Marvel is known for bringing memorable comic book characters, such as Iron Man and Captain America, to life in the cinematic world.
Their latest film, Ant-Man, is no exception. This smaller scale film—small for Marvel—has its own unique way of bringing the same action and excitement as past superhero movies, while not trying to outdo its predecessors.
Scott Lang, an ex-thief, is trying to turn his life around for the sake of his daughter when he is recruited by genius and inventor, Dr. Hank Pym. Armed with the legendary Ant-Man suit, Scott uses his new ability to shrink in size and steal back Pym’s technology from Darren Cross, the former protégé of Pym.
Going into the theater, I knew this movie would be something different from previous Marvel movies. With the title character being portrayed by Paul Rudd, an actor typically known for comedies, this movie is naturally on the more lighthearted side. In my opinion, this was one of Marvel’s smarter moves. Not every superhero movie pumped out by them has to have Earth shattering consequences or a massive alien invasion. By keeping the stakes low, the movie characters have time to develop over the course of the film.
While Michael Peña’s character may have been the comedic backbone of the story, the heart lay in Evangeline Lilly’s portrayal of Hope.
To me, the characters who stole the show were Scott’s former cell mate, Luis, and Hank’s daughter, Hope van Dyne. The majority of the film’s funny moments had something to do with Luis (Michael Peña). Whether they are his lengthy stories of the chain of people he gets his info from or his humorous one liners, Luis keeps the laughter going.
While Michael Peña’s character may have been the comedic backbone of the story, the heart lay in Evangeline Lilly’s portrayal of Hope. The strained relationship between her and her father was played out so realistically that it became the most relatable part of the film for me. The guilt Hank feels for pushing his daughter away is evident in his dejected look after her angry outbursts directed at him. Although it is a subplot, the bond between a father and daughter is the propelling force behind this movie. The only thing Scott wants is to be the hero his daughter believes him to be, while Hank continuously tries to mend his relationship with Hope.
The only problem I had with this film was the somewhat one dimensional villain, Darren Cross. The film could have done a better job at explaining the character’s descent into obsession over perfecting the Pym Particle technology. Without any reason for his madness, the villain seems to be evil just for the sake of being evil.
Despite this one issue, I highly recommend this movie to anyone in need of action and comedy. This film had great special effects and multiple nudges to past Marvel movies that will keep any moviegoers on the edge of their seat.