There are some movies that never make it off the ground, and some that go through so many drastic changes, re-writes in script, and even key changes behind-the-scenes. All of these things can be said about Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man.
I’m going to get right down to the brass tacks and say that I think this film was really well done, despite all of the problems that had plagued the production behind-the-scenes.
Even the large, greased up cogs that continue to grind and turn Marvel Studios films out on an annual basis have a huge impact on the scope of new film IPs that enter the universe.
For a project like Ant-Man, it’s a lot to bank on. It was the same for Guardians of the Galaxy last year around this time as well, but it went on to be one of the top Marvel projects released to date.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Ant-Man, but it didn’t debut as a complete flop like Fox’s Fantastic Four film.
It’s hard not to imagine what this film would’ve looked like if Edgar Wright were still at the helm, but I think despite all the odds, replacement director Peyton Reed took what Edgar Wright had developed and expanded, and delivered a pretty decent flick.
It’s fun, it can be light-hearted a lot of the time but it can also be dramatic and heartfelt. The character of Scott Lang is a different beast altogether and a unique character in his own right. As an ex-cat burglar trying to do right by his only daughter, Scott is taken in by mentor Hank Pym to conduct the biggest heist of his former cat-burglarizing career, as his former assistant Darren Cross has created a suit that acts exactly like the Ant-Man suit, but can be weaponized and sold to the highest bidder.
Yes, Cross is the big baddie of the film. Sadly, I felt he was one of the weak points in the film. His motivations were lackluster, and he flies off the handle a little too early on in an effort to jump start his reign of evil by aligning with HYDRA (yes, the big baddies of the MCU. Heil HYDRA).
Together with Hank Pym and his daughter Hope Van Dyne, Scott must take on the mantle of the Ant-Man.
Scott’s also got sidekicks, including Michael Pena, who performed well above his pay grade as the comic relief, Luis, Scott’s former cellmate.
He aligns Luis and two of his other heist buddies to assist in stealing the Yellowjacket suit away from Cross, but Cross becomes the Yellowjacket, thus leading to the big final fight.
I thought that the fight sequences were pretty well done, and the visual effects on Ant-Man’s shrinking and growing were really cool. However, I thought the CGI ant friends that assisted Ant-Man in his mission were a little weak in their design.
We are also introduced to the Quantum Realm, a trippy parallel dimension much akin to an acid trip. I’m hoping we’ll be seeing more of this world as Phase 3 and beyond will hopefully introduce more paranormal and supernatural elements to the cinematic universe through the introduction of Doctor Strange.
All-in-all, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym were the films two strongest assets. And seeing a young Michael Douglas through very, very impressive CGI to make him practically look like his Wall Street character, Gordon Gekko.
I’m hoping that future sequels are not afraid to expand on the Ant-Man story and continue to be bigger and better. The bad guy Yellowjacket and Corey Stoll playing the character were unfortunately the weakest points for me, as Yellowjacket served as a carbon copy of Ant-Man in his abilities. Why not mix it up and take on somebody with totally unique powers? That’ll be exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing Paul Rudd in the larger scope of the MCU with his Ant-Man character.