Like most film geeks, I was disappointed when I heard that Edgar Wright, who directed Scott Pilgrim Vs the World and Shaun of the Dead and was going to direct this film, had left the project because of creative differences. I could have imagined how Wright would have taken on the film and how his style looks on a superhero film. *sighs A man can dream
But have no fear! Director Peyton Reed still manages to deliver a film that not only delivers actions and laughs, but also a new superhero for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that we want more of. Enter Ant-Man
Funny man Paul Rudd is a fine choice to play Scott Lang, an unlucky electrical engineer who gets jailed for pulling a Robin Hood and who is recently released from prison. He’s not starting off okay. Given his criminal record, he is unable to find work and pay for child support for his adorable daughter, who he cannot see since (SURPRISE) Scott’s ex-wife has remarried and they prevent him from seeing her. His only friends are his goofy posse of thieves: T.I. (yeah, the rapper) and David Dastmalchian are two of the three thieves who befriend Scott when he get out and they provide some well timed comic relief. Michael Pena is the stand out third member of the group, Luis. He kinda wears out his welcome but is still hilarious. I hope they come back for the next film
(Anyways, back to the story) A “job” brought up by Luis entices Scott to break his promise of a criminal-free life so he could use the winnings to see his daughter again. As chance would have it, these series of events would lead Scott to Hank Pym (played wonderfully by Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man, a weary father and businessman with a heart. Along side with Hank’s kick-ass daughter Hope Pym (effectively portrayed by Evangiline Lilly), they conspire to steal a new more advanced Ant-Man like suit developed by Darren Cross (Corey Stoll’s also good here) who hopes to use it for war purposes.
Here’s the strange thing about this film: Though this it is part of the MCU, it doesn’t feel have the same feel and look that the other films before it had which I found refreshing and helps the film stand out. My biggest concern was that the film will play off more as a comedy film than a superhero film, but to my surprise it manages to balance out just fine. The actions scenes are engaging, the effects are top notch, the comedic moments hit the right notes and the sentimental moments are believable. I won’t say that this is the best film of the franchise, but it’s nowhere near the worst (looking at you Iron Man 3). It also leaves subtlety out the door with it’s references with the Avenger’s, but no harm done there.
I have to also give the film credit for making CGI ants lovable and awesome, which also had me worried that they would look silly (again and gladly, I was wrong). Overall, Ant-Man is the funniest film of the MCU list, and in it’s own right, an exciting and stimulating change to the superhero films, given the recent trend of dark and gritty directions most films are taking now.
Oh! Pro-Tip! There are two credits scenes, but maybe you knew that already since it is a Marvel Film
One last thing: THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE!!!!
Most Likely to Love: Team Marvel
Most Likely to Hate: Team DC (I’m being biased lol)