The Next Big Thing Comes in a Small Package

by Fernando Lyons

07/16/2015

Ant-Man, is the latest summer blockbuster from Marvel Studios.  The movie features one of Marvel's oldest, yet most obscure (unless you are a comic book geek like me) characters.  The story in this movie follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who has just completed a prison sentence for burglary, and is attempting to integrate himself back into society, and his young daughter's life.  Due to his criminal background, he is having difficulty achieving either, which leads him take one more heist for a big payday.  This heist involves breaking into the home and highly secured safe of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).  He does not find cash, but he does find Pym's old Ant-Man suit.  Lang takes the suit and the real adventure begins.  


Even though this is a movie based on Marvel's tiniest hero, a lot of character and material is packed into it.  Overall, it is story of redemption for several characters, but it also a funny and action-packed hero vs villain movie that ties into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.   This movie is reminiscent of last year's Guardians of the Galaxy in many ways, in that its based on a little known characters, its funny and quirky, and it serves to expand (or shrink) and explore the Marvel Universe from a totally different perspective.  The director, Peyton Reed, did an excellent job with the pacing and balance of this movie.  This movie had some hilarious moments.  As usual, Paul Rudd delivers a good comedic performance as Scott Lang, but some of the movie's funniest and most memorable scenes are provided by Lang's roommate and former cellmate Luis (Michael Pena).  There are also some very touching and emotional moments involving Scott Lang and Hank Pym reconnecting with their daughters.  Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne) really delivered strong acting performances in their scenes together.  Speaking of Evangeline Lilly's character, based on the mid-credit scene, she looks to play a bigger role in future installments.  The only story area that I really felt was underserved, was in the development of the main antagonist Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).  Outside of being Pym's spurned former protege, we really don't know a lot about the character.  This issue is common in Marvel movies.  Their stories are so hero driven that the villains often become an afterthought.

 

The action in this movie is excellent.  Ant-Man had a great confrontation with one of the new Avengers, and the final fight scene between Ant-Man and Yellow jacket was excellent.  Since the action scenes usually take place from a microscopic perspective, the writers were able to get very creative with the fight scenes in this movie.  That being said, the best way to see this movie is in 3D.  I don't usually recommend people to spend extra money to watch a movie in 3D, but I don't know if I have ever seen it used better in a movie.  It allows viewers to become totally emerged into the world from a bug's (or bug sized hero's) perspective.  It really pulls you in, and while you will still enjoy the movie in 2D, you won't get the total experience of the movie if you don't see it in 3D.  The other special effects were excellent as well.  While the movie relied heavily on CGI, it was seamlessly integrated and served to enhance scenes instead of being a distraction.           

 

Like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, this movie came out of nowhere, and looks to be a surprise hit.  Marvel took a gamble to make a movie about this little-known comic book character, and it appears that gamble will pay off significantly.  Be sure to check this one out.  Please note that there is a mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene.  The previous involves the Hope van Dyne character, and the latter leads into next year's Captain America: Civil War movie.


Bottom Line:

+Great Story, Good Acting, Good Pacing and Balance, Great Action, & Great 3D Effects  

-Another Underwhelming Marvel Movie Villain


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