“My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are done. What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.”
Before we were introduce to Marvel Phase Three, Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel crew had to introduce us to a new Marvel character that would become a significant piece to Phase Three. Marvel’s tiniest hero had to have his origin story (kinda) released to the big screen an it was one the more controversial films to date. Ant-Man, released in 2015, is one of Marvel’s most underrated films to hit the screen. Fans like myself believe Ant-Man deserves more love and feels like he’s a forgotten hero.
Ant-Man opens with a flashback in 1989. A young Hank Pym, who looked great by the way, storms into a meeting between Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and and Mitchell Carson and demands to know why SHIELD is trying to replicate his invention known as the Pym Particle. The discussion gets rather heated and Hank officially resigns taking his revolutionary formula with him, locking away his suit for over to decades because he feared his invention was too dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands. This flashback helps set up the narrative of the film. It would have helped a little bit more if we actually saw Hank suit up as Ant-Man but we get a glimpse of him in another flash back later in the film.
The first act is the audience getting to know who Scott Lang was. Released from prison, Scott tries to do the right thing for his daughter but it’s hard for an ex-convict to find work so he quickly goes back into the the life a crime. Looking for a quick come up, Scott only finds the Ant-Man suit in Hank Pym’s safe. Back at home Scott tries on the suit and activates the Pym Particles shrinking him to ant size.
As always, Marvel is at the top of the game with their crisp visuals. What I loved most about this film is how Marvel cinematography team figured out how the audience could see Ant-Man’s point of view when he shrunk size. Ant-Man’s interactions with the ants made me feel like I was watching a different world. Objects that were usually small felt big and Ant-Man one Marvel’s most impressive cinematography to date. Ant-Man vs. Yellow Jacket in the suitcase and Ant-Man going subatomic were the most impressive visuals in the film. Dr. Strange will later have a smilier scene like Ant-Man’s subatomic scene.
With that being said, what I least liked about the film was the antagonist Darren Cross. Cross was a protege under Hank Pym and his life’s mission was recreating the Pym Particle to sell to the highest buyer. Cross isn’t the worst Marvel villain to date but he isn’t the most memorable. I would have like to see flashbacks of Hank and Cross’s relationship before he removed him from his own company. Cross’s motivation was to recreate the Pym Particle and was successful, but then what? He wasn’t gonna wear the suit personally. He wanted to sell it to a company who was far more scarier than him (Hail Hydra). I’ve compared Cross to Obadiah Sane from Iron Man. Both were after a world changing invention and both had a previous relationship to the scientist. Cross may have not been my favorite but the fight scenes between him and Ant-Man were.
One of the more enjoyable parts of the film was the humor. My first thought when the cast was revealed was ok should be pretty funny. Paul Rudd was already a star in high profile comedies and sitcoms. Adding Michael Pena, who was a spotlight especially with his storytelling gave Marvel some much needed humor especially with what was to come in Phase Three. Everything pun, funny joke worked with this film. I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Rudd and crews humor.
Although Ant-Man lacks a great villain and a memorable soundtrack it is funny. Ant-Man is a little rough around the edges but that’s what makes him the most human. He’s not perfect. and as how origin stories go, it is but it isn’t. It’s an origin story for Scott Lang but not an origin story for Ant-Man and I can appreciate that. The Easter eggs were a bonus. Pym’s remark about the Avengers and the Starks was a little nod to Age of Ultron and Civil War. “This is not some cute technology like the Iron Man suit. Besides their probably too busy dropping cities out of the sky.” The cameo with Falcon was also great. I love how Marvel thinks of setting up the next movie before it comes out.
Fans may speculate what could have been with Edgar Wright helmed to direct but that’s something we shouldn’t dwell on. And I hope the idea Paul Rudd wasn’t a good fit has all been squashed. Rudd brought the energy that was fitted for this project and is one the nicest guys in Hollywood. And if you’re still on the fence about Ant-Man, hopefully Ant-Man and The Wasp changes your mind in July.
Avengers: Infinity War releases in theaters April 27, 2018
Ant Man and the Wasp releases in theaters on July 6, 2018.