Whether you fancied ants as a kid or detested them, you’re bound to be entertained by this film. The newest Marvel movie and the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Ant-Man sees Paul Rudd take on the titular character as a superhero literally the size of an ant. Directed by Peyton Reed, whose last work was the popular Jim Carrey-starring Yes Man in 2008, this film is guaranteed to be amusing for just about everyone.
Rudd plays Scott Lang, an ex-convict with a history of theft who needs money to see his daughter again. At the persuasion of his three buddies Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (Tip “T.I.” Harris) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian), Scott reluctantly agrees to carry out one more heist – at the risk of another conviction – and rob the safe of a rich man. No sooner does he realise that the robbery was doomed to fail when there’s nothing but a suit to steal, and one that happens to provide superhuman abilities.
Designed by former SH.I.E.L.D agent and physicist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the suit makes Ant-Man’s transformation possible. However, this catches the attention of Hank’s former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who intends to militarise it. Unwilling to see his invention be used for ill purposes, Hank refuses to allow Darren to do as he wishes and as a result is ousted from Pym Technologies, his own company. After the robbery, Hank learns of Scott’s predicament and decides to have him take over as Ant-Man.
Evangeline Lilly plays Hope van Dyne, Hank’s daughter and a senior board member at Pym along with Darren. Torn between respecting her disgraced father and the career opportunities at Pym, Hope is reluctant for Scott to don the Ant-Man suit and assists Darren in developing an alternate version of the suit, the Yellowjacket. As the sole female character among the predominantly male cast, Hope represents feminine strength in the MCU and is performed fairly well by Lilly.
Rudd works as a comedic actor, almost in the same vein as Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy. On the other hand, Peña provides some comic relief – humour that is shortlived but memorable. Stoll does not exude antagonistic charisma in Darren as one might expect, and his performance creates suspense as to what his next move would be. Lastly, in a surprise appearance, Anthony Mackie plays a cameo role as his Avenger alter ego Sam Wilson, also known as Falcon.
As with superhero movies, Ant-Man balances both story and character sufficiently while the entertainment value remains evident throughout. Reed takes time to develop the premise and explain the science behind the fundamentals of Ant-Man, two factors which inevitably slows the film down in the first half. But once the action sequences kick in, it delivers and goes all the way till the end.
Given the physicist that Hank is and the importance of science in the movie, the laws of physics are adhered to as much as possible, which plays out to humorous effect. Visually, the perspective of an ant is shown realistically, and the transformation from human to ant makes the movie worth catching in 3D.
As a movie about ants, Ant-Man features references to actual ants, but with fictional twists. At the end of this, you may even find yourself appreciating the existence of ants. Most importantly, in accordance with most Marvel movies, Ant-Man contains numerous references to Avengers which lead up to a promising ending – not just one, but two post-credit scenes. So be sure to stay till the very end!
Marvel’s Ant-Man opens in theatres today.
This film was reviewed in the 3D format
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Running time: 117 minutes