Are we so far down the list of B-heroes at Marvel that even Ant-Man gets his own movie? Chalk another one up for Marvel. And, like most Marvel movies, it works.
In Marvel continuity, Hank Pym is a charter member of the Avengers and the inventor of the shrinking technology that created Ant-Man. And the growing technology that made Giant-Man, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Later that technology is stolen by petty-thief-with-a-heart-of-gold Scott Lang in order to save his daughter’s life, and he becomes the new Ant-Man. The movie takes these basic facts and runs with them. Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits petty thief Lang (Paul Rudd) right out of prison to become Ant-Man and steal back his shrinking technology from evil government stooges. In the comics, Pym’s wife is socialite Janet Van Dyne, also known as the super-heroine the winsome Wasp. She isn’t mentioned by name in the movie, but Pym’s movie daughter is Hope Van Dyne (a much missed Evangeline Lilly from Lost), so draw your own conclusions. Everyone is charming and the SFX are breathtaking, as usual. Corey Stoll chews some scenery as the businessman/scientist bad guy and is sufficiently menacing. The worst thing about the movie is Michael Peña as a bland comedy relief sidekick who exists to say clichéd catchphrases such as “Awesome, dude!” and “KnowwhatImsayin’?” The movie comes to a dead stop whenever he appears on screen. The director should have known better. There is a cameo appearance from the first actor to ever play a live-action Ant-Man, which was a wonderful surprise.
Overall, Ant-Man was a fun ride and a professional piece of work. But it doesn’t set the world on fire and doesn’t really add anything original or special to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I supposed it gives the Avengers someone new to pull in to the next Avengers movie. That is fine, but I’m ready for another unique blockbuster from Marvel that throws some curves into the story and is unlike anything else out there. Bring on Dr. Strange and Black Panther!
Rating: ***½ out of 5 stars