I enjoyed this film… a lot. It was a Marvel super hero film, so of course it has the same formulaic tropes and story plots as the other ones… but it’s fun. The special effects are neat, and it’s surprisingly funny.
There are really two possibilities here, from what I can tell:
- If you enjoyed the other Marvel films, I think you’ll like this one too.
- If you hated the other Marvel films, you probably won’t like this one either.
The Premise of the Film
Scott Lang is down on his luck. He has a young daughter who is growing up without him, and his vigilante-style whistleblowing has landed him with a criminal record and jail time, which he is just finishing up when the film starts. Scott’s daughter lives with the girl’s mother, and her step-father, who is a cop. He has a hard time finding a job with his record, despite an advanced degree and extreme determination. He relents and considers returning to crime, and that’s where the excitement begins.
Scott breaks into a house he believes to be unoccupied, which leads him to finding something special. This special something brings Dr. Hank Pym into his life, and Hank’s daughter Hope. There’s the usual family tension, like with most Marvel films.
Hank has an old apprentice, Darren Cross, who is dabbling in some dangerous technology involving a suit that can shrink and give the wearer extraordinary physical capabilities while enabling them to get into small places, which is a similar feat accomplished by Hank himself decades before.
The main players in this film are:
- Paul Rudd – Scott Lang / Ant-Man
- Michael Douglas – Dr. Hank Pym
- Evangeline Lilly – Hope van Dyne
- Corey Stoll – Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
- Abby Ryder Fortson – Cassie Lang (little girl)
- Judy Greer – Maggie Lang (mother of little girl)
- Bobby Cannavale – Paxton (step-father of little girl)
I think the best player was probably Michael Douglas. I thought that he did “regretful father who kept secret that which he should not have kept secret” well. The worst player, I think, was Corey Stoll. While I like Corey Stoll – mostly from his work in House of Cards – I don’t think he did a very good job with “jilted and jealous apprentice”. This could have been Peyton Reed’s (director) fault, the world may never know.
What I Liked
I liked the fight scenes, the sci-fi elements, and I always like how Marvel rewards me for being a comic reader. I don’t read Marvel stuff much anymore, but I used to and I liked it. I still have fond memories of Ant-Man appearing in my books when I was a kid and young adult.
What I Didn’t Like
I didn’t like that I had to watch the same Marvel film again with different characters and different special effects. I understand that this is how Marvel does its business, and that most of the characters and story arcs go like this… but they changed so much of the canon that they could have improved this as well.
I will concede that I am not the objective observer on this film. Watching this film carries almost two decades of comic book love with it, and I have to disclose that up front.
I’m glad I saw this film in theaters, I’m glad I saw it in 3D-IMAX, and I’m glad that while Marvel couldn’t bring me a complex and innovative story line, they at least brought me enough classic Ant-Man throw-backs to reward me for my ticket price.