In Theatres: 
Jul 17, 2015

There’s a trend in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that whenever a new film comes out it needs to be bigger than its predecessor with more explosions, more action, and more villainous villains. Ant-Man disrupts the whole “bigger is better” theme by stepping back and delivering a solid chapter that stands well on its own yet still manages to make the necessary connections to the bigger picture.


While working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 80s, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) invented the technology that would allow a person to condense the space between the molecules in their body, therefore allowing them to shrink in size while increasing their strength. He created a suit that could control this power, called the Pym Particle, and eventually left S.H.I.E.L.D. for fear of what his technology could lead to if it fell into the wrong hands, taking the suit and all his research with him.


Decades later and Hank, now the founder of Pym Technologies, is being forced out of his company by his protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). Cross is on the verge of recreating Hank’s original Pym Particle and plans to create an army of miniature super soldiers to sell to the highest bidder. Hank believes his best chance at stopping Cross is to give his Ant-Man suit to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a cat burglar who just got out of jail and is trying to “do the right thing” this time around, but that’s not exactly easy when you’ve got a criminal record. Together, along with Hank’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), they plan a heist to steal Cross’ new Yellow Jacket suit and destroy any research relating to it.


Ant-Man is the Oceans Eleven of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At its heart it’s a heist film that goes into all the planning associated with pulling off a robbery at a highly guarded technology facility. In the meantime, Scott is trying to learn how to use the Ant-Man suit to shrink in size and control various types of ants with his thoughts. There’s actually surprisingly little action, especially for a Marvel film. Fans wanting another action-packed blockbuster will be slightly disappointed.


Much of the film is comprised of tightly written dialogue, mostly between Hank, Scott, and Hope. The majority of it is good, but there are a few moments when you start to wonder, “when is something going to happen?” There’s plenty of humor throughout the film as well and Paul Rudd is at his best when being funny.


There’s nothing particularly special about him. He’s a decent thief, but it isn’t until he puts on the suit that he actually starts to make a difference. He’s initially your average guy stuck in a superhero world. When he’s told about how Cross’ technology could destroy the world the first thing he suggests is to call the Avengers. He’s one of the more relatable superheroes the MCU has. His humor does get a little tiresome, however. It seems he always has to add one more joke even if the timing couldn’t be worse, like when Hank and Hope are discussing her mother’s death. We get it, you’re funny, but everything you say doesn’t have to be wrapped up in a joke.


When there is action, it’s fantastic. Ant-Man has some of the best action scenes in a Marvel movie, mostly thanks to the creative way it alternates viewpoints during a fight. Ant-sized explosions and destruction look huge from Scott’s point of view when he’s small, but every once in a while the camera will zoom out to what everyone else is seeing and it’s just a tiny puff of smoke or something barely falling over. It works perfectly and is good for a quick laugh.


Marvel does a good job at giving each film in the MCU an identity of its own, and Ant-Man feels like the biggest departure from the pack. It’s a refreshing break from the overly powerful, action-pack end of the world scenarios of every previous film. It’s not without its flaws, but Marvel shows that it can take one of its smaller superheroes and still make something big out of it.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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