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Dan's Review: "Ant-Man" a big boost to Marvel universe

Jul 17, 2015 02:09PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Paul Rudd in Ant-Man © 2014 - Marvel Studios

Ant-Man (Marvel Studios/ Walt Disney Studios)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.

Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Wood Harris, Hayley Atwell, John Slattery, Martin Donovan, Garrett Morris, Gregg Turkington.

Written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd.

Directed by Peyton Reed.

GRADE: A-

REVIEW:

For a while, it seemed as though Marvel Studios could do no wrong. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of the Marvel gang hit their stride in 2012’s Avengers blockbuster, but the studios took a little hit with Iron Man 3, the ambitious but slow starting Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show (which has since improved greatly), and a slightly tepid reaction to this year’s Age of Ultron. Even so, the recent success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy gave us hope that Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon could right the ship. Many people worried that an Ant-Man movie might not compliment the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but nothing could be further from reality.

The story of Ant-Man begins with Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who was a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the 60s 70s and 80s. He leaves the organization after he learns that someone has tried to steal the miniaturizing “Pym” particle, a substance that allows the wearer of a specialized suit to become Ant-Man. Pym himself had been using the suit to perform heroic deeds as a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative (an perhaps the “second” Avenger – after Captain America). In present day, Pym tracks down a brilliant, principled burglar named Scott Lang, who has just been released from prison. Lang hopes to reunite with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Standing in his way are his ex-wife (Judy Greer) and her new husband Paxton (Bobby Canavale), who happens to be a detective with the San Francisco P.D.

After a failed attempt at a career with Baskin-Robbins, Lang eventually succumbs to the pressure of his roommate Luis (Michael Pena) to take on another burglary job. Little does Lang know, but the heist is a safecracking job at Pym’s house, and the entire caper had been covertly schemed by Pym himself. Pym’s plan is to make Lang the new Ant-Man and prevent is corporate protégé Darren Cross (Casey Stoll) from cracking the particle’s formula and selling it to Hydra. Lang reluctantly agrees to become Ant-Man, and he gains a few skills with the help of Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily), who working undercover for her dad while posing as Cross’ trusted colleague. Pym, Lang and Hope must work fast to prevent Cross from turning the miniaturizing tech, along with a “yellow jacket” mini battle suit to Hydra.

Ant-Man is the most fun you’ll have in theaters this summer. It’s on par with the best Marvel films, with all the action, humor and chemistry of a great cast. Edgar Wright (who was supposed to direct the Ant-Man, but backed out at the last minute) provides a very funny and clever script, complimented by an exceptional cast. It’s also a family-friendly movie with a small amount of violence and language, but no sexual humor.

If there’s one flaw in Ant-Man, it’s the villain Cross, who eventually dons the Yellow Jacket for a battle royale with Ant-Man in the finale. The character is barely developed, and comes across a little flat.

All flaws aside, Ant-Man and manages to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe - ironically through miniaturization. I suppose great things do come in small packages.


P.S. Be sure to stay all the way to the end of the credits. There are TWO bonus scenes, and they are awesome.


Ant-Man Trailer

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