Paul Rudd finally makes his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Marvel’s newest film, Ant-Man! Following his release from prison, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) attempts to leave his life of crime behind him, but when Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) takes an interest in him, Scott must don Pym’s Ant-Man suit to pull off a dangerous heist and stop Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from selling his technology to the highest bidder. Ant-Man contains a blend of humor, eye-widening action, Avengers references, and heart, making it one of the best movies of the year.
One of my complaints about the film is that there were many key scenes shown before the actual release of the film. So much so that most of the film’s plot is broadly expected and predictable. Despite many of these key scenes being shown in the various trailers and TV spots that have been released, audiences are definitely in for some big surprises in the film, which are both funny and action-packed. As usual, you can expect the Marvel post credits scenes, both of which relate to Ant-Man but one is also related to the upcoming Civil War film.
I think many were skeptical of Paul Rudd’s performance as the Ant-Man, but he definitely inhabits that role, and that of Scott Lang, adequately. It seems that it doesn’t take Lang too long to get adjusted to the suit’s abilities, which can be seen as improbable or unlikely. Lang’s initial acceptance of the task presented before him is a bit quick as well, revealing some of the parts where the movie falls short in the storytelling department. Overall, I accepted Paul Rudd as the shrinking hero, but I didn’t feel that he was entirely “Ant-Man” quite yet. On the other hand, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly portray their roles in a much more compelling way. Corey Stoll as Yellowjacket does come off as unhinged and dangerous, but, at the end of the day, he is just another one of Marvel’s “throw-away” villains.
Many were hyping up the “ground-breaking” technologies that would be used in this film, mainly the macro-photography and the scenes involving Ant-Man running around with ants. However, I can’t say that I was that impressed with those scenes, though they were awesome to look at. I was expecting something jaw-dropping, but overall, it was what one would expect. Some things that you wouldn’t expect involve the references and tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is not surprising because Ant-Man marks the official end to Marvel’s “Phase 2.” To understand what I mean, continue reading, but beware… there are spoilers ahead.
One of the biggest surprises in the film, and possibly one of my favorite scenes, involved Scott Lang’s mission to retrieve an integral piece of technology necessary to pull of the heist on Cross Technologies. Though Pym initially believes that he is sending Lang to an abandoned Stark facility, Scott quickly finds that he has actually stumbled across the new Avengers headquarters, seen at the end of Age of Ultron. Not worried about what this could mean, Lang continues on with the mission, despite the advice of Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. After landing at the Avengers headquarters, he quickly spotted by Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon. The comic nature of their meeting is both funny and exciting, as their conversation soon turns into an all-out brawl between Ant-Man and Falcon. Falcon, trained and well-versed in battle, should have had the upper-hand against Scott Lang, but the nature of Ant-Man’s abilities take him aback and he is subdued.
Some of the other surprises in the film are found within the post-credits scenes. The first is focused on Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. As he shows her to a secret room in his home, he unveils a “prototype” suit that he and his late wife were working on. The suit, as many hardcore fans can guess, was the Wasp suit. So, we can definitely expect to see Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp in future films, and Kevin Feige is on record saying that it will definitely be in Phase 3.
The last post-credits scene centers around Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier). Finding him caught in some sort of machine, Cap is hesitant to call in Tony Stark to help Bucky free his arm from the machine, perhaps hinting at the mistrust that he has for Stark. Unable to think of any other options, Sam Wilson says that there may be another option, saying, “I know a guy.” This hints at Scott Lang’s Ant-Man. What does this scene mean for the films to come? Firstly, it sets up some of the backstory to Captain America: Civil War. Having already found the Winter Soldier, Civil War will be able to avoid a lengthy telling of the Winter Soldier’s capture, and the film can just delve right into the action. Secondly, the scene also gives an important reason for Ant-Man to show up within the events of Civil War. Thirdly, the fact that Cap wants to keep this a secret from Stark means that he is either unsure of their relationship or that he knows something that could jeopardize Bucky’s life. Apparently, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hinted that Bucky could be responsible for Tony Stark’s parents’ deaths, which could create an emotional divide in Civil War. It has also been rumored that the Winter Soldier may also be responsible for the death of Black Panther’s father, which gives the Black Panther an ample reason to join the fight.
Aside from the fun scenes from the film, there were many things that just didn’t work for me. For one, Hank Pym mentions that he is unable to don the suit because it takes a physical toll on the wearer. However, the side effects or the reason isn’t given, which begs the question: how long will Scott Lang be able to wear the suit? Speaking of side effects, apparently, though it is only mentioned in the third act of the film, Darren Cross has been affected by the Yellowjacket suit and the formula that he has created. Initially, the audience is simply lead to believe that he is driven by ambition to the point of insanity. However, Hope Van Dyne offers her help to him towards the end because of the suit’s side effects, despite the fact that the audience doesn’t see him wear it until the final battle. Lazy storytelling, if you ask me.
By the end of film, it still seems uncertain as to whether or not Scott Lang will continue wearing the Ant-Man suit. When he hears that “one of the Avengers” is looking for him, he is surprised. Perhaps this means that he will don the suit in Civil War when he is needed? This still seems unclear. What is certain is that his skills, aside from his shrinking abilities, will be needed by Cap and the Winter Soldier.
Am I just nitpicking at little things in the film? What did you think of the film? Leave your comments down below!
See Ant-Man in theaters now!