It’s time for the last movie in my Finally Watched marathon during the game of musical cable companies. While the entire list of movies I want to see is still long and getting longer I can wrap-up this list anyway. Some of the ones I had recorded I had to drop but hope to pick up in the future since they’re already on broadcast TV. This one was during one of the premium preview events so I had to get those done as soon as I could.
I’ve never really followed any of the characters who took up the role of Ant-Man. Hank Pym was undone by an artist’s mistake. Scott Lang, the one used for the movie, seems interesting but not enough for me to want to see his adventures every month, and the last one I don’t know the name of but I hear he’s a total scumbag and I’m not into scumbag characters. I was interested in seeing the movie based on how fun the trailer looked. Finding a fun superhero story gets harder and harder all the time as, if you missed yesterday’s long rant, keeps getting into the hands of the wrong people, and not just in comics.
RELEASE DATE: 2015
RELEASED BY: Walt Disney Productions and Marvel Studios
RUNTIME: 1 hour, 57 minutes
SCREENWRITERS: Edgar Wright and Joe Parish (also story), Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
GROSS INCOME: $519,445,163 out of an estimated budget of $130,000,000
The Plot: Scott Lang (Rudd) got out of prison ready to start a new life and reconnect with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Unfortunately the world isn’t ready to give him the second chance he wants, including his ex (Judy Greer) and her new husband (Cannavale), the latter especially ready to send him back to jail. Then Scott is drawn into another caper by his old cellmate (Peña), but it’s a set-up by Hank Pym (Douglas) to find someone who can use the power of Ant-Man, the ability to shrink and talk to ants, to stop that very technology from falling into the wrong hands, like his old protégé, Cross (Stoll). Hank’s daughter Hope (Lilly) is against Scott as well, but all Scott wants to do is be the hero Cassie already thinks he is.
Why did I want to see it?: Honestly, the movie just looked like it was a lot of fun in the trailer. I’ve never really followed Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man in the comics) or Scott Lang (his successor) and if it wasn’t for the trailer looking good and the reviews sounding good I probably wouldn’t have any more interested than I have the Thor movies. That’s one of the things the MCU gets right. You don’t have to see all of them (contrary to what the naysayers will tell you), but there are extra benefits if you do.
What did I think?: I really enjoyed the movie. Rudd is really good as Scott, he has great chemistry with his friends as well as the relationships he’s supposed to have with Hope and Hank. There’s also a good story arc between Hank and Hope as they try to reconnect while Scott tries to be part of his daughter’s life. We don’t really see enough scenes between Scott and Cassie to showcase how well they work together, but there is enough to get invested in Scott’s quest to be her father. I think that’s the theme of the character arcs, the love between father and daughter.
There is a part of me that would have liked to have seen Hank as Ant-Man and Janet as the Wasp. They were the first two and since this is about the forming of the MCU…no, wait, it’s not. Hank was operating as Ant-Man in the 1980s, meaning Captain Marvel may not be the first hero in the MCU since Captain America chronologically. I guess it makes sense that there should be other superheroes between the periods of Steve Rogers and Hank Pym/Carol Danvers so I can get over it. Scott and his friends are good characters, and we have another superhero support team. I like those when not overdone. (For example, Dan Slott’s run on Iron Man I think overdoes it with too big a network even considering Stark‘s ever changing bank account and dropping of a secret identity, which doesn’t seem to be a problem in the MCU.)
Cross is an interesting villain as well. He’s still the bad guy but his motivation, feeling put down by his mentor (the least spoilery way I can say it), works well enough. Also, his perception is warped by the faulty tech he’s using as Yellowjacket. I am a bit disappointed that Janet was fridged but at least it leads to an arc for both Hank and Hope. The new husband I really didn’t like until the last few minutes. He really hated Scott and I kept imagining this scenario that, since he’s a cop, he just moved in on Scott’s ex while he was in prison. I just wanted to think the worst of him, though not as bad as Cross, but I was happy to see he finally decided Scott and Cassie should be allowed to spend time together. We have one redeemed villain and one not. It works for me.
The effects are good. I wonder if they created actual “tiny” set pieces for the actors and stunt people to use? Congrats to the actors, including the cameoing Falcon (Anthony Mackie, who should get his own movie at some point if they can find the right script and director for a Falcon movie), for being able to sell being punched by a superstrong guy the size of an ant or having ants all over them.
Was it worth the wait?: Yes. This was a surprise hit. I love the characters, I like the story, the effects were good. This is one I want to add to my DVD library at some point and watch again. And I want to see that sequel movie, Ant-Man And The Wasp, to see if it’s just as good. This one I recommend checking out if you enjoy fun superhero adventures.
Well, it looks like now I’m back to figuring out what to discuss on Fridays and having to find time to continue to tackle my Finally Watched list. There are still a lot of movies and so little time.