Marvel’s Phase Three comes to an end with one of their most unlikely characters yet, Ant-Man. This film has had its ups and downs in production with it originally being helmed by Edgar Wright and not part of the Marvel Universe cannon, but after it really took off that all changed. Somewhere along the way Wright exited the project and Peyton Reed took over leaving fans not only disappointed, but concerned about the finished product. With a great cast including Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas taking on the titular role could this film be another surprise from Marvel or will it just be too small?
Ant-Man follows Scott Lang who must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. This is one of those characters, much like the Guardians that were an unlikely choice to bring to the big screen despite being one of the original Avengers, but once again Marvel delivers. This is a different kind of film for the Marvel Universe playing much more like a heist film for the most part with the super hero aspect just taking it to the next level. All fears of the film not making a lot of sense of being overly dumb quickly flew out the window as they did a great job not only giving the proper back story to Pym, but allowing it to serve as an origin story for Lang. There is a ton of funny moments here that work to better the film while being wrapped up with plenty of emotion and heart to make the film work so much better. The casting was a bit strange, but works perfect with Douglas and Rudd working perfect together. Rudd is not one that you would ever imagine as a Marvel hero, but he knocks it out of the park to bring this fun hero to life. The film features a great supporting cast including Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Judy Greer, Tip “Ti” Harris, and Michael Pena who steals just about every scene he is in.
For any Marvel movie to really work you have to have not only a connection to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also a great villain. Corey Stoll does good job with Yellow jacket, but it is the awesome look and style of the suit that really makes it one of the cooler looking villains so far. For those questioning how much this was going to connect with the rest of the established universe you can breathe a sigh of relief. It not only mentions the Avengers as seen in the trailer, but it goes the extra mile to connect it in a big way both in the main meat of the film as well as some of the after credits scenes, which there are two of. The other big point of discussion with comic fans was the Evangeline Lilly’s role in the film. Relax as all that you know about Pym and his history is intact and also plays a major part of the story.
For this film to really work they obviously had to be able to pull off the pretty ridiculous nature of his powers without taking you too far out of the film. Thankfully they nailed it so well you fall right in line with it all like it is normal. They made sure to explain every bit of it and in turn it brought together the perfection of the CGI for some of the most creative action and fun to date in the Marvel Universe. They were smart and not only paid close attention to the ants but all the details of the world around them at that small size and it just works. They made sure to even explain and inject some tech that could even bring forth his growing ability in future films should they decide to evolve the character further.
This is one of the few films that the 3D actually manages to work on some level especially with all the insects in action, but whether you see it in 3D or not will not change the fact that Marvel has another winner. The two after credits scenes are perfect caps to the film as they help to connect it to the rest of the universe while setting up things to come in the Ant-Man world. This might be Marvel’s smallest hero, but rest assured he is about to make a big impact.