Release Date: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Ant-Man is the 12th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, introducing Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hank Pym (Michael Douglass), and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) into the MCU. This may be the best “origin story” movie of the MCU and one of the funniest as well. Lang is an idealistic cat burglar trying to stay clean after a stint in prison so he can reconnect with his young daughter. Pym cleverly recruits him into putting his heist skills to work by introducing him to the Ant-Man suit and the ability to communicate with ants (this is not a movie for myrmecophobics!). Pyms estranged daughter Hope helps with training Lang while also working with Pym’s rival Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).
There’s some interesting digital manipulation in a flashback scene at the beginning of the movie that brings back the appearance Michael Douglass of the his 1980s peak. Douglass is rather hammy in his acting though. However, Stoll is far worse, as even for a comic book villain there’s absolutely no nuance to his portrayal as anything other than an evil psychopath. Rather unoriginally, Pym and Cross’s story is basically a recreation of the first Iron Man movie.
Luckily, there’s Paul Rudd there to make things interesting and funny. The concept of a “shrinking person” exploring a world where microscopic things are now giant is not new, but in this movie it’s filmed well with a lot of whimsy and attention to detail. Pop culture artifacts such as Siri, Thomas the Tank Engine, and the classic Disneyland attraction Journey Thru Inner Space make interesting cameos. Michael Peña steals every scene he’s in as Lang’s former cellmate and member of his heist crew, Luis.
I look forward to seeing the sequel this summer, especially since it will rightfully be expanding Lilly’s role as an equal partner.