Ant-Man is the twelfth instalment of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and also ends ‘phase 2’ of that universe, directed by Peyton Reed and staring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, a thief who is an expert with electrical equipment. Ant-Man has a completely different pace to Marvel’s previous film, Avengers: Age of Ultron which was pretty much action from the off. Despite Ant-Man being a slightly risky move for Marvel it seemed to have paid off with a classy, and probably the best, heist superhero origin story that the MCU has produced.
Ant-Man concentrates on the ‘passing of the torch’ from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), as Hank using the Ant-Man suit over the years has had a lasting effect on his body and is unable to use it anymore. Hank and Scott’s relationship is a strong aspect of the film regardless of it being a cliché, Both Douglas and Rudd bring great humour to the characters which enables them to bounce off of each other.
There is no secret from a majority of the marketing that Ant-Man largely relies on its comedic elements to add entertainment and possibly relies on it too much with its lengthy build up. Rudd portrays Scott, as expected, with large amounts of humour, however Michael Pena does a brilliant job of making Scott’s old cellmate Luis annoyingly hilarious throughout the film. Luis tries, along with his crew Dave (T.I.) and Kurt (David Dastmalchain) to help Scott get back on his feet by offering him a job which seems perfectly possible and profitable.
Relationships are a heavy theme throughout the film, whether It’s between Scott and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), Hank and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) or Scott and Hank. The relationships work well and also helps develop the character of Hope and Hank, revealing vital flash backs and explaining the frosty relationship between them both. Hope plays are large role in the film, training Scott alongside Hank to ensure he can use the suit to its full potential.
Ant-Man uses all characters really well, each having an important ‘moment’ to ensure that plans go as they should or improvising for the good of the team. This also relates to some of the cameos during the film, cameos can sometimes feel forced in the MCU, just to show off a character. However Ant-Man is clever with its links to the rest of the universe, only having characters that could further the story in future films (this will make sense after the post credit scenes). Seeing and hearing links to Hydra and The Avengers gives that larger world feeling to a smaller scale film (no pun intended).
The film is not perfect, far from it, and unfortunately one of the biggest issues is something that is becoming a reoccurring theme for the MCU, poor villains. What saves the film is that it is mainly an origin story so the need for a villain is lowered but Darren Cross/Yellow Jacket (Corey Stoll) poses no real threat throughout the film. There are scenes that are meant to be tense and thrilling but aren’t and don’t really give the audience that feeling of fear for a character.
Another worrying thing for the MCU is that they have now done two risky properties in Guardians of the Galaxy and now Ant-Man, both are have heavy on the comedy front, is this going to become a reoccurring theme with risky material? There was a sense of repetition with Marvel going for the funny route after Guardians of the Galaxy did so well.
Overall Ant-Man is a well thought-out heist film that tells the story of how Scott Lang became the Ant-Man with lots of fun in the process. The CGI is fantastic, especially during scenes with ants and the slow motion stuff. The concept is brilliant and works a lot better than the idea of a man that can shrink to the size of an ant and control ants. It truly is an enjoyable family film that most could watch even if you’ve never seen a Marvel film before.