Marvel has taken a few risks in their time and many of them fared well. To date, The Incredible Hulk is the least money-making of the Marvel movies and there were a few that I thought would take that title after that. However, Marvel seems to come through it with a good formula and a really decent cast. This film in particular is going to be somewhat different as Edgar Wright was the original director that was going to bring this film to the screen, only to leave during pre-production after conflicts with Marvel.
Ant-Man is not the most daring, original or even powerful movie in the Marvel stable. However, after the adventures of Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seemed that Marvel wanted to bring fun back to the movie theaters. After last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy managed to bring back the escapism summer movie, this felt like it was trying to capture that role but did not quite define itself as a film unlike Guardians.
Scott Lange (Paul Rudd) is a good guy that does some bad things. After being wronged by his former employer, he stolen some money from the company and returned it to the victims. Serving time for that crime and probably a few others, we is coming out of prison with hopes of being the father to his daughter, Cassie that she thinks he is.
Unfortunately for Scott, Cassie is living with his ex-wife, Maggie (Judy Greer), and her jerk of a cop boyfriend Paxton (Bobby Cannavale). Maggie wants Scott to be a responsible adult and would like for him and their daughter to have a good relationship. Although, Paxton thinks Scott is a bum and will always be a bum.
On the flip, we have Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) trying to keep his Ant-Man creation out of the hands of people that would use it for bad. He pulled it from SHIELD back in the eighties and tried when his protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), tries to find out if it was true and make it his crowning achievement.
The film starts off as a heist film but turns into a beat the bad guy from turning the good thing into a bad weapon. Although the film does not have the traditional daddy issues for their male leads, but goes into the father-daughter dynamic of shutting out the daughter because of a mistake of the father. Secrets were kept to protect the child. That explains the relationship between Hank and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly).
The film does provide many silly and fun laughs. Luis (Michael Pena) is a standout in the film. Pena manages to steal every scene he is in and looks as though he is having the most fun in the movie. The stories he tells are perfect comedy, including the match of the characters acting the way he is explaining the story.
The visual effects are stunning and the cameo/fight scene were lots of fun and great to look at. The story did not break any new ground, nor did it serve to deliver a creative character study but it was a fun movie to watch. Will it be as memorable as Iron Man or the original Avengers? No but it is fun to watch from time to time. It is great popcorn fare and Rudd is enjoyable but not much more than that.
Oh, and there are two credit scenes: one in the mid-credits and a very cool one at the end. Check that out.