Per request, I finally saw the Ant-Man movie and am thus doing a review. I also have to admit that as an avid watcher of most things Marvel, I was excited about this one, but not so much as I was about Avengers: Age of Ultron or some of the other parts of the franchise. I mean, come on! A guy who can shrink to the size of an ant? How can that be cool?
I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised with this one. My expectations were low, and while that’s not why I hadn’t gotten around to watching it, it is partly why I wasn’t in a hurry. I’m glad that a few of my friends have asked where my review was, and even more glad that a certain friend of mine told me that she found this one worthy of being part of her very selective personal collection! It was mainly because of her recommendation that I pushed myself to see this one (wore that godforsaken boot today… not fun).
But it was a good call! I would have been really disappointed if I’d missed seeing it in the theater. And in 3D to boot!
As always, here’s my warning: From this point forward there will probably, most definitely be Spoilers!
First of all, this one is totally worth watching! The Marvel Universe is getting so complex and the way in which it is all intertwined is so very impressive! Even if you don’t know anything about the comics (as I really really don’t) you can keep up with the whole story or enjoy the individual movies and not feel lost. My mother hasn’t seen Age of Ultron yet (I know, I know, it’s shameful), yet she was able to keep up with and enjoy Ant-Man as a totally separate film.
And yes, I went to the movies with my mother. We both needed a much needed girls’ day and we took it. Complete with a shopping trip and relaxing in bed watching TV (and playing on Facebook). And I think this movie was a perfect one to watch with her. It has a definite family first feel that made it a good choice for watching with my mother.
But more on that in a little bit.
So, while you don’t have to have seen any of the other movies or shows in the franchise, watching them made this film extra fun for those of us who are avid watchers of all the individual pieces parts. I appreciated that Agent Carter made a cameo, and Tony Stark’s dad, Howard Stark. There was a definite reference to the Age of Ultron film, both in the comment about city’s falling from the sky and with the new Avengers’ headquarters making an appearance. But you didn’t have to see Ultron to understand the new Avengers’ headquarters thing.
Plus, the end of credits scene that alludes to Captain America: Civil War, the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
They even managed to make a reference to Spiderman by mentioning the guy who climbs on walls… I imagine they had to make a mention in order for people to accept him as part of the MCU without giving him another reboot film, since he’s already been acknowledged as being in Civil War, yet not the same Spiderman from the last reboot.
See how complex it’s getting?!
But it is really worth it to keep up with the different shows and films, if for no other reason than to see how they are going to keep them intertwined without making it necessary to be up to date with them all.
Back to Ant-Man.
In the trailer, there’s a very very brief scene that shows the main similarity between the original Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), and the new Ant-Man, Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd): their love for their daughters. And it is this key element that made this an excellent movie to watch with my mom.
While Jurassic World was a good movie to watch on a date, this one is more of a family film. It’s still a good action film, and there’s still a teensy bit of a love story, or at least there’s some sexual tension between Scott and Dr. Pym’s daughter, Hope (played by Evangeline Lily), but the biggest thing that drives the plot forward is Scott’s love for his daughter.
Because of his love for her, he takes the job to steal from Dr. Pym, which is basically his interview to become Ant-Man. And then, again because of his need to protect and provide for her, he decides to become Ant-Man. The villain even, in true villain fashion, tries to use his daughter against him in order to break him.
Plus, it is the Ant-Man suit that both caused a rift between Dr. Pym and his daughter and that brings them back together. Family values, even though it is a modern, broken/blended family, smack you in the face with warm fuzzy feels.
So, if you’re trying to convince your lover to have children, then yeah, this is an excellent date movie. If, on the other hand, it’s early on in your relationship, or there’s any doubt of where your relationship is going, be careful not to give into the feels too much.
It’s still a good film for discussions, especially if you’re at a point where you think it’s safe to discuss kids, but it could get dicey if you’re not. That’s all I’m saying.
There are a lot of good reasons to watch this film. I’m just caught up on the family aspect because it seems everyone around me is having babies… I’m hearing that ticking of my biological clock, which made this movie even better for me, but also makes it hard to remember all the really awesome things that made it great for so many other reasons!
Reasons like the balance between drama and comedy. Just as Iron Man has his own personality and smart ass attitude which lends to really great comedic timing, Ant-Man has some really great physical gags that make it really funny. There’s just something really funny about a big burly guy getting beat up by someone ant-sized.
It’s even funnier when that big guy is an Avenger… Seeing Falcon getting absolutely owned by a speck is on par with the Hulk punching Thor out of screen.
That never gets old! And neither will the gag of people being beaten up by an almost invisible Ant-Man.
It’s also an amazing choice for a 3D film. There are some movies that are done in 3D, and I immediately wonder why? The Hobbit movies fell in that category for me because all the action that was added to a story that was relatively action-less, made it feel more like a video game. This one, on the other hand, was beautifully done, and I got lost in the 3D… in a good way!
The 3D made the ant-sized scenes seem so realistic, and exciting. It was almost as invigorating as a roller coaster, but without the feeling that I was going to get hit, like in the old days of 3D movies. It felt like I was running with the ants, and riding the boat made of ants down a waterfall in a pipe, or flying on the back of “Antony.” It was awesome!
Not to mention the fight scenes against the Yellow Jacket, who shot lasers all over the place. And the fight on the toy train… You see a mini version of it in the trailer, but it’s so much more interesting to see it extended as it is in the film. The motion, and the drama, intermixed with the comedic shots at true size… Really well done!
If I had any complaints, it’d be the supporting characters who, unlike most of the other characters in the MCU, came across as complete caricatures.
You’ve got the Russian guy who doesn’t really get how English grammar works, the thuggish African American guy, and the Mexican who thinks he’s a thug but is really more of a joke than anything else. And a bad joke at that.
Which is such a shame, because I’ve seen Michael Peña play some really great characters before. This wasn’t one of them. It was too overdone. I don’t know if this was in keeping with the comic book, or if it was a poor directorial or acting decision, but it doesn’t fit well with the other elements of the movie, almost to the point of distraction. He was a necessary character, he just wasn’t executed well.
But that’s my only real complaint, and that speaks volumes for how awesome this movie is!
Overall, I think it’s a really good movie, worth the watch. Not great for a date early in a relationship, but good for any other situation.