Ant-Man – Review

Ant-Man MovieHello interweb, Nate here.  So I finally got to see the movie Ant-Man movie!  So what did I think?  Well, read my review to find out!  Oh and as usual SPOILER WARNING.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to be spoiled than stop reading this.

 

Movie Info

Movie Title: Ant-Man

Produced by: Marvel Comics

Distributed by: Disney

Writer: Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish

Director: Peyton Reed

Producer: Kevin Feige

Running Time: 1 hr 57 min

 

Review

You know the funny thing is when the Avengers first came to the big screen I was kinda annoyed that Ant-Man (who I did a Character Bio of a while back) and Wasp wasn’t part of the team because I’ve always found their shrinking abilities really fun and cool.  However since Black Widow already debuted in Iron Man 2 ( I can’t remember whether or not Hawkeye debuted before Avengers or not) it was just easy to toss her onto the team and that was the main reason Ant-Man and Wasp didn’t appear in that movie.  However, now we finally have Ant-Man and Wasp and their about to become Avengers; but it’s not Hank Pym or Janet van Dyne.

So what’s the story?  Scott Lang is an ex con that just got out of prison and he decides to go see his daughter as he wants to be back in her life again, but his ex wife doesn’t want him anywhere near their daughter because, well, he’s an ex con.  So he tries to find an honest job but unfortunately for him his background means nobody wants him.  So he decides to pull one last heist to get his life back on track (yeah, figure out the logic in that) but ends up getting caught by the scientist Dr. Hank Pym who used to be the superhero Ant-Man (so wait, in this continuity Hank Pym’s career as Ant-Man began and ended long before the Avengers even showed up?) .  Hank tells Scott that his shrinking technology has fallen into the wrong hands and he needs Scott to wear the Ant-Man suit (which allows him to shrink to tiny sizes and communicate/control ants) in order to steal this technology back.

Now first off when I heard they where making an Ant-Man movie here was my reaction: “meh”.  I mean seriously?  You could’ve gone and made a movie for any BA Marvel superhero and you chose to go with Ant-Man?  On top of that, why Scott Lang?  Hank Pym is the only Ant-Man in my book.  Heck, I like Scott Lang’s daughter more than Scott himself and that’s mostly due to the Young Avengers.  But after seeing the movie and seeing what they did, I began warming up to the idea that Scott Lang is the Ant-Man of this continuity.  The story itself has been done to death as it’s basically Honey I Shrunk the Kids meets a superhero film meets a heist film.  But the cast of this movie is just so good and the unique spins on the cliches where so fun to watch.  They didn’t spend a lot of time showing the awe of being such a small size with only like 5-10 minutes dedicated to him activating the suit for the first time and having him freak out at trying not to die at an inch tall, and that was great!  I was worried they’d have a bunch of scenes where Scott would be yelling at people not to step on him or accidentally eat him but thankfully the short time spent on it was enough for us to awe at being that small but not so much time that we’re asking the film to just get back to the story.

With that said, there obviously was still a lot of size shifting throughout the film especially with the action scenes.  The ability to shrink down to such a small size and yet still maintain your normal strength leads to some really cool scenes where you see a tiny person running around punching normal sized people around.  One cool gadget was used that I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually seen before are these disks with Pym Particles that allows you to shrink or grow whatever object you want.  This resulted in a funny moment in the climax where Ant-Man’s battling the villain (I’ll get to him in a second) on a Thomas the Train set (which is both creative and funny) and he makes the toy grow to the point that it crashes out of the wall of the house.

One thing that did bug me was the physics of the entire film.  Now I know what most of you guys are thinking: “C’mon Nate, this is a superhero film!  Don’t worry about the science behind this stuff” and to that I’d say your right, but whenever I watch or read superhero stories and I notice something obvious about the scientific flaws of something I always find t fun to discuss them.  So since this is my review I’m going to point them out and if you don’t want to hear any science stuff than just skip this paragraph!  So when describing how the suit works, Hank Pym tells us that the space between the nucleus and electrons of the atoms in Scott shrinks allowing Scott himself to shrink (as well as anything they decide to shrink).  That’s all fine and dandy and it is a good explanation, but that does mean that Scott isn’t losing any mass when he shrinks so if this explanation is true than Scott should continue to weight his normal amount when in tiny form.  Meaning that whenever he jumps on somebody’s shoulder than he’s literally putting all the weight of a full grown man in a area less than an inch wide on somebody’s shoulders.  That should hurt!  Also, if his powers works by shrinking the space between the nucleus and electrons of an atom, than how does he manage to shrink to sizes smaller than an atom in the climax?  And if this is the explanation given for how objects shrinks, than I bet it’s safe to assume that when objects grow than the space between the nucleus and electrons increase, meaning the giant Thomas the Train should’ve been so not-dense that it bounced around like a semi-deflated balloon.  In the comics, the powers are explained by the mass shifting between dimensions or something like that so it would make sense why they would keep their same density as normal (but not weight as that would be lost with the mass).  Suspension of disbelief allows me to believe a guy can force atoms to shrink to allow himself to shrink, but it won’t let me believe that being that dense wouldn’t cause negative consequences.  I know I know, it’s a superhero film so I shouldn’t take the science that seriously but I did tell you to skip this paragraph if you didn’t want a physics lecture.

