*Note: I saw Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ back in July this year but I transposed the contents of the following review from an old file I saved on my computer. Everything in this review goes according to my opinions regarding the film.
Heroes don’t get smaller than this. Last year’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy” became Marvel’s riskiest move to date and it certainly paid off very well. This time, it’s Ant-Man’s time to shine.
The concept of Ant-Man sounded ridiculous and absurd at first, but with the right mind to accompany it, the execution turned out to be just fine. The narrative was really really good albeit possessing some familiarity. It is sprinkled with humor and heart; a formula that was once seen in Guardians and just like the former, Ant-Man balances those elements in excellence. Only, the humor became all up “in-your-face” rather than following GOTG’s subtlety. It was present all throughout without making it feel awkwardly out of place and absolutely fit the tone of the film. Unexpectedly so, Ant-Man has a big heart with the touching moments being seen through Hank Pym/Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne/Cassie Lang. This heartfelt approach to the characters perhaps became one of the film’s best aspects.
Underestimating this Marvel feature would be a mistake. Even if it certainly felt “small” in terms of scale, in exchange for that we get a really good tale of redemption and awesome action sequences. Though the first half was filled with exposition, it didn’t really hinder the films’ enjoyment factor since it explains everything thoroughly and with fascination. Meanwhile it is during the second half where it really paid off. The storytelling may not be as smooth as Guardian’s, but it makes up for Age Of Ultron’s clunky plotline, as Ant-Man’s pacing is just fine compared to the latter. Ant-Man may just be the MCU’s most inventive film thanks to its’ micro-scenes. Each scene is a delight and had me amazed everytime. It makes up for macro-scale destruction and is really really amusing. Peyton Reed may have directed it, but Edgar Wright’s presence is felt very much as his involvement results to its’ cleverness, creativity and wit. I still gotta give Peyton Reed some credit too for making Ant-Man a fun and enticing movie experience.
Assuring that time will pass by real fast as you indulge in its delights, it could be concluded that ‘Ant-Man’ is one of the stronger entries in MCU’s Phase 2. Geeks would find themselves glad that it is scattered with references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and tells us that it is part of this cinematic universe with subtlety and the utilization of comedy. Ant-Man’s characters may have the most relatable characters to boot in the MCU to date. Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd were the perfect choices for their respective roles as each were charismatic and great. Douglas’ Hank Pym was very much like Howard Stark’s; only more responsible and less like an a-hole but very likeable whereas Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is accessible and had perfect comedic timing. Their characters mirror each other and both had moments which almost guarantees the audience that they drop a tear. Douglas and Rudd may have been appealing, but Michael Pena steals their scenes with his irresistible charm and gut-busting humor. Despite the praises said regarding its plot and characters, Ant-Man still suffers from what I call “the MCU villain syndrome”. Although he gave a fine performance, Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross was still a pretty weak antagonist despite his villainy being entertaining due to his twisted sense of humor.
Ant-Man is truly a breath of fresh air and is a well-made solo film based off an obscure property. The script is laden with hilarity but at the same time packs a very sweet core filled with touching moments that will make your heart melt with its relatable characters; making it one of the MCU’s better solo films in years. It turns out that Marvel pulled a bait and switch since Ant-Man is certainly an improvement over this year’s disappointing Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Ant-Man is fun, thrilling and heartwarming; a welcome addition to the MCU and an amazing surprise altogether.