A great stand- alone film which simultaneously connects to the Marvel film genre.
Warning spoilers ahead!
“Ant- Man? Never heard of that superhero.”
Well you have now.
So, this film is set in the same universe as The Avengers in a period of time shortly after the Age of Ultron. But you don’t have to have seen any of the Avengers films to understand the plot and this film cannot be considered a sequel. Although there are some very geeky references to understand if you have seen the Avengers!
But as a stand-alone film this is very enjoyable, and personally one of my favourite marvel universe superhero films.
“Why?” I hear you ask.
Well you could argue the plot is quite easy to understand. Which wouldn’t say much for my intelligence…
But also, Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd), the protagonist also known as Ant- Man, is very likeable. Released from prison for the non- violent burglary from his former wealthy boss, his cause is kind of noble; in a very twisted manner. He has a master’s in electrical engineering, but his criminal record prevents him from getting a job. In an attempt to find enough money for an apartment so that under custody agreements he can see his young daughter again, he eventually returns to his old lifestyle of ‘ethical crime.’ Although we have previously seen Marvel superheroes that are far from morally perfect, it is refreshing to see a superhero turn from criminal to hero up on the big screen.
Burgling a supposed rich man’s house, instead of a safe of money Scott Lang finds a most peculiar suit. Slightly disappointed, he decides to take the suit anyway to see if it is of any worth. Little did he know that the owner of the suit (Dr. Hank Pym/ former Ant- Man played by Michael Douglas), set a series and chain of events that would lead him to find the suit in the first place.
So why was Scott led to find the suit?
Because Darren Cross/ Yellowjacket (Corey Stroll) is trying to replicate Dr. Hank Pym’s/ former Ant- Man’s technology of changing the distance between atoms in order to shrink an organism whilst increasing strength and creating the ultimate fighting machine for war!
Obviously, such an advantage in military technology must be stopped. A weapon no one sees coming could lead to the destruction of many more lives in war.
“But hang on, why can’t the Avengers be called out to help on this one?”
Because Dr. Hank Pym has been attempting for decades to keep this technology away from Tony Stark, former millionaire president of Stark Industries (which manufactures weapons)/ Iron Man of the Avengers. You see?
The only superhero of the Marvel universe not part of the Avengers is potentially Ant- Man. And who better to stop and rival someone one using shrinking technology than someone who has shrinking technology? Likewise, stealing the technology from Darren Cross will involve planning an amazingly skilled robbery where Scott Lang’s talents will come into play.
As the film progresses, it can be seen that Dr. Hank Pym’s prediction that such power could go to someone’s head becomes true. Darren Cross uses his not fully operational shrinking technology to shrink scientific leaders who oppose his technology into a meaty splat on the floor. He cruelty wipes away the meaty splat and nonchalantly flushes it down the toilet! A man this man must be stopped!
There was room for this Marvel villain to be developed more. A better grasp of Darren Cross’s personality and past would have been interesting. But then again, a film can only be so long! And for the most part, the character of Darren Cross was threatening enough. His purely evil personality led to an opportunity for humour in this film.
The film successfully escapades a test of time before Darren Cross perfects the shrinking technology and Scott Lang become fully capable of using the Ant- Man suit and controlling his many ants with his mind.
As mentioned previously, this film has a lot of humorous moments; most notably through the character of Luis (played by Michael Pena). Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine a man shrank to the size of an ant would not encounter anything funny. Even more silly is when Darren Cross/ transformed to Yellowjacket finally perfects his shrinking and enlarging technology and is faced in confrontation with Ant- Man, and he accidentally blows up Scott’s daughter’s toys. No one can take a Thomas the Tank engine blown up to life replicate size bursting through the walls of a house seriously. Thomas the Tank Engine obliviously hoots and rolls his eyes from side to side as a life or death battle ensues!
The great visual effects and direction of Payton Reed energising these actors is to be commended for this humorous film, with a great story that perfectly fits the tone of Marvel films.
With regard to the geeky references of other Marvel films, the return of Bucky in the post- credit sequence is eye opening. It could potentially set up things in the incoming Marvel films such as Captain America and Civil War. There are scenes in this film which would capture the interest of individuals obsessed with the whole Marvel universe.
Anyway, before I reveal any more spoilers, I will leave you to find out if Ant- Man stops Darren Cross/ Yellowjacket’s manipulative and evil plans to misuse shrinking technology and prove to his daughter he is the hero she already thinks he is.
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