Sometimes the superhero we need isn’t a big powerful person, but rather a teeny tiny man with an army of ants. Ant-Man was a Marvel hero I had heard about prior to his big screen debut in 2015, but at the same time I did not know too much about as the moniker has been held by three different men. When the trailer first came out my first thoughts were “this looks decent, maybe.” However when I finally watched the film, it exceeded my expectations. If you haven’t seen Ant-Man here is your spoiler alert. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has been recently released from prison and struggles with finding a job. Needing the money to pay child support to his ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) to take care of their daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), and to be seen as a father by Cassie instead of Maggie’s police officer fiancé Paxton (Bobby Cannavale), Scott reluctantly joins his old cellmate, the talkative Luis (Michael Peña), in a heist. Scott cracks the safe but only finds what he thinks is a motorcycle suit. Disappointed he still takes it, but gets more than he bargained for. After putting on the suit Scott discovers, much to his shock and horror, the suit has the ability to shrink himself down to the size of an ant. The owner of the suit, former S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) sees something is Scott and wants him to become the new Ant-Man; Scott at first wants nothing to do with the suit, but does agree. Hank, along with his estranged daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), train Scott to control the suit, but not to push the power; Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet wore a similar suit under the guise of the Wasp and disappeared (presumed dead) when she went into a subatomic quantum realm disabling a nuclear missile. Scott soon learns why he was picked to be the Ant-Man. Hank and Hope believe that Hank’s former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is making his own shrinking suit, called the Yellow Jacket, but wants to sell it to Hydra. Scott, along with Hope, Hank and Luis have to stop Cross before it is too late. I probably shouldn’t say any more, but we do get an appearance from Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) when he and Ant-Man clash at Avengers HQ.
Ant-Man was much better than I thought it was going to be. I did not really picture Paul Rudd as an action/superhero star, but now I cannot imagine anyone else playing Ant-Man other than him. Evangeline Lilly is fantastic as Hope; she is tough with her father and Scott, while at the same time someone that can protect herself against the bad guys. Michael Douglas is great as Hank; tough yet funny at the same time if that was possible. Michael Peña is hilarious as Luis; the guy talks way to fast I actually had to put on the closed caption in order to read what he was saying. Stoll is good as Cross, but there have been better villains in the Marvel universe so he isn’t exactly memorable. Greer, Fortson and Cannavale are good additions to the movie and finally it was great to see Anthony Mackie as Falcon; he’s one of my favorite supporting superheroes.
The film itself is not the best, but not the worst of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The story was compelling and the special effects were top notch. Let me put it this way the final battle between Scott and Cross takes place on a Thomas the Tank engine train set; it was both intense and hilarious. The sequel will be coming out this Friday, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and I cannot wait to see Lilly in the flying Wasp suit. Before you go see that movie, I would recommend watching the first one just to get an idea of what to expect; unless superhero movies are not your go-to films.