After being forced out from his company by his former assistant Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a thief who has just been released from prison. Thanks to the training of Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily), Scott becomes Ant-Man. To be Ant-man. Scott is given a suit that allows him to shrink his size and grow back, possess superhuman strength and the ability to control different types of ants. He uses it and his merry team of misfits to prevent Cross from performing the same technology, found within his Yellowjacket suit, and using it as a weapon for evil.
The first thing you’ll notice about this film is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. No one follows this more than Paul Rudd in his performance as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. He comes off as likeable and his smartly uses his comedic background at the appropriate times. The trio of him along with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily work well together and the chemistry which these three have made their scenes very enjoyable. The story, albeit predictable, comes secondary to the performances which are excellent across the board, especially that of Michael Pena’s scene-stealing comedic performance as Scott’s friend Luis. Corey Stoll did well with what little he had as Cross who’s underdeveloped character who does not appear too threatening as the film’s main villain. These shortcomings are quickly forgotten when we bear witness to the film’s amazing visual effects. The many transitions from big to small were done well and effectively created each feeling by playing with perspectives and proportions. For those concerned about this film’s connection to the overall MCU, there are plenty of references to films new and old to keep even the diehard fans engaged. I was able to catch a few and I am sure there are more that I missed. Of course there are scenes in the middle of the credits and at the end that will offer some reveals to the future of the MCU that I will obviously not spoil but you probably already knew that. The film’s biggest action scene, as shown in the trailers, is the best part of the film as it cleverly juxtaposes the characters and their respective sizes with the world around them with the camera smartly zooming in and out as the characters are constantly changing sizes. The film does start off a little slowly compared to other Marvel films but the choice to introduce and flesh-out all of the characters which made me care for them more. Instead of throwing in gratuitous explosions and the like some action films do, the film logically builds up its action sequences making them feel more memorable. In terms of other MCU phase 2 films, this one has to be the funniest one and the funniest MCU film overall since the first Avengers film. To me, this debut film for Ant-Man is the second best debut film (behind the first Iron Man and slightly better than the first Captain America). Knowing what I know now, I can’t wait for Captain America: Civil War.
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