Marvel is something of a must-see-all-the-stuff franchise for me. In fact, I think their R-rated addition may be the first in the MCU that I’ve zero interest to see. This is why waiting as long as I did to see last year’s introduction to their newest (and smallest) hero is something of a surprise.
Ant-Man (2015) Film Review
A second chance isn’t something Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) wants to make a bet on. He’s had a few too many chances already and it’s time to clean up his act. Driving this is his daughter, Cassie, who needs to know she can be proud of the father she loves. As a professional burglar, Scott works hard to distance himself from that life, but with a record, not many will hire him. Add in the fact that his roommate (and best friend) is also a career criminal and he has an uphill battle.
Despite his promise to be done with that life, circumstances corner Scott. Under pressure, he pulls a job his friends nag him to join. Only when he gets to a safe that’s supposed to be full of cash, there is nothing but a suit. Turns out it isn’t an ordinary suit. After some tampering, Scott discovers it turns him into a minuscule human being. This scares him, and forces him to do the one thing he’s never done: return a stolen item.
In the act, he’s arrested and is then given the chance to wipe the slate clean. The offer comes from Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the man Scott robs. Stepping up to be a hero may have risk involved, but it also may be Scott’s only chance at a relationship with the daughter he loves.
If ever someone were to ask which Marvel film was the least “intense” or the funniest, without question the answer would be Ant–Man. Perhaps I don’t remember, or maybe my mind would change if I’d rewatch some of the films I’ve only seen once. That said, I cannot remember another MCU title that makes me laugh THIS much. Ant-Man leaves me in stitches. As I write this, and think back over some of the earlier Marvel movies, perhaps saying this is the most comedic isn’t fair. But to clarify, I DO think this is the funniest while being a script one can take seriously.
The humor credit is due to the cast, so we’ll start there as we move through the good and bad. Everyone is sensational in this. From leading man Paul Rudd (whose talent to pull this off I did doubt) to his best friend Luis (Michael Peña); and their “crew,” all of whom offered a hefty percentage of the giggles, and finally Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly as Hope. This role is perfect for Rudd, and I enjoy seeing an Avenger with a family. Bonus! The scenes between he and his daughter are darling. Judy Greer co-stars, and props to the writers who manage to give Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter a cameo.
To explain the charismatic appeal of this film is tough to put to paper. One of the things that allow it to shine a bit brighter is the “littleness” of the character. Because he can shrink (not to mention command an army of ants; yes, this is a thing), the same-old, same-old re-imagines action in a new dimension. Epic fight sequences still rule, only the writers have a lot more play with these because of who the hero is; which makes it quite funny. Plus, this lessens the sense of intensity that might accompany such scenes.
Saying more about this film isn’t necessary. It’s everything I want and then some. Seeing Ant-Man integrate into the Avengers world will be a distinct pleasure. Something I have no doubt will happen given the post credits scene (there is actually two). Fans of Marvel know this; if you’ve not yet seen Ant-Man, you’re missing out. It’s rare that a superhero film can be this fun and still manage a good plot. For an origins story, this is one of the most memorable.
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(Content: There isn’t much content in this one aside from a few minor profanities or some “adult” jokes, and sci-fi like violence. The film is PG13.)