‘Ant-Man’ (Film)

 

‘ANT-MAN’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Scott Lang Becomes Ant-Man

This review is based on my first viewing experience of the movie on DVD!

‘Ant-Man’ is the last film of Phase Two in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ film series. A bit peculiar to end Phase Two with introducing a new superhero. I would’ve thought they’d end Phase Two with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ beforehand. But it doesn’t matter as there are more ‘MCU’ films after this.

Now I’m going to shock you! I never saw this movie at the cinema back in 2015. There, I’ve shocked you! I don’t know how I missed this movie by a mile at the cinema. I suppose I was losing interest in the ‘MCU’ again. It was until ‘Captain America: Civil War’ that I found my way back into the series.

I didn’t purchase ‘Ant-Man’ on DVD/Blu-ray at all after it came out at the cinemas. It was when I purchased the film as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Two’ DVD box set. I look forward to purchasing the ‘Phase Three – Part One’ DVD/Blu-ray box set next to see more ‘MCU’ films.

‘Ant-Man’ stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. The film was directed by Peyton Reed. The film also stars Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne; Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Pena as Luis and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. What of this film then?

Well, I really like ‘Ant-Man’ as a movie. No seriously, I do. I thought it was a pretty impressive film setting up the origins for Ant-Man as a superhero. I’m ashamed I didn’t see this superhero flick at the cinema. I have made up for it in 2018 when I saw its sequel ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ at the cinema.

Ant-Man was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and he made his first comic book appearance in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #35′ in September 1962. They even had the phrase ‘tales to astonish’ in the film. I’ve not read any ‘Ant-Man’ comics, but I think you don’t need to for this movie.

The film contains a lot of exciting, action-packed sequences; clever ideas and some really funny moments to enjoy. You think this is going to be a pretty mundane superhero movie about a man who can shrink to the size of an ant. But after seeing this film, I didn’t find it boring at all. It’s superb!

The performances of the cast are also a joy to watch in this film. You really get yourself invested in the characters of this movie, especially with Scott Lang; Dr. Hank Pym and his daughter Hope. It was also very exciting how Scott Lang got into being a superhero by Hank Pym when he was an ex-criminal.

There are times when the film can be a little comedic in places, but it’s well-balanced with some great scenes of drama and action. You get mesmerised by how Scott Lang uses his Ant-Man superhero suit and is trained by Hank Pym and his daughter Hope in order to assist in a special heist.

With seeing ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ first before the first ‘Ant-Man’ film, I had an idea of what to expect and how the film was going to progress and build up. I wasn’t disappointed as there were some fun scenes to enjoy. Even my Mum, who isn’t a fan of ants, found this superhero movie good.

Anyway, as I said, the story focuses on Scott Lang who is an ex-criminal that’s been let out of prison. But he’s not a murderer or anything. He’s just a common cat burglar who’s had some bad luck. From seeing this film, you can see he’s cocky and wise-cracking. He also gets rejected when he’s released.

You feel for Scott when he’s fired from his first job and is rejected by his family from seeing his little daughter because of his criminal background. Scott tries to go straight with his life. But then he gets involved in a burglary at somebody’s house. So clearly, his intentions of going straight don’t last long.

But as the burglary takes place, it turns out it was all set up by the house’s owner – a scientist named Dr. Hank Pym, who was the original Ant-Man in the comics. It seems Hank Pym wants Scott Lang to assist him in stealing something from this high-tech security lab involving his special shrinking technology.

Scott Lang steals the Ant-Man suit as part of a test before he gets recruited and freed from a prison by Hank Pym to help out in the heist. Both Hank Pym and his daughter Hope train Scott Lang to become Ant-Man and save many people’s lives from an evil man who wants Pym’s technology.

Like I said, there are many great concepts featured in this movie involving Ant-Man as well as the comedic and character-driven stuff. As well as the shrinking to the size of an ant with his Ant-Man suit, Scott Lang is also given technology to control actual ants to do his bidding wherever he goes to.

Paul Rudd is brilliant as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in the movie. I like how Scott gets introduced from being an ex-cat burglar to becoming a superhero that can shrink to the size of an ant. His progression into a superhero is interesting, since he wants to go straight and this maybe the best option for him.

He’s of course baffled and astonished when he puts on the Ant-Man suit and shrinks down to size. But with Hank Pym and Hope’s help, he becomes accustomed to the superhero outfit. He has his moments of fault in the film, but he keeps on trying and always has his wits and humour to keep on.

