By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A+ (4 stars)
In the tradition of Marvel Cinematic Universe films like Iron Man, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy, we now take the Marvel action to an insect-sized level with Ant-Man, based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man), written by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) and Adam McKay (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Other Guys, Step Brothers), and starring Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Knocked Up, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as the titular character. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man takes the route of a comic book movie that does a relatively equal balance of superhero action and decent comedy, which is certainly something Marvel Studios is excellent at, and this movie is no exception.
The film is entirely an irreverently entertaining blast from beginning to end, with some impressive special effects, wild action, some decent comedy, a likable hero, and an intimidating bad guy, it’s a Marvel movie for all sizes.
Several months after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we find former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and physicist, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas-Wall Street, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Don’t Say A Word), creator of a suit with the ability to shrink to the size of an ant called the Ant-Man suit, being forced out of his own company by his estranged daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily-The Hurt Locker, Real Steel, The Hobbit) and protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll-Midnight in Paris, The Bourne Legacy, This Is Where I Leave You) who created his own Ant-Man suit called the Yellowjacket, an experimental size-altering suit that he believes will revolutionize warfare and espionage.
Hank believes Darren is plotting something big with the Yellowjacket suit, so he calls upon a person with a major problem and a chance to redeem himself. In comes, Scott Lang, a thief who was released from prison to be recruited by Hank to don the Ant-Man suit and learn to become the hero that can stop Darren from putting a “sting” on American warfare.
Hank and Hope teach Scott how to use the Ant-Man suit, communicate with his microscopic companions, and even how to throw a strong punch in their plan to save the world from a Yellowjacket swarm of evil.
Overall, Ant-Man is a very ambitious movie and hits all the basics of a fun summer blockbuster, the likable wise cracking hero, the over the top action, some cheesy jokes and humor, and an intimidating villain. Paul Rudd does an outstanding job portraying Ant-Man and I’d like to see him work off Tony Stark and Star-Lord in one of the Avengers: Infinity War movies, Michael Douglas as an inventor and teacher, that also works, Corey Stoll as an evil CEO, pitch perfect there, even Avengers favorites like Anthony Mackie from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron and Hayley Atwell from Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Marvel’s Agent Carter reprise their roles as Falcon and Agent Peggy Carter, and the obvious comic relief like Michael Peña (Crash, End of Watch, American Hustle) and rapper T.I. (Takers) get some decent giggles, now that’s a cast for a thoroughly entertaining Marvel movie.
What really makes Ant-Man shine is the creativity with all the different ants that help Scott save the day, electric crazy ants, carpenter ants used for flying, and fire ants used to cross over dangerous areas to name a few. Just seeing Ant-Man flying on a carpenter ant through a laboratory to deactivate the building’s power is just as epic as an alien battle in The Avengers or a space battle in Guardians of the Galaxy, I saw it in IMAX 3D and the conversion managed to make everyday appliances look massive and epic on the giant screen with 12,000 watt sound, you feel like you’re right there with Ant-Man and I love 3D movies that can immerse viewers like that.
I can gladly consider Ant-Man to be one of my favorite films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, behind The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, and Thor and I honestly prefer this movie over Avengers: Age of Ultron (YES, I just said that!), I loved both movies but Avengers: Age of Ultron hit a lot of “Been there, done that” moments, the climax in Ant-Man was a little more fun to watch, seeing a bunch of ants flying around and battling the Yellowjacket, the climax felt new and like I’ve never seen it before.
If you loved movies like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll probably love Ant-Man, it’s action packed and funny all the way through and it proves that big things, even Marvel superheroes can come in small packages.