SO I just got from seeing latest Marvel movie the ANT-MAN. I think I’m part of a certain minority perhaps: I was really excited for this movie, I did not mind the director change (especially now when certain bits of information have been leaked), I really like Ant-Man as a character and I think his powers were cool. So I walked in to this movie with super-high expectations and with a heart that already likes the Ant-Man character. And what did I get?
Honestly- I expected a different movie. But I did not expect this to be the THIRD BEST MARVEL MOVIE TO DATE. Yes, I’m saying this: Ant-Man is one of the best Marvel movies and superhero movies yet.
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) tries to stop his protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from developing his shrinking-formula to dangerous levels. And he needs help to save his legacy and the world from it. That help comes in a form of burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Hank and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) start the task of training Scott to steal the dangerous tech back, and to become the hero called Ant-Man. Hijinks ensue.
Let it be said: This is a heist movie, pure and simple. But it is also a very awesome, heartwarming and visually amazing heist movie. With superheroes. And if you don’t generally like heist movies, that might be a problem. Personally, I love heist movies. Plot is very similar to many other heist movies. The team gathers, makes plans, tries to test it and almost gets caught/something bad happens, the mark is asshole and something goes wrong during the heist. Here this pattern is used too, but with interesting characters, cool ideas and some actually good surprises. If you can make your characters interesting and bring something new to a old plot, there is no need to try to be artsy or try to invent wheel again. It’s like Scott says: “ If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Like I said, the characters are the power of this movie. Paul Rudd’s Scott is very likable crook, and he really plays well the affection he has for his daughter. And he kicks ass very well. I really liked the interactions he has with Falcon (yay he’s back!) as he really respects Falcon as he is a superhero. But the still kicks his ass. Michael Douglas was really nailing his part as Hank Pym. The younger version of him was incredibly well done, I totally believed that he was young Douglas. And I’m so glad that they removed all references to his comic-book counterparts highly overplayed traits. You know what I’m talking about. After playing Tauriel in the Hobbit Evangeline Lily really shows again why she is so likable and is go-to actress for badass ladies. Corey Stoll was intense and managed to make best of the character that has no history beyond two issues of the comic book. Praise goes as well to Cassie Lang who was the most adorable human child in the existence. But the biggest surprise was the Scott’s three sidekicks. I really did not like the human characters in Thor: Dark World. They were there just to make cheap jokes and look funny. These three? They are comical geniuses and they are used correctly. Never in the film I got the feeling that they were useless or that they were overplayed. They saved Scott’s life, helped with the heist and proved to be more that just one-note characters- especially Luis (Michael Pena). He really broke stereotypes: he was a criminal, yes but also went to wine-tasting, expressed love to art (Neo-Cubism is his thing) and makes belgian waffles. I really liked that guy.
Visual effects of this movie were incredible. They did as I hoped and took everything shrinking superpower can give and just ran with it. Battles, training montages and infiltration- when you are ant-sized, world looks and feels different. And 3D does not play big part in that, except when they go to the eldritch location that makes your head spinning-the quantum-world. There it makes it look even more abstract with itäs kaleidoscope-esque alien geometrics. Movie is worth of the ticket just to witness that.
Then there are the two things I REALLY liked that I realized after seeing the movie.
1. Darren Cross in basically Ultron from the comics. He is Hank’s sort of surrogate son. But the problem is that he is too similiar to Pym, and that’s why Hank resents him. Darren certainly has some daddy issues, and those issues mirror to his actions. Hell, even the Yellowjacket’s helmet reminds me of the Ultron’s head.
2. One thing that I realized watching this movie is that certain humanity is lacking from some of the superhero movies. That humanity is not gone here. These characters are so real. Scott’s love for his daughter is there, as is Cassie’s love to his father. The step-father Paxton could have been played as typical evil step-dad that is just a jerk. NO. Paxton cares for Cassie and Maggie, and is ready to sacrifice himself to save her. And he too realizes his errors and actually befriends Scott. Luis saves a random security guard that he had knocked out earlier. That NEVER happens in movies. He knows that the guard is not a bad guy and was just working there, and takes his time so save people. That is important to me and I loved that scene. Even the big bad Darren is not “for the evulz” bad. They made clear that he is not right in his head, thanks to exposure to Pym Particles. You can see that he tries to be the most succesfull man in the world and just to make Hank acknowledge him. When the Pym Laboratory faculties blow up, his face flashes with thousand emotions. He is realistic character who is in mental battle with himself.
All in all, Ant-Man was great. I was glad that they used all those jokes about the name in the trailers and did not use those in the movie. I can make fun of superhero tropes, but I like more when you play this tropes straight. No one makes fun of the name, and they use the titles frequently. “They called her The Wasp” made chills run up my spine. The end credit scenes were also amazing. First one showed us the modern Wasp suit - FINALLY! So excited to see her in the future movies. Second one was very surprising, but in a good way and reminded us what is coming next. But for me the Wasp was more exciting.
Ant-Man was very funny action-heist with some really heartwarming moments and humanity that makes the characters memorable, timeless and relateable. It looks great and has some really good scenes and twists in it. I encourage each and everybody to go and see this movie and see for yourself why Ant-Man is one of the Marvel’s greatest heroes. I am excited for the future and can’t wait to see Ant-Man in new adventures.
Phase 2 is over.