I like how Scott has a love for his little daughter Cassie. He clearly wants to be with her and make up for the mistakes he made in his life as a criminal. I like how Scott develops his friendships with Hank Pym and his daughter Hope. He even recruits his former cat burgling friends to assist with this heist.

Evangeline Lilly stars as Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym’s daughter in the movie. Before the ‘Ant-Man’ films, I’d seen Evangeline Lilly play Tauriel in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy. It was a delight to see her play a potential love interest for Ant-Man in this movie. It was so strange to hear her American accent. 😀

In the film, Hope is working as a senior board member for Pym Technologies. She hides her true identity from Darren Cross, who’s in charge of the company, from knowing she’s Hank Pym’s daughter. When Scott Lang gets recruited to be Ant-Man, she’s not very happy as she wanted to wear the suit.

But as the film progresses, Hope soon grows to like Scott Lang as he gives her a pep talk on why her father’s reluctant to let her take on the Ant-Man suit since he’s expendable and she’s not. The film doesn’t have Scott and Hope instantly falling in love with each other, but there are hints throughout.

Corey Stoll stars as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, the movie’s villain. Darren Cross was once a former protégé of Dr. Hank Pym many years ago before he took over his mentor’s company. Darren has been trying to create his own version of the Ant-Man technology since Pym refused to hand it over.

Thus he creates the Yellowjacket suit, which he plans to sell to the military. This is something Hank Pym was against him doing years ago since he believe it would be technology falling into the wrong hands. Darren Cross has some issues regarding Pym as his former mentor as he feels rejected by him.

Very soon, Darren Cross shows his true colours as he’s about to sell the Yellowjacket technology to Hydra, which is the evil Nazi-like organisation in the ‘Captain America’ movies. Darren soon gets to be in the Yellowjacket suit before he and Scott Lang as Ant-Man fight each other in the film’s climax.

Bobby Cannavale stars as Paxton, a San Francisco police officer who gets engaged to Scott Lang’s former wife Maggie in the film. Paxton is a bit of jerk by refusing Scott to see his own daughter Cassie, since he never sent out an invitation to him for her birthday party because of his background.

There is a sense of rivalry between Scott and Paxton in the film. Paxton is especially determined to see Scott behind bars when he steals the Ant-Man suit first before putting it back in Pym’s house again. I found it funny when Scott made a blooper about not stealing something he stole in the first place.

Eventually, during the film’s climax, Paxton makes the mistake of arresting Scott Lang as Ant-Man when he was fighting Yellowjacket before he witnesses Scott’s heroism fighting Yellowjacket to save his daughter. By the end of the film, Paxton seems to have a very brand new respect for Scott Lang.

Michael Peña stars as Luis, one of Scott’s former cellmates and a member of his former cat burglar crew. Michael Peña’s character is clearly providing the comic relief in this movie, since he has a unique vocal style when he retells encounters with certain people he had about certain information.

This is especially when Luis gives Scott the tip about stealing from a certain person’s house that happens to be Hank Pym’s. Luis can often be at times a little silly and annoying when it comes to his positive outlook on life. But he’s clearly willing to help his friend when performing a certain heist.

There are times when Luis can be funny, especially when he goes undercover to be a fake security guard at Pym Technologies’ facility. The interaction between Luis and the rest of the former cellmate team with Scott Lang has been enjoyable and it’s good to have that kind of comic relief on the front.

Michael Douglas stars as Dr. Hank Pym. Now Michael Douglas…well, he’s Michael Douglas, isn’t he? I’ve not seen many films with him in a starring role, but I’ve heard his name mentioned once or twice. He’s a big name and he comes across well in the character he plays as scientist Dr. Hank Pym.

Apparently, Hank Pym was a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent as well as the original Ant-Man from 1963. He discovered the atom to shrink a person down to size when it came to the Ant-Man technology. He gets angry when someone tries to steal his technology in the first part of the film as he wants to protect it.

When Hank discovers someone is stealing his technology again in the present day, he recruits Scott Lang to become the Ant-Man and steal the Yellowjacket suit from Darren Cross at Pym Technologies. Hank Pym has a cynical attitude, but loves his daughter Hope and sadly lost his wife many years ago.

Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris stars as Dave and David Dastmalchian stars as Kurt. These two are members of Scott Lang’s crew with Luis. Like Luis, the two provide the comic relief for the movie as well as assisting Scott Lang during the heist to steal the Yellowjacket technology. The two can be competent at times.

