Review by Nathan Ligon
Who would have thought when they announced an ‘Iron Man’ movie nearly a decade ago that it would be the start of the biggest franchise in movie history. The latest incarnation in the lucrative franchise is easily the most unique of them all. Of course I am referring to the insect loving ‘Ant-Man’.
Marvel movie fans will be plenty familiar with all the controversy that lead to this film. Fan favorite director, Edgar Wright, was originally supposed to direct this thing, but backed out because of the studios insistence upon certain connections to the larger cinematic universe. Oh well, I would have loved to see an Edgar Wright version, but what we ended up getting has bits of his DNA all over it.
The plot here is mostly a redemption story about a father named Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who has screwed up his life being a burglar and needs a second chance. He’s given that chance by a man named Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Hank is a brilliant scientist who, 40 years ago, created a suit that can shrink its user down to the size of an ant.
He kept this technology a secret from the world, but another scientist named Darren Cross figures out his secret and uses it to create a weapon. This is why Hank needs Scott. Hank will stop at nothing to destroy the new shrinking suit and has an elaborate plan to steal the tech back. In other words, this movie is a heist movie and a damn fun one at that.
All the performances are uniformly good here. I especially liked Michael Pena as Lang’s dimwitted partner in crime. However, it’s really the clever set pieces that steal the show. Watching Ant-Man fight while bouncing back and forth from small to large is awesome. The interactions with the ants are quite unique. And a late trip into another dimension is whacked out beyond belief.
Still, my favorite thing in this movie is the set piece on the Thomas the Tank Engine set. This was Edgar Wright’s idea and one of the most memorable action sequences in a while. It’s filled with some breathtaking action for sure, but the way they play it for comedy is priceless. This one scene makes this movie worth the price of admission.
There are certainly issues with familiarity of all the training stuff and a weak romance with Evangeline Lilly, but mostly this movie is quite charming. I also loved the way they connected the whole thing to the larger universe. Be sure to watch the two post credit sequences.
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