Ant-Man, Marvel’s latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Paul Rudd as an unlikely superhero, is one of the comic book powerhouse’s most enjoyable movies. The last film of their ‘Phase Two’ chapter delivers a spectacular debut for the iconic Marvel persona with genuine humour, characters and an entertaining army of miniature creatures.
Scott Lang (Rudd) is a former electrical engineer and ex-con, imprisoned for exposing the fraudulent activities of one of the most secure companies in the world. For his daughter’s sake, Lang now hopes to walk the straight and narrow. However, with a record and no prospects, Lang finds himself with little choice but to agree to lend his expertise to break into a private vault. Instead of riches, he finds a suit that allows the wearer to transform into an ant-sized weapon. Persuaded to wear the suit and assist scientist Hank Pym and his daughter Hope, played by Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly respectively, Lang begins training to stop Pym’s nemesis, Darren Cross. Pym Technologies, Cross’ company, is on the verge of replicating the transforming suit, but for not-so benevolent purposes.
Free of the complex and continuing plotlines present in other Marvel movies, Ant-Man enjoys a introduction to the Marvel universe similar to the first Iron-Man. The film-makers know they aren’t capturing something quite on the scale of the Avengers, yet I was more immersed in the story than this year’s Age of Ultron. The film’s focus on Lang, and his transformation into a hero is credible and punctuated with humour that always hits the mark.
Rudd convincingly portrays Lang in his struggle to do the right thing and be the hero his daughter looks up to. Douglas and Lilly likewise give an endearing performance. The misfit crew of ex-cons helping Ant-Man provide the comic relief are one of the film’s many highlights. Ant-Man also makes the audience appreciate Lang’s insect companions, who prove just as important to saving the world. The villain sometimes feels like an afterthought, but the threat of a miniature army wreaking havoc on the world isn’t too farfetched.
While the 3D isn’t important to the experience, viewers shall immediately understand the scale of Ant-Man’s actions. As you would expect of a Marvel production, the visual and special effects authentically create a world inhabited by superheroes. Whenever Rudd changes into the miniature hero, viewers are immediately transported to his tiny world. Fight sequences aren’t disadvantaged by the smaller scale of Ant-Man’s special abilities, in fact delivering some unique and hilarious action scenes. Viewers may be forewarned that the process of downscaling shown in the film occasionally depicts a gross-out result. Nevertheless, Ant-Man is still a Marvel movie appropriate for family viewing.
Ant-Man is an entertaining movie for diehard and casual MCU fans alike. Viewers not up to date with the entire lore will have no issue keeping pace. Nevertheless, Marvel aficionados shall enjoy all the little references and a cameo from one of the franchise’s well-known characters. Humour, high production values and a delightful family dimension are key ingredients of the film’s success. Ant-Man owes much to it’s ant-tastic cast and is highly recommended viewing.