Weekly Review: Ant-Man (2015)

In order to get his life back on track after a stint in prison, Scott Lang takes on the identity of Ant-Man. His mission? A seemingly impossible heist to save the world as we know it.

When I first saw the trailers for Ant-Man, I was convinced that the movie was going to be ridiculous. I mean that as in a bad form of ridiculous. The trailer made it seem like the movie would practically be a joke, and since I didn’t have any knowledge about Ant-Man as a character, there was nothing to change my mind on that.

After seeing the movie, I think I can safely say that I was wrong. Ant-Man is definitely a fun movie that fits in with the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I actually quite enjoyed it.

What makes this movie stand out is that it doesn’t really feel like a superhero movie. It’s more of a heist movie, and it has that look and feel. It’s different. It’s not what I was expecting at all. It feels fresh when compared to the other Marvel films released recently.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 9.11.46 PM

Scott Lang is portrayed by Paul Rudd. I was a bit worried about this aspect at first, but he actually does really well, and I can’t think of anyone else who could have done it better. He manages to play a compelling character that nails both comedic and heartfelt moments. With an ensemble cast, including Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, and Bobby Cannavale, it isn’t hard to find yourself attached to at least one of the characters in Ant-Man.

Making a movie about an ant-sized superhero gives the opportunity for a lot of neat special effects scenes. The first time that Lang finds himself in the suit, he’s treated to an absolute onslaught of everyday dangers. I’m personally grateful that I didn’t see this one on the big screen. I’m imagining that could have been extremely disorienting for those with motion sickness. There are comedic moments as well where the audience sees Lang attempting to jump through a keyhole.

All of these sequences lead up to Lang’s eventual mastery of Ant-Man’s powers, which are surprisingly cool. He can control the other ants around him through technology. He can manipulate his strength with his varying sizes. It’s all pretty unique, and much more awesome than I would have anticipated for a character named Ant-Man. (Once again, I don’t know much about the character other than what I was shown through the movie).

As with other Marvel films, there are plenty of references to other films in the universe. We see bits and pieces of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, and the Avengers. We hear the commentary from these characters, who, interestingly enough, choose to stay away from these Marvel connections. I’m not sure how long this attitude will last. This dissociation leads to a situation which seems to have much smaller stakes than similar films, but works itself out in its own big way.

In the end, Ant-Man may very well see himself in future Marvel films, possibly with a larger role from the Avengers.

Ant-Man is an amusing heist film with superhero attributes. It has comedy and action, fitting in with the established Marvel style. It’s better than I was expecting, so if it comes your way, it may be worth it to give it a shot.

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