Review: Ant-Man

Ant-Man poster

Superheroes have been showing up on the big screen and TV for a few years now, so even if you don’t read comics you will recognise quite a few of the characters within the Marvel Universe. That said, I think many were sceptical about a superhero named ‘Ant-Man’ – I mean, it’s not the coolest superhero name in the world. But I think, after seeing this movie, Ant-Man will get a lot more love in the future. He’s funny, down to earth, and fights with everything he has to become a better father. What’s not to like? Add in the fact he’s engaging, relatable (he’s made some pretty big mistakes), and doesn’t take the whole superhero thing too seriously, and it’s all points in his favour.

So, Ant-Man – who is he? His name is Scott Lang, and in the movie he’s played by Paul Rudd, which probably helped in terms of getting people to the cinema, because Paul promises to bring the goods in terms of humour. Personally, I think it was an inspired choice, Scott Lang is hilarious in the comics, and this certainly reflected in the film. In this case, Rudd’s humour is definitely understated and, despite criticisms regarding a ‘dilution’ of his talents, I believe he hit the mark. The subtleties he brought to the role were what made it work, at least for me.

michael douglas

But, Rudd is not the only great casting choice. Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and he demanded attention from the very first scene. He’s utterly convincing, and adds a coolness factor all of his own. Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym is the original Ant-Man, and though you don’t need to know that to watch or even enjoy the movie, it’s worth pointing out.

In the comics Scott Lang stole the suit to save his daughter and Hank allowed him to keep it. The film puts a slightly different spin on the theme, but fundamentally they didn’t stray far from the origin story. It means there’s something for everyone, which Marvel excels at. For those not familiar with the comics, they are introduced to a unique superhero, and for fans of Ant-Man, the writers stayed true to who Scott Lang is.

Scott

He’s a former cat-burglar, an idealistic campaigner recently released from prison, and a man down on his luck. He’s divorced, is fighting for custody rights to see his daughter, and the only job he can get is at Baskin Robbins (even then he has to lie about his identity). Despite managing to get himself sucked in to Pym’s plot to protect his inventions and prevent the Pym Particles (formula which alters the size and mass of objects and living things) from being released into the world, Scott still manages to show a keen intelligence, and skills worth bringing to the table.

As for being part of the Marvel Universe; there are subtle references built in, if you’re looking for them, and an appearance from an Avenger. A scene which is particularly well done, and one of the highlights of the movie. There are other highlights, of course, and it might seem odd, but they are definitely the scenes with the ants. Yes, this is undeniably helped by the excellent special effects, but still, when you see what Scott and Hank get these little guys to do – it’s wonderful to watch.

flying ant

So, you have humour, including excellent comic timing, an engaging hero who performs miraculous feats (in human size and when he’s shrinks). Mix that in with an unconventional army, a superior cast, great special effects, and you have yourself an extremely entertaining film.

What did you think? Have you seen the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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23 thoughts on “Review: Ant-Man

    • Yeah, I imagine Scott will be showing up with the Avengers since he did join them in the comics for a while. And you’re right – it is nice to meet another hero. Enjoy the movie when you get to see it 😀

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  1. I’ll admit I wasn’t thinking this would be high on my list of enjoyable Marvel movies, but it proved otherwise. I went on an outing with my boyfriend and his two sons who desperately wanted to watch it. We didn’t get to see it in 3D as our local theater didn’t offer it, but nonetheless the movie really nailed it on the head. I loved the Avenger drop in, and also the extra scenes at the end which I admit the boys had to fill me in on since I missed one particular movie that would have helped me figure more details out. But it was really a hit in my book. Looking forward to more Ant Man in the future! ~Paula

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    • It was a hit in my book too! I went with a friend who I had to ignore (switch off at least!) because he had an opinion about everything little thing that happened! I’m looking forward to seeing more of Scott too – I’m hoping he’ll at least make a guest appearance in the next Captain America movie – Civil War 😀

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  2. I was really surprised they cut the “Is it too late to change the name?” line that was so prominent in the trailers. It’s not the first time they’ve had trailer material that didn’t make it into the movie, but I never like that. Otherwise, though, they’ve once again done an awesome job of making something that sounds a bit silly seem totally believable and cool! I wondered how gross the bug scenes would be, but they really looked awesome and allowed for something very different compared to other Marvel movies. (I do wonder how many people in their target audience might have bug phobias or something, but what’re you gonna do…)

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    • Yeah I was waiting for the line…it was particularly well timed in the trailer. Clever really, but I would have liked to see more of that in the movie too. I completely agree with the cool – the movie had that in spades! 😀

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  3. Pingback: Umm . . . Comics! | Sourcerer

  4. Pingback: Character Study: Scott Lang (Ant-Man) | Melissa Barker-Simpson

  5. I frankly don’t like superhero movies much, but I did like how Ant-Man approached some of the tropes in a self-aware, meta kind of way. It didn’t take itself too seriously. Plus the animation was fantastic.

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