Geek For E!

Movie Review – “Ant-Man”

TwitReview – Ant-Man delivers action, great laughs, and is on par with the first Iron Man. Marvel has another hit!
Grade 5 out of 5


Marvel (and Paramount before them along with Disney now) have put together what has to be called the largest cinematic playground out there today. What stared with Iron Man has grown into a world wide movie event where everything is connected and like a chess board the pieces are moving.  Multiple stories, time frames, and characters all make up the background of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the latest entry may be tiny in stature but delivers in a big way.

What Worked:

  • The overall story was on par with the original Iron Man. This is an origin story that still has roots within SHIELD yet allows the growth of the future for both the main characters of Ant Man (more on them soon) and the MCU on a whole.
  • Your main three are Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). There is a connection there that works as the three do have chemistry in different ways. Ironically all three have personal struggles that need to be challenged by the other to help grow their characters.
    • The father-to-son vibe between Hank and Scott as they learn to trust each other. Hank with allowing Scott to use the Ant-Man technology and Scott with learning to trust himself and Hank in that this situation will work and all work out in the end.
    • The father-to-daughter connection between Hank and Hope. Learning what happened to Hank’s wife and how it affected his relationship with his daughter Hope over the years driving them apart to also bring them back together.
    • The Scott-to-Hope vibe as their budding relationship was bound to happen.
  • The main bad guy in Daren Cross (Corey Stoll) is a lot like Jeff Bridges’ Obadiha Stane in trying to make a militarized weapon that would bolster the bottom line dollars of the company. The Yellowjacket armor is a lot like what we saw with the Ironmonger armor – a weaponized, take on the main hero’s armor. Daren is the former protege of Hank and wants to build on Hank’s earlier work to help build the wealth of his company. Daren is also looking to gain the trust of Hope knowing her anger toward her father.
  • Scott served time for burglarizing the technology company he was employed at by robbing from the rich and giving back to the poor. It is established early that he really cares for the people that need caring and this is obvious by his compassion and friendship with his former cell-mate Luis (Michael Peña). He cares for the guy even while Luis and his two friends Kurt (David Dastmalchian) and Dave (rapper T.I.) try to rope him into getting back into the burglarizing game. On the other side Scott’s ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) is re-married to a Detective for the SFPD whom has problems with Scott for his past crime. This drama between Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) and Scott plays out between them and in front of Maggie and their child Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson).
  • The action mixed with the humor blended well. It wasn’t on par with last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy but it did  but it did leave you on the edge of your seat when Scott takes the fight to Darren to help Hank stop the work of the stolen Pym-Particles.

What Didn’t Work:

  • The start of the movie (more on that in the next section) introduces a character that isn’t identified until about half way through the movie. So you’re left wondering who this guy in SHIELD is and how he relates to the triumvirate that is shown. When they do identify the character we learn that it is Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan) who was the top level head of security operations for SHIELD.
  • This revelation then gives way to us later learning that Mitchell Carson has been working with HYDRA (it was never really stated if he left SHIELD to go work for HYRDA or if he was part of the reveal as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Enough of HYDRA already. What happened to any of the other villainous organizations inside the Marvel universe? You’re telling me that AIM completely disbanded with the death of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) yet HYRRA who’s been scattered due to both SHIELD and the Avengers is still running with some type of organizational leadership????

The Geek of it:

  • For a character that was an original Avenger back in the comics, his life in the modern-age of Avengers was overlooked in the first run of the MCU. The combined effort of Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish (both are credited as writers due to their original work on the movie when Wright was scheduled to direct), Paul Rudd and Adam McKay (who helped punch-up the script and make some changes after Wright left the project), along with Director Peyton Reed made Ant-Man a viable character with an amazing set of skills that differ than what we have seen so far.
  • The use and explanation of the Pym-particles, their usage and why they haven’t been seen before now showed the vast back-history that the MCU is filling in and creating.
  • The opening 1989 sequence inside the under construction Triskillion that featured the SHIELD triumvirate of Howard Stark (played again by Iron Man 2‘s John Slattery), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Mitchell Carson showed that SHIELD even then was willing do to what it took to fight the cold war.
  • Hank Pym as Ant-Man working alongside Janet van Dyne  as the Wasp in a flashback of cold war action.
  • Name dropping of Stark, Iron Man, the Avengers and the events of The Avengers: the Age of Ultron worked very well here.
  • Ant-Man is the first movie to mention Spider-Man!!!
  • Stan Lee’s cameo is as always a fun one to wait for.
  • The final battle between Ant-Man vs Yellowjacket is very similar to the Iron Man vs Ironmonger fight. Nothing wrong with this at all.
  • You will learn to care for the various ants as characters and the unique way they are used throughout the movie is just another power-set not seen before in the MCU.

Final Thoughts:

Ant-Man delivers what we’ve come to expect from Marvel and their cinematic universe and fits nicely into the rank and file of the other earth based movies. Lots of laughs mixed with the action and a well written story truly allow Ant-Man to shine as an amazing character that can support his own movie.

Rated PG-13 with a run time of 117 minutes, make Ant-Man the movie to see this weekend as you won’t be disappointed.

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