With regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there have been a whole slew of now well-known heroes from Iron Man to Captain America to Thor. And now the MCU welcomes (after several years of denial) their smallest hero: Ant Man. And I will warn you there is a heavy load of spoilers in this review.
Now that Marvel is in full swing with the new Ant-Man film, this is now the official closing of Marvel Phase 2. Originally, Ant-Man was supposed to be the opening film for Phase 3. But Marvel president Kevin Feige revealed that it was instead to be the closing entry of Marvel Phase 2. So now Phase 3 can kick off with Captain America: Civil War in May next year. And while some may disagree with Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opened earlier this year, I really enjoyed watching the Avengers take on a monstrous AI robot. But now we get the Ant-Man.
In the film, thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) gets released from prison after serving a few years for something he did. But then he gets recruited by the original Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to take the helm of his superhero ego because he needs his help to steal some stuff from a former apprentice (Corey Stoll) who plans to revolutionize his tech.
Now Ant-Man is not all superhero. While it does have the Marvel touch, this is a heist comedy film with a whole slew of laughter here and there. Just because Paul Rudd is a comedian who was cast in a superhero film, that doesn't just mean that he is still the comedic actor we know and love from the Anchorman movies. And Paul Rudd kills it as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. He wasfunny
but in a heroic kind of way. He becomes a hero because he wants to see his young daughter happy with him. And his relationship with his daughter is so cute. The young actress playing Lang's daughter is so damn cute. I sure hope this continues in the next film. But Paul Rudd was all around perfect for Scott Lang.
And Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was WOW!! I can not believe that guy. This guy was perfect. Hank Pym is a former agent of SHIELD who retired from being the Ant-Man. According to Kevin Feige, he states that Pym's attitude to what happened in Avengers Age of Ultron brings everything in this film together with everything that has to do with all the major heroes like Captain America and Iron Man. His company has had some disagreements with Stark Industries and SHIELD in the past. But Michael Douglas totally owned Hank Pym in this movie.
Now going to Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne. This isn't the first time I have seen a Hobbit alum in a Marvel movie. I am of course talking Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy who was the first from the Hobbit trilogy to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now we have Tauriel herself Evangeline Lilly. Next in line is Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) in Captain America: Civil War with Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer) not far behind with him in the title role for Doctor Strange.
Lilly portrays Pym's daughter who has a really estranged relationship with her father. Due to the fact her mother sacrificed herself while trying to disarm a missile while on a mission with Hank dubbing the Ant-Man uniform, she is a fairly strong female character. Also at the first end-credits scene, we see that Pym gives Hope her own version of the Wasp suit while saying 'It's about damn time'. She has wanted to help her father by doing the Ant-Man job. But Pym denied her thus leading her to go work with Darren Cross.
Now that the three lead characters have been covered, who can forget the villains? Here the villain in the film is Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Now this Marvel villain is not in the higher ranks like Thanos or Loki or even Ultron. Instead, this villain is where Obadiah Stane was in the original Iron Man. He was a guy who took over Hank Pym's company and wanted to revolutionize his particles which made one shrink down to the size of an insect. And he was set to make a deal with HYDRA to sell Pym's technology for warfare. This villain was a bit in the middle of what I expected. But it all worked.
And the director of the film was originally going to be Edgar Wright, who directed the Cornell trilogy of films. When this film was announced, Wright was attached to it from the very beginning even before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even created. It has been in development for several years. But when it was announced that the film was to tie in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wright walked out and was replaced by Peyton Reed, who took the helm and did it so well, I could not be more impressed.
Speaking of references in the MCU, there are a whole slew of cameos from characters of other Marvel movies. There is one scene where Pym sends Scott to a facility that was owned by Stark Industries. But it turns out to be the New Avengers facility which you may recognize from the ending of Avengers: Age of Ultron. We see Scott and his army of ants infiltrate the facility only to be caught by Anthony Mackie's Falcon, who quickly fails to take Scott in. And I gotta say, Anthony Mackie has still got it as Falcon. Other cameos include John Slattery as Howard Stark and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in the opening scene where the Triskelion was being constructed when SHIELD was still kicking. And there are a few references to what happened in Age of Ultron such as Hank Pym referencing the Battle of Sokovia by stating 'cities falling from the sky' And everything is totally toned down as a somewhat aftermath of everything that has recently happened in Age of Ultron. You can tell that the whole Ant-Man/Pym particles is not anything like a miracle such as what the Iron Man suit was.
Also, we get a glimpse of what is to come in Captain America: Civil War. Aside from Falcon making an appearance, we get a small post-credits scene where he meets with Captain America and find Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier starting to remember him. They wonder if they should contact Iron Man. But Cap says 'Nope. We're on our own now. Nobody can know this' and it sets the stage for Captain America Civil War.
Coming fresh for what Phase 3 is going to bring us, Ant-Man does a pretty decent job and it is using the side-notes from Iron Man. I mean you have an origin story of a guy who is in disarray and starts to become somebody extraordinary. And you know that the Avengers are going to get involved.
So as a whole, I really enjoyed Ant-Man. I really did. It has laughter, great characters, amusing action sequences and a story which reflects from Avengers: Age of Ultron and sets the stage for Phase 3 in the best way possible.
That's my review for Ant-Man. What are your thoughts? Did you like it? Is it what sets the stage for Civil War? Leave your thoughts below to let me know.