Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
Last week, I went to see Marvel’s Ant-Man, and I had a great time. In my previous post, I mentioned I might do a follow-up to the earlier Ant-Man/Age of Ultron speculation post I wrote. So, today, I will begin with said follow-up, do an overview of the theory I concocted, and what ended up happening when I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron. Then, I will discuss my viewing of Ant-Man. Afterwards, I will do a tiny review of the film as it compares to other films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Let us begin!
Age of Ultron Speculation Follow-Up
In the aforementioned speculation post, I postulated that Hank Pym, from the Ant-Man film, might have some connection to Ultron, the villain in the second Avengers film. This idea originated from two points: first, Ultron was created by Hank Pym in the comics, and, second, Michael Douglas was cast to portray Hank Pym. I theorized that since Hank Pym in the film was to be much older than the character in the comics, he may have had a hand in the creation of Ultron, but as younger man. Perhaps, he began the development of, or completed, the foundation for the Ultron A.I., which would later be rediscovered following the reemergence of HYDRA. Then, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner would inadvertently release the dangerous intelligence that is Ultron. However, this theory was quickly swept away during my first viewing of Age of Ultron as the birth of the maniacal machine was made possible through the ingenuity of Stark and Banner, and their work with the strange sentience within the mind stone scepter. I wasn’t discouraged at all because I was fully expecting my theory to be incorrect, and I had a lot of fun watching Avengers: Age of Ultron (so much so that I saw it more than once), but it still would have been cool if the producers of the MCU managed to make this little connection. Despite this, I was left wondering what was going to happen in Ant-Man.
Thoughts on Ant-Man
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!
I really enjoyed this movie. There were a lot of fun moments, and goofy moments. I enjoyed the presentation of Ant-Man’s “powers”, which made the world around him appear super massive. Scott Lang’s partners are all pretty funny, especially Michael Peña’s character, and each one serves a unique role for the heists in the film, except Michael Peña’s character – maybe. He’s the guy in-the-know. I was really surprised to see so many references to the Avengers, and even a cameo from one of the new Avengers, Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. I was expecting it to stand on its own a bit more, but, perhaps, Marvel didn’t have faith that it could… or, much more likely, they were doing a little bit of setup for Captain America: Civil War. I was really hyped for this film, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Itty-Bitty Review: Ant-Man
The one aspect of Ant-Man that really sets it apart from the rest of the MCU is its scope. This film really embraces a smaller scale than what we’ve come to expect from previous films, especially since the last film in the MCU, Avengers: Age of Ultron, was released to theaters only two months prior, and that movie was HUGE. One could say the smaller scale of the film stems from the smaller scale of the hero, but that could just be a coincidence. Even with a toned down scale, the stakes are still fairly high. Darren Cross, the antagonist, has been developing his own version of the Pym Particle, which makes Ant-Man’s shrinking powers possible, so that he can sell it to the highest bidder. Since Hank Pym is too old to don the Ant-Man suit anymore, he places the responsibility for stopping Cross upon Scott Lang. Scott seems reluctant, at first, but eventually embraces his new responsibility and the benefits of the Ant-Man suit.
Here are the bullet points:
(+) The visual effects are really good in this film. The presentation of the Ant-Man “powers” is amazing, especially when the film showcases the massive shift in scale.
(+) The action sequences are really entertaining, especially those with Yellow Jacket. Even the scene where Scott Lang breaks into Pym’s house is really cool and entertaining, and does a good job showcasing his innate athleticism.
(+) The characters are well-written, and funny. The relationship between Hank Pym and his daughter is the strongest in the film. Michael Peña’s character is the strongest comedic element of the film. Scott Lang is an intelligent smart-ass who just wants to do right by his daughter.
(+) The movie doesn’t attempt to match the scope of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ant-Man stuck with a simple idea and much smaller scope, which allowed itself to play around with the hero’s “powers”.
(-) The single biggest gripe that I have with this film is with the antagonist, Darren Cross. He is still a well-written character, his motivations are well-defined, and he is an entertaining and tenacious foe as the Yellow Jacket. However, in my opinion, he falls into the same category as the antagonists from all three Iron Man films; a guy with a grudge against the protagonist. This works well for the film’s story, but I am itching for more unique villains (cough Mandarin cough).
(o) Hank Pym does not have any connection to Ultron like his comic-book counterpart, but that doesn’t really affect this film. Lawls.
Ant-Man Final Score: 4/5
Have you seen Ant-Man? Did you enjoy it? Have you seen the mid and post credit scenes? How many Avengers does it take to screw in an Arc Reactor lightbulb? Join the discussion below.