Personally, I feel movie reviews should be brief, so as not to spoil the experience for the moviegoer; you want enough info to help you decide whether to fork over your hard-earned cash but not enough to spoil the experience. Maybe I’ll write a longer review if they ever make a Giant-Man flick… As for Ant-Man, here are five brief positive and negative points about Scott Lang’s big screen debut. We’ll start with the negative and work our way to the positive. (That’s how my wife always handles me and it works quite well.)
1) Corey Stoll‘s Darren Cross/Yellowjacket is a capable business-partner/protege-turned-big-bad, but he lacks the chilling, menacing nature of Jeff Bridges‘ Obadiah Stane. Cross is a man whose science has twisted his perceptions, much like Norman Osborn – but not quite as deliciously evil. But he tries. That said, Yellowjacket has never looked cooler.
2) We don’t get enough of Michael Douglas/Hank Pym’s past and eventual rift with S.H.I.E.L.D., which is a shame. The taste we get will leave you hungry for more, especially when you see who Pym interacts with while in his prime.
3) We don’t get Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp, but she still brings her A-game, so we forgive her.
4) The humor isn’t up to the standards set by Iron Man or The Avengers, though they give it the community college try.
5) The always-delightful and ever-naughty Judy Greer is woefully underutilized as Scott Lang’s ex-wife. Jurassic World made the same error. Have these people ever seen Greer in action?
All right, enough of this gloomy stuff, let’s get to the “Wham! Bam! Thank You Ant-Man!” shall we?
1) Paul Rudd follows in Michael Keaton‘s footsteps and knocks it out of the park as a comedian-turned-superhero. He’s no Chris Evans but he’s not supposed to be. We buy him as Scott Lang, an ex-con desperate to impress a daughter he hasn’t seen for years. To say he’s a reluctant hero is putting it mildly, but he steps up when necessary.
2) Michael Douglas is a superb actor under any circumstance but as Hank Pym he brings it all to the plate.
- The famous Pym rage is there.
- Douglas’ comedic skills are as sharp as ever.
- Those eyes are as penetrating as ever.
- We buy him as a broken man who failed his beloved Janet.
And speaking of Jan…
3) We get a brief taste of the Wasp. (Wait, that sounded pornographic, didn’t it?) At any rate, [MILD SPOILER]: we see the Wasp in action alongside Pym’s Ant-Man for a glorious moment and it rocks! And hardcore nerds will appreciate the Microverse reference (referred to here as “the quantum realm”), which rocks even more.
4) The cameos. By now you must know that Howard Stark (but which one?), Agent Carter, the Falcon, and even Cap himself show up, right? Garrett Morris even shows up. Yes, that Garrett Morris. (He played Ant-Man back in the day on SNL.) And there’s even a surprise cameo by… I’ll leave it up to you to figure that out.
5) There’s a superhero fight! There’s a superhero fight! Can you tell I was excited by that time-honored tradition brought to life? I won’t tell you who was involved (besides Ant-Man, of course), but it rocks harder than Ben Grimm at a Stones concert.
And that’s it. Ant-Man was, in my opinion, better than Iron Man 2 and 3, and even Age of Ultron, but not quite as good as Guardians of the Galaxy. Have fun, kids.
And whatever you do, don’t miss those post-credit scenes. Trust me, they have more meat than the standard fare. In fact, unless I miss my guess, the second one serves to set up Marvel‘s cinematic Civil War. Yep.