Ant-Man is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and by now one should be used to seeing these films and all they have to offer, Ant-Man may not break any new ground for this universe but it offers plenty of fun and laughs. The film is much smaller when compared to some of Marvel’s recent outings and I’d even go as far as to say that it’s their smallest film since the first Iron Man, there’s no end of the world scenario here but instead just a simple plot about the good guy’s having to take down the bad guys. There’s also plenty of references to The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. but they never get in the way of the film (ala Iron Man 2) but instead complement the film and add extra to it.
The plot of Ant-Man is that Hank Pym who is played wonderfully by Michael Douglas in the film is in need of somebody to help him, his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) offers to help him but Pym refuses after what happened with his wife. Of course Pym ends up finding Scott Lang who is played by the ever so talented Paul Rudd, Rudd really eats up the role here and delivers one of the best performances in any of the Marvel films to date. At first Lang is reluctant to help because he isn’t used to the suite that Pym created and it seems to be a bit much for him to handle but eventually he warms up to the idea, becoming Ant-Man. If you think the plot sounds a bit stupid even for Marvel then you’d be forgiven, but Marvel does a great job with the source material and even pokes fun at itself a few times. There’s a lot of fun to be had with the Marvel films but Ant-man is the most fun you’ll have with any Marvel film, it’s this year’s Guardians Of The Galaxy but smaller. It can’t be all fun and games though as Lang eventually has to face Darren Cross played by Corey Stoll here, Stoll gives a decent performance in the role but doesn’t add much to the rest of the cast.
The biggest problem with most of the Marvel films is the villain always falls a little short when compared to the rest of the film, no exception here as once again the villain is underdeveloped and is the weakest part of the movie. The studio always does a great job with their films which is why it’s a shame that it seems they can never get their villains right, at least in the stand alone movies. It’s not that Stoll gives a bad performance but he’s given very little to work with and can’t do much with a character that lacks any sort of reason to do what he’s doing, he’s the typical villain. We don’t see much of Stoll’s character which is a shame because Marvel could’ve developed the character and may have had one of the better villains in any of their films, instead they take the easy route. Here Stoll’s Darren Cross just comes off as being bitter and jealous of Pym, jealous that Pym had kept away the Ant-Man suit from him; never mentioning it. That is lazy writing on the writer's part and it comes off as not knowing what to do with the character, instead just throwing whatever together and hoping it works.
The film contains many set pieces that work well and each are directed with a certain craft to them, Ant-Man was originally to be directed by Edgar Wright but Wright dropped out due to creative differences. In Wright’s place is instead Peyton Reed who makes us question why we even had doubt in Marvel when Wright left, after all Marvel keeps churning out good film after good film. We may have gotten a better film with Wright but given what Reed had to work with, he created some great action sequences that may just be some of the best in any of the Cinematic Universe films to date. The film may be smaller when compared to most of the other films but it still packs a punch, Ant-Man contains enough action that’ll please plenty of the fans. Some of the sequences are a little too quick and end up becoming forgettable but for the most part, they all land and hit the right spots to please many of the Marvel fans and the general audience.
Ant-Man does suffer from a few problems like the villain being weak as I mentioned above and not enough screen time given to certain characters. I would of liked to have seen Hope more in the film and more of the relationship between her and her father, a relationship that is clearly broken in the film but gets resolved quickly. I suppose that’s the one downfall about these bigger then life films, not enough development is given to the characters and for that some of the film suffers. Pym also has a huge role in the movie but I still would’ve liked to have gotten to see more of his past, they mention his wife but we only get a quick glimpse and reference of her; nothing more than a wink to the audience. For the most part though, the characters are strong and provide plenty of development for the audience to invest in them and care about their journey along with the problems they face.
Ant-Man is not a perfect film and suffers from a few problems, but it still provides plenty of laughs and fun. The film is helped by a great cast that stars Paul Rudd as our hero, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym who ends up being a great teacher towards to Lang, and of course Evangeline Lilly as Hope. Ant-Man has some great action sequences that will no doubt please plenty of the audience and fans, if you love Marvel then you’ll enjoy the film as it has everything Marvel does best.
Make sure to stay through the credits as Marvel gives fans two scenes that tie into the Cinematic Universe.