ANT-MAN (2015) : Movie Review
ANT-MAN : It’s another Marvel origin story, but this one’s part of the main “Avengers” universe (unlike the constantly-rebooted SPIDER-MAN and F4). However, it starts off well before IRON MAN (before Tony took over Stark Industries), as Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) makes it clear that he’s not going to share his potentially devastating “atom-distance” technology (read: miniaturization) with a board he doesn’t trust. Cut to the present: the nefarious Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has worked out the “bugs” and is about to spring the Yellowjacket on the military-industrial complex. Pym realizes he has no choice but to recruit otherwise luckless master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to become “Ant-Man” and prevent anyone from getting their hands on this tech. Evangeline Lilly of LOST is Pym’s daughter Hope (who, of course, wants nothing to do with Lang but is reluctantly compelled to help train him for the mission all the same), and Judy Greer is Lang’s ex Judy and mother of their daughter Cassie… Scott’s desperate attempts to regain both trust and visitation rights are at the heart of everything he does.
Between this and Pym’s tragic backstory (we’ll hear from the Wasp again), ANT-MAN could have become heavy-handed and mawkish… but then again we’re dealing with ANT-MAN here, and Edgar Wright had a major hand in the story (even though the director’s chair ultimately went to Peyton Reed of BRING IT ON), so the emphasis is light-hearted and fun throughout. It’s every bit as enjoyable to watch Lang deploy his intricate burglarizing and safe-cracking expertise (supported by a jovial team that Pym eventually refers to as “The Three Wombats”–Michael Pena is sure getting around this year) as it is to watch him struggle with and attempt to master his new “powers” (the training scenes are hilarious and expertly-timed… now you’ll shrink and propel yourself through this keyhole…)–yet it’s also startling when Cross chooses to reveal his true colors to a worried partner (sorry, we didn’t really need the gratuitous ‘sheep’ sequence after that).
Again, I figure most everyone who wants to see this has already done so by now, so I’m not going to continue to try to explain this film’s appeal or spell out additional plot points. What it all comes down to is that ANT-MAN is that rare bird that lives up to the entertainment promised in the trailer, and I look forward to seeing more of these characters.