So the story’s good, the action’s good, the science is…questionable, but most of you probably skipped that paragraph.  So what about the characters?  Well, let’s start with the villain, Lex Luthor.  Okay, it’s not Lex Luthor but c’mon he’s bald, rich, smart, kinda reminds me of Lex Luthor.  Anyways, he’s honestly pretty forgettable.  He’s just a faceless government guy who wants to weaponize the Pym Particles into the Yellowjacket suit.  The only upside to this villain was the action scenes because both Ant-Man and Yellowjacket could shrink, but Yellowjacket could fly without the aid of ants and even shoot lasers while Ant-Man can communicate with ants.  Many people compare this fight to Iron Man and I’m not going to lie, I get there point.  I’m kind of tired of these villains who shares the same abilities as the heroes.  Like Flash and Reverse Flash, Hulk and Abomination, etc.  I mean yeah he did pose as a fun character to fight and all but still…

I’m still kinda cheesed off that this isn’t Hank Pym, but honestly it makes sense why they went with Scott Lang since he has the whole “ex con wanna be good again” thing going for him.  Paul Rudd does a great job and portraying Scott in this and I really like his performance.  Scott’s cocky but not to the degree of Tony Stark, his desire to be with his daughter is very touching and makes you forgive his past since he genuinely is trying, and his interaction with the other characters is fun to watch.  I really wanted him to succeed in the end and to see him be with his daughter at the end of the film was nice to see.  I especially like how they kept the giant ant wich is now their dog basically.

Michael Dugglas did a great job with the older Hank Pym character.  Now I’m not sure how I feel about his career as Ant-Man starting and finishing before the Avengers, but I guess it makes sense based on the description they gave us.  However he stated that he couldn’t be Ant-Man anymore because the suit put a toll on him.  What was that toll?  Could he no longer shrink or he’s stuck at that size?  Did it make his body weak?  A little elaboration would’ve been nice, even a sentence of explanation.  “I can’t wear the suit anymore because it made my body weak”.  All you had to say!  On top of that, it bugged me that he didn’t tell Hope about her mother until the middle of the story and said it was to “protect her”.  Protect her from what?  Being sad?  Her mother died, I don’t think you could avoid that!  Hell, she’d be better off knowing that her mother died saving the world or whatever.

Hope herself is a rather fun character as well.  I actually don’t remember ever learning about this character before the movie so I had to do a quick Google search and apparently in the comics she’s “Hope Pym” rather than “Hope van Dyne” and she was never the Wasp but she was a character named “Red Queen” (don’t know whether she was evil or good but that does sound like a villainous name to me).  She has this romance going on with Scott but I honestly didn’t care for it.  Although their interactions in the training montage was fun to watch.

And to wrap up this review there’s one more thing I want to discuss: MCU continuity.  Within the film, the Avengers are referenced a few times and Ant-Man ends up going to an Avengers base and faces off against Falcon.  Honestly, I liked this scene.  A lot of reviews I’ve been seeing online actually doesn’t seem to like how much this film wants to push the fact that it’s part of the MCU with so many references in it.  But I love it because it’s like the comics!  Comics do this type of thing all the time where different characters will appear in other character’s comics and it usually doesn’t effect the individual’s comics that much.  So the fight between Falcon and Ant-Man was fun and nice way to connect him with the Avengers.

Overall the film was good.  That’s pretty much it, “good”.  But it is such a fun film to watch and the characters or so entertaining that I would recommend it to anyone who likes superheroes.  Overall I give Ant-Man a 4/5, lovable characters, fun action, and interesting story to boot.

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5 comments

  1. Solid review! You bring up an excellent point on the science angle and I absolutely agree. It’s something that I honestly didn’t notice while watching the film so I need to brush up on my science B) It’ll definitely be interesting to see his role in Civil War since it’s supposed to be a big one. I think there’s also a rumor that Hope will be getting a big role in the upcoming comic arc Civil War II to get that epicz synergy with the films.

    1. Thanks! I’m pretty science-minded when it comes to superheroes so whenever something like that happens I point it out a lot.

      I’m not planning om reading Civil War II honestly. Doesn’t seem like theres any need for it.

      1. There really isn’t a need for it. I’ll probably check it out once it’s on trade, but there’s nothing really eye catching about it for sure.

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