So, to be honest. I was not the slightest bit excited about Ant-Man when I first heard of it’s release. I love Paul Rudd, severely heart Michael Douglas, want to hang with Evangaline Lily and Corey Stoll won my heart in House of Cards…but I still wasn’t finding myself all giddy for Ant-Man, Marvel’s latest installment in the Marvel Universe. Walking into the screening I had no expectations whatsoever. Walking out of the screening I had my happy dose of Paul Rudd, was much more entertained that I imagined I would be, and think we need to get Michael Peña a super suit.
Ant-Man is the origin story of how Scott Lang went from high tech criminal to tiny superhero. Lang is recruited by brilliant scientist Hank Pym who has secretly developed a super suit that makes the wearer as small as an ant. Pym’s former protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), wants to perfect his old boss’ formula and use it to create the perfect military weapon. But, Hank knows how much destruction this would cause and asks Lang to steal it (something he is pretty good at). Hank’s daughter, Hope, once estranged from her father thinks she should be the one that wears the suit, and hold a grudge against her dad for recruiting someone else, but still helps train him. Lang, takes on the suit, to protect the world as a whole, but mainly his daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) who lives with his ex-wife (the underused Judy Greer), and new husband (Bobby Cannavale).
Rudd’s turn as Ant Man, at first, didn’t make sense to me. But after seeing him as Scott Lang, it’s the perfect pairing. Scott Lang is pretty much every Paul Rudd character rolled together, but with an added ass kicking quality (he even wins a fight with a certain Avenger – you’ll have to watch to see who). I think if anyone else had been Scott Lang, the film wouldn’t have charmed me as much as it did.
While Paul brought the charm, I have to say, Michael Peña stole the show every time he was on screen. His character brought the comedy, and the added friendship that balanced Rudd to perfection. I want to see Peña suit up soon!
However, for all of it’s charm, Ant Man also had some flaws that I left me a bit sad in regards to the Marvel Universe. I think the female characters were severely underused and underplayed, something that early on, Marvel was a leader is creating bad ass females. With talents like Evangeline Lily and Judy Greer, their roles were summed up to girl with daddy issues and the “ex” role. Also- speaking of daddy issues, it was like a meeting of people who had some sort of dad complexes. I mean, I get it was necessary to move along Hope and Hank but, it was a bit too much from every story arc. The beauty of most of Marvel characters, is their struggles makes them the superhero they are…and I am not sure Ant Man allowed for that.
But…when I think about how I felt after the first Iron Man (underwhelmed but hopeful), I think Ant Man has taken a good first step into the Marvel realm. The two credit bonus scenes (yes, there are TWO!!) give me hope for more and I will definitely be waiting to see where Paul Rudd evolves in the superhero realm.
Ant-Man is now open in theaters and is rated PG-13.