After eleven films over seven years, we come to the end of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Ant-Man, and the 2015 film certainly seems to be the odd one out. In many ways this was more a heist film than a superhero film, but it’s story is far more personal than any previous entry. Ant-Man tells the story of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the creator of the titular Ant-Man suit, and how he, along with his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) recruit Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to help steal technology from Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).
+ Paul Rudd was a fantastic Scott Lang. He had the right look (and those abs!), and his line delivery never felt forced (in humour) or overplayed (in emotion). When his daughter Cassie (an admittedly enjoyable Abby Ryder Fortson) is endangered, Rudd’s angry threats feel genuine
+ Michael Douglas as Dr Henry “Hank” Pym was also wonderful. Douglas’ real world exposure made his role as a former bigwig of a corporation, and subsequent leading a more sheltered life somewhat more relatable. The one or two times he lost his cool did wonders for those of us expecting Pym’s character from the comics to be translated
+ Corey Stoll as Darren Cross (aka Yellowjacket) is probably the best villainous addition to the MCU since Loki in Thor, and it was all due to the fact he was a giant asshole, who knew he was a giant asshole. Cross was more threatening than any other recent MCU villain, and a genuine ‘love to hate’ character, due to Stoll’s performance
+ I feel the film got it’s tone just right, with laugh out loud humour and sad moments never competing for attention, and all flowing together nicely
+ the action, particularly the fight scenes when Ant-Man is small, were particularly enjoyable to watch. Those listed in the credits with macrophotogrophy deserve lots of recognition
+ lots of enjoyable references to other MCU films (previous and upcoming!), and a friendly face or two may just show up for a few ‘OMG’ moments themselves
– a few very minor points near the ending were glossed over or sidestepped, but not necessarily enough to disrupt the flow of the movie. Just little things that weirdos like me will pick up on them
> Evangeline Lily, as Hope Van Dyne, was underused, but good in what she had. I don’t want to consider this a negative, but I would have liked to see more of her, particularly in some fight scenes. Hopefully, and considering Lily has signed a multi-film deal, we will get that soon
> There definitely needs to be a prequel of Hank and Janet as the Ant-Man and Wasp, respectively, sometime soon. Even as just a Marvel One-Shot or something, but I really want to see more.
Should you see this film: Yes. Ant-Man is probably the best first film for a character since the MCU began with Iron Man, and in some ways is even better still. Whether this was just because Ant-Man had eleven movies to establish the world beforehand is debatable, but the end result is certainly a tale to astonish.