This is your chance – to earn that look in your daughter’s eyes. To become the hero that she already thinks you are. It’s not about saving our world, it’s about saving theirs.
I have to admit, I was part of the good majority of people who had little interest in seeing Ant-Man. However, like most of its target audience, the reason why I ended up seeing it was due to the Marvel branding alone. Despite this reluctance, I was pleasantly surprised how Ant-Man turned out. Though it did have its issues (more on that later), the film managed to utilize the titular hero’s powers so effectively it made it incredibly enjoyable to watch. Not only was this film an absolute blast, but Ant-Man has now become my favourite Marvel Superhero. However, this does not mean it is my favourite Marvel movie.
The film starts Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a man who has just been released from prison and wishes to see his daughter. However, his ex-wife will not let him see her due to not having a job or paying child support. Unfortunately, he finds this task is tough to accomplish due to being an ex-convict. This segment is by far the weakest part of the film. With its clunky forced dialogue and heavy amounts of exposition, the beginning feels like it is going through the motions of the superhero origin story and is just trying to get it out of the way. The snappy editing style of the film managed to salvage the origin story slightly, but not enough for me to enjoy it. Until Scott finally puts on the Ant-Man suit, I found myself constantly cringing and losing interest.
When Scott finally discovers the Ant-Man suit, he meets its inventor, Hank Pym (Michael Douglass) and his estranged daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lily). The exploration of their relationship is executed excellently due the performances of Douglass and even surprisingly Lily (before seeing this film, I had no idea Evangeline Lily was a capable actress). These two actors do an amazing job making these characters feel like real people, and as a result I found myself invested in their problems. As a result, Pym and Hope’s relationship managed to make me emotional, something in which I had no idea a superhero film could do.
Pym enlists the help of Scott to steal the suit from his former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). Cross invented a suit, known as the Yellow Jacket, with equal powers to the Ant-Man suit, but Cross intends to use this for evil. Yes, that is right; I am describing the villain’s motivation as simply evil. The film expresses no interest in fleshing this character out; he just has simple goals you would expect from a standard villain; money and power. It does not even do a good job making Cross evil in a subtle way, but instead shoves this in your face with its blaring sinister music whenever he is in a scene. Simply put, whenever Cross would speak, all I would hear is him repeatedly saying “I’m evil” over and over again.
After the premise is set up, that’s when the fun begins. The aforementioned snappy editing leads to one of the best training montages I have seen in a while. Training montages usually make me disengaged due to seeing so many of them, but the way Ant-Man presents it entertaining by showing you the extent of the suits powers in a fast paced manner. However, Ant-Man really shines when it shows off more of the suits powers in its third act.
The climax is very similar to Thor: The Dark World, where it is very action focused but also really funny due to a unique setup. Unlike Thor’s, which involved several teleporting wormholes, this climax has to do with exploring how the superhero’s powers can contribute to the action. The way the shrinking powers are utilized results in a climax that is unique, intense, and comedic, and as a result is why Ant-Man is now my favourite marvel superhero.
In conclusion, Ant-Man was another entertaining Marvel film due to its excellent action and performances. While the script is a little bit weak at times, the characters are what make the film really shine, mainly drawing from some incredible performances. Furthermore, the film’s greatest attribute is arguably the uniqueness of Ant-Man’s powers. Even if the story and characters were an abomination, this film would have still been saved by Ant-Man himself. The sheer uniqueness of shrinking ability leads to some fun and humourous action scenes, thus making Ant-Man’s Marvel’s best superhero.