With Marvel having brought out their big names earlier this summer with Avengers: Age of Ultron, it is hard to imagine that anything could top that movie. In the end, while the box office numbers don't match those of the Avengers, I found myself having a better time with Ant-Man and his friends.
Paul Rudd shines
Paul Rudd is at his absolute best in this movie, playing the role of Scott Lang. He's a modern day Robin Hood, having just gotten out of jail after stealing from a company that wrongfully took people's money and returned it to them. In a series of coincidences, Scott ends up stealing the Ant-Man suit from it's original owner, Hank Pym, before returning it and taking up the mantle from him. Hank and his daughter then train him to become a superhero.
The movie is both a build up towards the next part of the MCU and a good natured film. They never ignore things that happened in the previous films, Scott even suggests calling the Avengers at one point, but Paul is able to hold his own in this stand alone film. His "aww shucks" way about him is a good match to Michael Douglas' Dr. Hank Pym, and they build a good mentor and student relationship.
Family comes first
Family plays a big role in this movie, with Scott trying to do his best to be able to take care of his daughter. She sees him as a hero while everyone around her is seeing him as a bad guy because of his past actions. The relationship between Hank and his daughter, Janet, parallels this relationship. Both fathers want what's best for their child and will do anything they can to protect them.
The movie has a lot of action as well as plenty of espionage. There were times when I felt as though I were watching a Mission Impossible movie, but the humor between Scott and his friends keeps you in the moment and laughing throughout. The ants play a big role in the movie as well, and it is interesting to see how Scott ends up bonding with them and learning from them, especially Antony.
This movie could have easily become hokey and over the top, with a title like Ant-man you kind of expect it. While there were a few times when there was too long of a pause after jokes, most of them were good and kept the movie from being bogged down with the science that could rival that of the Iron Man movies.
The action is fun, keeping with the humor that came along with the film (the climax involved a Thomas the tank engine being tossed around) but with plenty of explosions and punches to keep the boys in the audience happy.
This movie is an all around great film, on par with the rest of the MCU and a must watch. Definitely a film for the whole family.
Make sure to stay until the last credit rolls, there is both a mid-credit and end-credit scene.