It’s been a long time since Marvel did a superhero movie with an origin story, and people have been wondering if Ant-Man’s story will be just as good as how Iron Man and Captain America got their starts.
The efforts to get this story on the screen have also been interesting, from Edgar Wright deciding not to direct to casting Paul Rudd in the title role. It looks like it has paid off well. It may not be as big as the Avengers battling Ultron or Captain America battling a compromised SHIELD, but it’s still a basic story about a guy who wants redemption, or in this case, two people.
Rudd plays Scott Lang, a man who was recently paroled after committing burglary. His prison record has made it difficult to find a job, or even keep one at a certain chain. He also has a daughter, who still believes in him a lot more than his ex-wife (Judy Greer)…and the cop she plans to marry (Bobby Cannavale).
He has to turn back to burglary, and breaks into a safe that contains a very strange suit. While this is happening, an ant has a camera on its back, and a scientist named Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is watching. Yes, the same Pym who was the original Ant-Man.
Lang looks at the suit, then wears it. He pushes a button, and he gets small. Seeing him go down the drain of a bathtub, and try to avoid dancers at a disco, is a sight to behold. The two men meet and discuss Lang becoming the next Ant-Man, which he’s not sure about. Looking at this is Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Pym’s daughter. She is very eager to be “Ant-Girl,” but Pym refuses. He has a good reason.
Meanwhile, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who was once an assistant to Pym but now controls PymTech, also has plans. He’s trying to recreate the Pym Particle, which he hopes leads to microscopic soldiers and world domination by those who want to buy his technology. Of course, that includes a certain group that’s still around even after what Ultron did to it.
Rudd is pretty good as Lang. Despite being in comedies and rom-coms, he’s got good presence as a guy who wants to go straight, if given the chance. Douglas is also good and intense as Pym, a man who wants to help the world again. You also see the pain he feels for what he’s lost. What’s really incredible is how the movie literally took years off of him when he storms into the not-complete Triskelion in 1989 to talk to some SHIELD officials who look very familiar.
Lilly, though, is underused. Although her training scenes with Lang are good, she mostly stands around, looking with disapproval. Fortunately, it changes when Cross makes his move. Stoll is more like the typical evil corporate guy Iron Man fought in his movies, charming and menacing. It’s too bad there weren’t scenes with Pym and Cross working together, then their relationship changing.
Lang doing battle with the help of his ant friends is also very impressive, especially in 3-D. Some might be worried it looks too much like Aquaman controlling fish to do his bidding, but how Ant-Man leads the ants is much cooler. He even has a very interesting battle with someone who also looks very familiar.
Comic book experts say to notice this story is sort of similar to how Lang became Ant Man 2, and the original version may have made a more interesting story. However, the movie version is still good. It’s about a guy who wants redemption and the love of his daughter. However, he’s getting it from a guy who doesn’t want his daughter’s help. Lang tells her, though, he was chosen as Ant-Man because he’s expendable, and she’s not. She will get involved, though, and maybe more so in the future.
It’s not as big a blockbuster as past Marvel movies, and some may complain the movie is just there to set up next year’s Captain America movie, but Ant-Man is still a very entertaining movie with great action and performances by Rudd and Douglas. And the special effects are easily worth the price of admission. Check it out this weekend!