ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Watch..? Ant-Man

Updated on June 7, 2018
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin has been reviewing films for over ten years and has seen more action movies than he should probably admit to!

Poster for "Ant-Man"
Poster for "Ant-Man" | Source

What's the big deal?

Ant-Man is a sci-fi superhero thriller film released in 2015 and is based on the Marvel character of the same name created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. It is the twelfth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and as such, exists in the same universe as all other MCU films. The film sees recently released thief Scott Lang recruited by eccentric scientist Hank Pym to prevent his shrinking technology from falling into the wrong hands. The film had a difficult development with screenwriter and director Edgar Wright leaving the project just before shooting was due to begin and was replaced by Peyton Reed. Like most other MCU movies, Ant-Man was well received by critics and earned around $517 million worldwide which has prompted speculation that a sequel or prequel may be in the works.

Watchable

3 stars for Ant-Man

What's it about?

The film opens in 1989 when scientist Hank Pym resigns from SHIELD after they attempt to replicate his shrinking technology. Vowing that it should never be used because it's too dangerous, Pym retreats to his mansion in San Francisco and hides his technology away from the world. In the present day, Pym is ousted from his own company by his estranged daughter Hope van Dyne and his protégé Darren Cross after they come close to replicating his technology on their own with the Yellowjacket, a miniaturised military suit.

Meanwhile, recently released thief Scott Lang is determined to go straight but after by denied access to his daughter Cassie, he quickly falls back into his light-fingered routine. He falls into contact with Pym via his shrinking suit which Scott steals from Pym's mansion. Pym begins teaching Scott how to use the suit to its full potential, which must be done soon before Cross begins selling the Yellowjacket prototype to the highest bidder - HYDRA...

Trailer

Main Cast

Actor
Role
Paul Rudd
Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly
Hope van Dyne
Michael Douglas
Hank Pym
Corey Stoll
Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
Bobby Cannavale
Paxton
Michael Peña
Luis
Anthony Mackie
Sam Wilson / Falcon

Technical Info

Director
Peyton Reed
Screenplay
Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay & Paul Rudd *
Running Time
117 minutes
Release Date (UK)
17th July, 2015
Genre
Action, Sci-Fi, Superhero
* story by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish, based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby
Stoll's Yellowjacket is on screen for about 15 minutes, tops. Why not more, Marvel?
Stoll's Yellowjacket is on screen for about 15 minutes, tops. Why not more, Marvel? | Source

What's to like?

Marvel fans will rejoice at the fact that even relatively minor characters like Ant-Man are now getting their own cinematic adventures. And sure enough, the film has more spit-and-polish than the average army barracks - CG is well utilised and offers us something different from the usual apocalyptic destruction seen in the likes of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Naturally, the story is much smaller in scale as it deals with the sort of corporate shenanigans we've not seen since Iron Man 2. But within that, there's still time to cram in enough personal dramas and familial tension to fill an episode of Emmerdale.

Rudd provides a different kind of hero, one who isn't reliant on inherent godliness or even masses of weaponry like the similarly interesting Tony Stark. Peña is relied upon to provide most of the comic relief and combines well with Rudd's quippy one-liners while Lilly does well enough as the love interest (and future Wasp if the movie's hints are adhered to). But Douglas is a revelation, providing Pym with a grim back story and enough backbone to propel the film forward - I especially enjoyed seeing him at the beginning, looking exactly as he did during Basic Instinct, in the cleverest and subtlest use of CG I've ever seen.

Fun Facts

  • Your ears weren't playing tricks - the sound of the lasers used by Yellowjacket make the same noise as the AT-AT from the Star Wars movies.
  • Douglas received a CG make-over for the beginning of the film to make himself look thirty years younger. He was so impressed with the results that he jokingly suggested he'd be up for reprising in a prequel!
  • Although no longer attached to the film, Edgar Wright remained as an executive producer for the film. His good friend Simon Pegg lamented the fact that Wright's version of the film (which was intended as a stand-alone production) will never be seen.

What's not to like?

Ironically, for a film about a hero crawling through tiny holes, Ant-Man has more than its fair share of plot-holes. It doesn't quite convince us at any stage, nor does it know what it wants to be - heist flick, origin story, techno-thriller or whatever. It feels written by many typewriters and clumsily thrown together to make one semi-cohesive whole. Not surprising given the film's troubled upbringing.

It also isn't that exciting which, for any Marvel film, is a real disappointment. The action scenes, whilst still well shot and imaginative, don't come along that often and feel swamped in CG as Scott grows and shrinks at an alarming rate. The reason why Ant-Man has little action is probably because the villain hardly has anything to do - Stoll is fairly dull for a swivel-eyed loony who occasionally pops up to do a little bit of evil-doing before exiting the stage and allowing Rudd to continue learning how to use the suit. Hero and villain are kept apart for 90% of the film and it's only by the closing stages that things get interesting. Even the scrap between Rudd and Mackie feels tacked on and totally unnecessary, though doubtless it will help lead onto the next round of movies coming soon. Shameless self-promotion is one of Marvel's more annoying habits and at times, Ant-Man feels like a potential trailer for other projects and I'm not just talking about the obligatory end-credits scene.

The subplot involving Scott trying to do right by his daughter slowed the picture down too much
The subplot involving Scott trying to do right by his daughter slowed the picture down too much | Source

Should I watch it?

It always struck me as an odd choice of film with which to close Phase Two and I got the feeling that Marvel themselves were getting annoyed at the delays in production and released Ant-Man to a public willing to lap up anything. That sounds harsh but still plausible - production started almost ten years ago, after all, before Iron Man changed the game. It's not a bad film by any stretch - Rudd's unconventional hero provides plenty of fun - but it isn't as exciting, thrilling or interesting as the rest of the MCU.

Great For: hardcore Marvel fans, younger viewers

Not So Great For: fans of the other MCU movies, action fans, casual fans of Marvel

What else should I watch?

If, like me, you left Ant-Man a bit short-changed then there's plenty of other characters waiting for you. Iron Man is a much better bet when it comes to techno-thrillers - Robert Downey Jr is superb as Tony Stark, the character is better defined and the action is hugely satisfying. Or if you prefer a more space-based sci-fi adventure then you won't find better than Guardians Of The Galaxy within the MCU - different and very funny, the film doesn't suffer due to your probable ignorance of the characters.

Back on Earth, Captain America has a trilogy offering a different type of film each time - The First Avenger is a Second World War action blast while The Winter Soldier has the feel of a political conspiracy thriller while still retaining the series' levels of action. Both are great films in their own right while the final film - Civil War is essentially a giant free-for-all between almost every Marvel hero seen so far. Finally, you can enjoy Marvel's greatest hits in the epic Avengers Assemble which has enough superheroes to please any geek, Tom Hiddleston's wonderful performance as Loki and a story that might still have holes but doesn't give you much time to study them. Unlike poor Ant-Man here...

© 2015 Benjamin Cox

Soap Box

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Benjamin Cox profile imageAUTHOR

      Benjamin Cox 

      2 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      Amen to that. I'm worried that they are in danger of cooking their own goose by releasing films as often as they do. The market has rapidly been flooded with superhero films and historically, they seem easy to cock up - after all, Marvel themselves only got it right with 2008's "Iron Man". Everything before was next to useless.

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      The past summer was certainly not a stellar one for the MCU. I hope they get back on a better track in 2016.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)