jail if only to be close to his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson).
When things don't go well for Scott, he finds himself going back to his old ways, as he tries to rob another house. But what he finds isn't something he'd expect, as he stumbles upon a weird suit. After taking it home with him, he soon discovers that the suit allows him to shrink to the size of ant with a simple push of the button.
And through a series of elaborate of events, Scott finds himself caught up in a high stakes heist that could determine the fate of the world. Like most Marvel films, the villain isn't particularly well written, as he falls in that cliche greedy manipulative corporate a**hole archetype. Not to mention, he's basically a more powerful version of the film's main protagonist, which is eerily reminiscent of what "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" had for villains in each of their perspective movies.. Think Jeff Bridges' Obadiah Stane role, from "Iron Man 1", but only a bit more goofier, and he now has the power to shrink to the size of an insect. If you can imagine that, then you pretty much have a general idea how the villain is like in "Ant-Man."
But at this point, you really can't expect any great villains from Marvel Studios these days. However, that's not to say the rest of the movie wasn't enjoyable. Apart from how predictable the story was, and how generically cliche the antagonist is, "Ant-Man" was actually a lot of fun to watch..
If you're like me to where you had you're doubts about a guy shrinking to the size of an ant being formidable on the big screen, then have no fear. This movie pretty much puts those fears to bed, as you'll find yourself believing that a man that can shrink can be quite dangerous after you've seen this movie. Plus, Ant-Man does beat up one of the Avengers in this flick, so if that doesn't convince you that a man about the size of a freaking ant can kick a**, then I don't know what will.
While Paul Rudd still seems to play himself like he always does in most of his films, his dry sarcastic wit is actually quite charming, and it's adds a stark contrast to the MCU's usual style of light hearted humor that many audiences have grown accustomed to. Like "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Ant-Man" doesn't take itself seriously. And in a lot of ways, that's kind of a good thing.
After all, it would be hard to take a dark and gritty story featuring Ant-Man seriously on the big screen. Hell, this movie even acknowledges that the concept of Ant-Man can seem quite silly, by subtly poking a few light jabs at itself every now and again. This can range anywhere from a joke about the character's superhero name, to the over the top final fight scene on a toy train set owned by Scott's daughter.
In short, "Ant-Man" may not be the best superhero movie ever conceived, but it's a lot of fun to watch. The humor is funny, and Paul Rudd's style of humor meshes well with the rest of the MCU. Not to mention the rapport between Paul and Michael Peña is solid as well. In fact, I wish those two had more scenes together, as they certainly made a great comedy duo.
As for the rest of the movie, there's one aspect that I did love about "Ant-Man" most of all, and that's portrayal of Paxton (Bobby Cannavale), who's supposedly married to Scott's ex wife, and step father to his daughter. And to make matters even more interesting, he's also cop that rubs Scott the wrong way half the time. In most films, you'd expect Paxton to be portrayed as this generic a**hole, who you know is going to get his comeuppance at the end for treating our hero like crap throughout most of the film. And from how this movie was originally set up, it would've been easy for them to go that route, but they didn't.
Instead, they vie for a different route that's both refreshing and original. Sure, Paxton may act like a bit of a d**k to Scott half the time throughout this movie, but he's only doing it because he cares about Cassie's well being. That in itself already makes Paxton a great character because unlike most step parents in various films, he's not a d**k for the sake of being a d**k. No, he's a dick to our main hero because he's only trying to look out for Cassie, which makes him a sympathetic character; in spite of how he acts towards Scott half the time. This not only creates a new dynamic that most movies wouldn't dare to explore, but it also makes the climax when Scott does redeem himself all the more rewarding at the end.
However, that's not to say that the movie is perfect by any means. For starters, the romance between Hope and Scott feels rushed. Granted, you can definitely sense some chemistry between them, along with some sexual tension. But since the love story is rarely ever developed, it feels a bit out of place more than anything to where it might've been better served if they had developed their romance in a sequel rather than this first outing.
Overall though, "Ant-Man" is surprisingly entertaining film chalked full of excitement. Granted, it's certainly no "Guardians of the Galaxy", but it's still a fun movie that I'm sure many people will enjoy watching. It may not be the best superhero movie of all time, but it's certainly better than the rest of it's competition in 2015, in terms of quality. Definitely worth checking out in theaters if you haven't already.