“Ant-Man” – Review: How The Smallest Avenger Fits In The MCU

One of the things Marvel Studios has done so well is create captivating stories that not only contains comic book goodness, but compelling stories, nonetheless. Especially after the ninth film in the MCU, Captain America: The Winter Soldier barely feels like a comic book movie at all, giving what fans describe it as a “political thriller” which certainly holds true to this day. With the release of 2015’s Ant-Man, Marvel was sure to deliver the goods.

[Credit: Marvel Entertainment]

With Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man) at the helm and Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) penning the script, this film also features an incredible cast with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and the great Michael Douglas. The main standout in this film is Paul Rudd and his performance as Ant-Man. He portrays this crook (although having good intentions), but the character of Scott Lang (Ant-Man) contains so much heart and you feel this throughout the film and his relationship with his young daughter, Cassie is truly heart-warming.

Michael Douglas was also a pure delight as Hank Pym. From the opening scene, we get a little more insight on S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hank’s involvement and learn more and more about him throughout the movie. His interactions with Rudd and Lilly are fantastic and it’s really interesting how well these three actors bounce back-and-forth to each other.

Another true standout in this film is Luis (portrayed by Michael Pena). Just seeing him with a smile on his face in every scene he’s in and how well he brings the humor is fantastic and spot-on. The audience loves this character and he was a character that could have been easily misused or even forced, but it was the way Pena portrayed him and the right dialogue made him a well-grounded character.

[Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Marvel has been known to provide some well-crafted CGI into their films and this film puts it on a whole new level. Although there were some “questionable” shots, it was never enough to take you out of the film. The way they utilized characters shrinking and allowing them to interact with larger objects was quite creative. Visually, the action sequences is easily the best part of the film. Whenever Ant-Man shrunk down to fight multiple people was also very creative and well-choreographed.

[Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

As great as this film is it does come with some flaws. The main villain, Darren Cross (portrayed by Corey Stoll), was a very weak villain, even during his first scene. The film tries its best to make you feel like this character is evil and ultimately it just felt flat. And once again, the villain has to be similar to the hero just like Loki to Thor, Red Skull to Captain America, Iron Man to Iron Monger, Spider-Man to Venom, and so on and so forth. Cross came off as this guy with no real-life intentions other than just being money hungry and later using his suit that he created that also shrinks to fight Ant-Man. In some aspects it worked, but unfortunately came off as an extremely cliche antagonist, nonetheless. Although a minor issue, the film does suffer for the first 20-30 minutes of the film while not exactly sure what it’s trying to be. It’s ultimately a heist movie, but the first third of the movie feels like multiple genres into one which didn’t work along with minor pacing issues.

[Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

All in all, people probably went into this film being very skeptical which is completely understandable, due to the “weirdness” factor of it all. Needless to say, this film is truly amazing and it’s just another good film in the MCU vault. The positives absolutely outweigh the negatives because this film is awesome, funny, action-packed, and full of easter eggs that tie in with other Marvel films.

“Ant-Man” = B


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