Wood Harris stars as Gale, a police officer who is also Paxton’s partner. I can’t really say much about him since he works with Paxton to capture Scott Lang when he’s the Ant-Man during the Yellowjacket heist. Paxton and Gale also try to get Dr. Hank Pym for some reason which I didn’t get.

Judy Greer stars as Maggie, Scott Lang’s former estranged wife. Again, I can’t really say much about her at this point, since she doesn’t appear much in the film. She, like Paxton, is against Scott seeing their daughter Cassie, because of his background and she’s not convinced he’s trying to be straight.

The film also features Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, who has been in ‘Captain America: The Winter Solider’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ before this. There’s also John Slattery as Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s dad and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter who appears in the 1989 scene of the film.

There’s also Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie, Scott Lang and Maggie’s daughter in the film. I liked Cassie in the film, since she seems to a little girl who loves her daddy and wants to have him back in her life. Cassie’s not like her mom or Paxton who reject him and she loves her daddy being Ant-Man.

The action sequences are great, especially during the climax. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing Thomas the Tank Engine in a Marvel superhero movie when Ant-Man and Yellowjacket fought on a train set. I never thought I’d see my favourite childhood character appear in an action-packed superhero film.

The visual effects are equally impressive, especially when we see what Ant-Man is like in miniaturised form. The combination of visual effects and set design must have been a challenge for director Peyton Reed and his visual effects crew who put their heart and soul into making this movie.

As you watch the film, it’s easy to forget what is considered a ‘visual effects’ shot or not when Ant-Man gets shrunk to size before reverting back to normal size again. That’s the joy of this film. You get engrossed in the action, the story and the characters that you easily forget the CGI effects involved.

The giant-sized ants featured in the film are also impressive. It can be terrifying to see Ant-Man interacting with a colony of ants at his command, but eventually you get comfortable with it somehow. The science of how to control the ants is perplexing, but it somehow works in the movie.

The Blu-ray special features of ‘Ant-Man’ are as follows. There’s an audio commentary with director Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd. There’s also the ‘Making of An Ant-Sized Heist – A How To Guide’; ‘Let’s Go To The Macroverse’; ‘WHIH Newsfront’ and some deleted and extended scenes.

‘Ant-Man’ is a brilliant film in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series. It’s funny; it’s action-packed; has great characters performed by good actors and it kept my attention all the way through. I’m saddened I didn’t see this film at the cinema, but I’m happy I’ve seen it on DVD and have seen the sequel.

There’s a mid-credits scene where Hank Pym shows his daughter Hope a new Wasp prototype suit, offering her to become the Wasp. In a post-credits scene, Sam Wilson and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers have Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in custody, leading into the next film.

‘ANT-MAN WILL RETURN!’ I’m getting an impression all the ‘MCU’ superheroes will return. 😀

‘Ant-Man’ rating – 9/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Ant-Man’ (Film)

  1. I still prefer this film over the sequel i think Scott is given a backseat in that movie as in this it was clearly more about him trying be responsible & unwittingly becoming a superhero.

    Michael Douglas a amazing actor Tim & he fantastic in this film adding dramatic gravitas Paul Rudds perfect casting as Scott Lang i like how his character arc evolves over the course of the movie & Evangeline Lilly was superb as Hope despite the dodgy wig she was made to wear which was thankfully removed in the sequel.

    My only gripe is Luis who got on my nerves especially more so in the sequel, he just waffles on & on & on instead getting to the point & his misfit friends all needed killing off in the climax lol, barring that Ant-Man is a entertaining family friendly enjoyable Marvel movie, I’d rate it a 7/10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      I enjoyed both ‘Ant-Man’ films and am very pleased I got to see the first film at last on DVD since I didn’t get to see it at the cinema. I’m looking forward to when I come to revisiting ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ either on DVD or Blu-ray.

      I loved seeing Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas in both ‘Ant-Man’ films and it was interesting to see how it all began for the three characters in this first film. I think Michael Douglas brings a lot of himself into the character he plays as Hank Pym. I had no idea Evangeline wore a wig in the first movie. I thought that was her natural hair. Gosh! 😀

      Yeah I agree Luis and his group were rather annoying at times when providing the comic relief. But I didn’t mind them so much and they provided some service to the plot of the story. I enjoyed the first ‘Ant-Man’ very much. Surprised I’ve rated it more highly than you.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

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