REVIEW: Ant-Man (2015)

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Marvel’s “tiniest” superhero has arrived and is a fun film thanks to the performance of its lead star.

Scott Lang is a small-time thief who has been having major issues. After getting caught so many times, he finds himself unable to take care of his young daughter. In addition, he finds himself in constant battle with his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. Desperate to make money for his daughter, Scott pulls off a heist with his friend Luis and others. In the heist, Scott finds a suit and snatches it. The suit will change Scott’s life forever.

When Scott tries on the suit, he learns he is now the size of an ant and decides to return the suit. However, he is busted the police and put in prison. He meets the man who owns the suit, Dr. Henry Pym, a former scientist from S.H.I.E.L.D. who was forced out of his own company after his former protégé Darrin Cross created a similar suit, the Yellowjacket. Pym, much to the chagrin of his daughter Hope, decides to take Scott under his wing and train him to use the Ant-Man suit properly. As they train, Cross’ intentions are revealed, eventually forcing Ant-Man and Yellowjacket to get into battle, thus turning Scott into something he never imagined.

Marvel Studios’ takes on the likes of Captain America, The Hulk, and Iron Man have been successful. So when it was first announced, the idea of an Ant-Man movie was quite a shock. The character was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby and made his debut in 1962 with Hank Pym originating the suit. The character of Scott Lang was created by David Michelinie and John Byrne and debuted in 1979. For this live action adaptation, both the original and the second Ant-Man are featured with Paul Rudd taking the role of Lang and Michael Douglas as Pym.

Rudd, known for his comic genius in films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and This is 40, meshes a serious and comic performance in the role of Lang. Lang truly cares about his daughter and will do whatever it takes for her, even stealing. Much of the comic relief when it comes to Rudd happens during his training to hone his newfound skills, in which at times, he gets a beating from Evangeline Lilly’s Hope. As for Douglas, he brings his old school approach to the role of Pym, who feels betrayed on all accounts before seeing Lang as the one who could bring him a sense of redemption.

There are cameos from other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters such as Anthony Mackie’s Falcon from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, and John Slattery as Howard Stark, the dad of the hero Iron Man himself. While all three are cameos, it is Mackie’s Falcon who gets in one some great action in his first meeting with Ant-Man, which leads into an end credit sequence that also has two more MCU characters in the fray.

The visual effects and action are truly fun to watch. Rudd’s first scene in the Ant-Man suit is a trip as he is in the bathtub the size of an ant and he is truly scared as heck. The battles between Ant-Man and Corey Stoll’s villainous Yellowjacket are quite a hoot and using new technology can make object not only shrink but grow. In one of the funniest parts of the action, look for a “special” appearance by Thomas the Tank Engine and in a very unexpected manner. Rudd would reprise the role in Captain America: Civil War and will return in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Ant-Man is a fun Marvel action film with some a great performance by Paul Rudd along with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly giving wonderful support.

WFG RATING: A-

A Marvel Studios Production. Director: Peyton Reed. Producer: Kevin Feige. Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, David Michelinie and John Byrne (original characters); Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish (story and screenplay); Paul Rudd and Adam McKay (screenplay). Cinematography: Russell Carpenter. Editing: Dan Lebental and Colby Parker Jr.

Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, Anthony Mackie, David Dastmalchian, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris, Hayley Atwell, John Slattery.

DVD/BLU-RAY

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