Ant-Man is the latest movie that takes place in the “Marvel Universe” of comics.
The film starts in the late ’80s. Scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) has discovered the Pym Particle, something which allows him to shrink the size of anything down to tiny proportions. He’s having a discussion with the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and Howard Stark, Tony’s father) about the usefulness of his discovery, and is worried about who controls it. He makes the tough choice to quit the organization, destroy his research, and pretend it never existed.
Cut to now, in a prison. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is being released. He needs to get his life back together. He was serving time for hacking into his former company’s computers and revealing corporate secrets he had discovered. One Cybercrime later, he’s released, but after his wife (Judy Greer) divorced him and is involved with a police officer (Bobby Cannavale). He’s accepted that, but still wants to be in his daughter’s life. His ex won’t allow that until he comes up with the past due Child Support. His only option is to return to his technical skills and more crime.
Meanwhile, Hank’s been invited to an unveiling at the company he founded after he left S.H.I.E.L.D. He has retired. Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), his protégé, has been working towards creating the “unproven” Pym Particle and make millions. Fortunately his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) still works at the company. They have devised a plan to stop Cross from going any further and halt his plans. They have a scheme of their own, and it involves recruiting a certain ex-con.
So begins the film. Scott, who has reunited with his former cohort in crime, Luis (Michael Peña), who sets up a robbery that turns out to be Hank Pym’s home, where he’s stashed his Ant-Man costume. Eventually, Hank gets Scott to join in on his plan to ruin Cross’ plan, but only after an extended training montage. Scott also brings in Luis and the others who helped him with the post-release burglary. The plan is set, and the fun begins.
It was an odd choice to bring Ant-Man to the screen. I’m sure there are plenty of other Marvel Superheroes that deserve it more, but the film had been in development for several years. In the comics (and cartoons), there’s a connection between Ant-Man and the Avengers – Hank Pym was an Avenger, but left the organization. There are direct tie-ins to the Avengers franchise, which are made known throughout the film.
This film focuses more on comedy than the other Marvel movies. They acknowledge the premise is not as serious as the other Superhero films, but it has its place. I believe that is why they chose Paul Rudd as the star, rather than someone who would’ve been more serious in the role. He’s fine, as is everyone else in the film. I do have to say mention that someone must’ve had a strong Lee Grant fetish, because I kept looking at Evageline Lilly and thinking that was the look they were trying to achieve. The chemistry between her and Rudd is not what I’d call ideal, more a bit off. Let’s just say it was an odd pairing.
I left the theater with nothing more than a sense of “OK, yeah, I’ve seen it. Next!” I didn’t hate the movie, and the comedy worked. They make several references along the lines of “Yes, this is what we’re doing, and we acknowledge it seems a bit silly, but we’re doing it anyway”. Most of that humor works – for example, the song Luis whistles was an appropriate choice. I dunno, maybe it was better in 3D? Please let me know if you saw it that way, because I’d like to know. It’s an acceptable film, just not something you definitely have to rush out and see. I guess that means, more or less, that I recommend the movie.
There is a mid-credits scene, as well as one after the credits are over.