BEWARE! THERE ARE SPOILERS LURKING! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!! OOooOOOoooooOOOOOOO *spooky ghost sound*
Now, when I first heard that 'Ant-Man' was coming out all I had was a feeling of dread. Not because I disliked Ant-Man but because I was so ready for there to be a 'Black Panther' movie so anything else in comparison seemed inadequate. But once I heard the casting and the release date for 'Black Panther was officially out there I decided that I should just be open to this new film, with a character I'm unfamiliar with and that I did.
So I decided to go into this film with zero expectations. I knew that I would most likely enjoy it and since a Marvel film has yet to completely fail me yet (except maybe Iron Man 2 & 3) I had an inkling that I would be in good hands. Beside the fact that a red a couple of one minute reviews that reviewed Ant-Man pretty favorably I decided not to read any full on critics because I didn't want it to influence my initial thoughts on the film. It's something that I usually always try to do when I go to a movie, I know for some people, it's not hard to have other peoples thoughts on a film influence them, but I feel like sometimes it can seep into the back of your brain subliminally.
After I came out of 'Ant-Man' all I thought of was how it had reminded me of what I felt when I came out of 'Iron Man' in 2008. It was almost like the "Back-to-Basics" formula of Marvels first origin story in the MCU and I loved it. It was such a different pace coming off of films like 'Guardians of the Galaxy', 'Captain America: Winter Solider' and 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'. It reminds you that not every hero has this fantastical out of this world story, some heroes are simply men who just want to have a chance to be the hero their daughter sees them as and that's what I love about Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. In this movie he made it so believable as a top-notch burglar with a heart of gold, and not only was he funny but it wasn't over the top nor did it feel out of place in the universe. When I first heard Paul Rudd was in this for some reason all I could picture was this all out comedy.
I know there were some people that saw this movie and didn't get what they were expecting, but I think the thing is to not go into this expecting a super powered action team-up ala The Avengers. No this is a much smaller scale movie.
When Michael Douglas first appeared on screen I was simply amazed not because Douglas was on the screen, but because the first season was a flashback taking place in 1989 with a young version of Hank Pym, where they did an amazing job in the make-up and special effects department de-aging Douglas by 20yrs (also we get a wonderful aged-up version of Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, the department that does that deserves all the awards). But not only do we get flawless make-up we get to see Hank Pym punch a guy out and it was glorious. I loved Douglas in this role as a scientist and him being paired with Scott was gold, especially because the two play off each other so well. Once you see what 'Darren Cross' is trying to do (and how it can sometimes go horribly wrong) you're completely behind Hank trying to make sure it doesn't go past testing phase.
Evangeline Lily as Hope van Dyne was so cool. She portrayed Hope so subtly and cool. Part of the movie started to make me upset only because I would think "Wow, you have this amazing woman here that's fully capable or doing everything Hank Pym needs Scott Lang to do but once again they go with the unqualified male". But once you realize why Hank is so opposed to risking his own daughter's life you come to terms with it.
Another thing I loved about Hope is that she's just as awesome as Black Widow and could definitely give her a run for her money in the 'Woman who kick ass department'.
Now I know that Marvel has this constant problem in the "not-so-memorable-villains-besides-Loki" department. But I actually feel like Correy Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket was pretty good. He was multi-dimensional and you almost understood why he would try so hard to crack the secret to Hank's Ant-Man suit, while at the same time trying to fill the void of feeling betrayed and left behind by a man he looked up to and almost thought of as a father figure. But also.....That suit!? It's fantastic! Part of me even likes it more than the Ant-Man one. I kind of wish there would be a way for him to pop up again in a sequel
One of the cooler parts of this film is that we finally start to see that Marvel can start to have other hero's make cameos in films that AREN'T Iron Man. My theater literally broke into applause when Falcon appeared on screen. Also, it was great to see them mention SHIELD and the Avengers without beating you over the head like it was an old episode of 'Agents of SHIELD'.
How could I forget Michael Peña as Luis?? One of the funniest characters in the entire film. Anytime he opened up his mouth and started talking I just wished it could last 5 minutes longer. Especially when he'd ramble relaying a story and go off topic. Those scenes were gold.
[SPOILER] Something that bugged me.
I just didn't understand why Hank would lie about what happened to Hope's mother (she disappeared into the Subtaonic Quantum Realm and has been lost ever since). Why not just tell your daughter exactly what happened, so she could better understand why you wouldn't want to risk her life by putting her in the suit. I understand maybe not wanting to tell her at a young age because she wouldn't understand but why wait so long?? Sure, maybe telling her sooner wouldn't have fixed the rift between the two of them, but at least you wouldn't have had this ADDING to the tension of their already strained relationship.
[BONUS SPOILER] WASP
I'm so excited that we could potentially get another female Hero in the Marvel mix. Everyone knows they have a problem when it comes to that, so the fact that we can see her on the big screen IN COSTUME, very soon is just so exciting and I mean....look at that Suit! Holy crap! It's sooo beautiful. I love Hope's line after seeing it "It's about damn time" cause not only were you waiting for Hope to get a chance to show off what she's got, it almost felt like it was being said to the MCU as a whole too. It's about damn time we get so more ladies in here that aren't Black Widow, Peggy Carter or the Hero's love interest!