Movie Night

Ant-Man (2015)

Let me begin this by apologizing to all Marvel fanatics out there: I’m sorry.

I have never read a Marvel comic in my life. Zilch. And I completely understand how you feel if you’re a purist about Marvel and think that people who only know that universe from the movies are not legit – because that’s how I feel about Lord of the Rings. But will I let that stop me from writing about my thoughts on the movie? Nope. So, sorry. Ish.

I went into this movie with quite low expectations. I love Paul Rudd and want to support him in any way, but to be honest the trailer underwhelmed me. So he can shrink to the size of an ant. Umm, hooray?

But from the first scene, I was hooked. The whole movie felt less of the cliche superhero movie, than it did a human interest story that just happened to involve special secret powers. And a nefarious villain. This is what the critics initially hated about it, but it’s what I loved. I’ve seen the Marvel movies (my niece feels the same way about educating me on all things Marvel as I do about educating her on Star Wars), and Scott Lang occupies a place all his own among all the other “superheroes”. He’s not cocky like Stark, or all USA! USA! like the Cap, and definitely not a god like Thor or Loki (LOKI! Yum). Even though Paul Rudd had to play it straight – he was the “hero”, after all, and it fell to Michael Peña to be the funny guy – Rudd still had a lot of snarky and hilarious moments.  Extra props to him for collaborating on the screenplay too. Actors who can also write screenplays are geniuses (hello, Emma Thompson!).

One of the funniest scenes has to be the big showdown between Ant-Man and his archnemesis Yellowjacket in Ant-Man’s daughter’s bedroom. We’re treated to huge effects and explosions as they square off, but then the camera cuts to show the scale and absolute quiet in the normal-sized world. Nice touch, that. But speaking of Yellowjacket, maybe the one teensy tiny criticism (if at all) is that by the time Yellowjacket appears in all his evil glory, it seems a little too late. It felt like we’ve been waiting for him to show up for a long time that by the time he did, it became a bit anti-climactic and stale. But still, it’s just a small thing that’s easily made up for by the rest of the movie. Also, that gratuitous ab shot of Paul Rudd? I get that something was needed to show Hope van Dyne becoming interested in Scott Lang, and also that I should not look a gift horse in the mouth because hello? Paul Rudd’s abs! But still, was it really necessary? It was just pandering.

But having said all that, the cherry on top has to be Michael Douglas. That’s a legend right there, and he’s in a Marvel movie! How cool is that? Evangeline Lilly was a good choice for his daughter, but I had major issues with her hair in the movie. She looked like a Russian spy that would be more at home in an Indiana Jones movie than in Ant-Man. But maybe it’s a requirement for being The Wasp? I don’t know. If this is something that everyone should know, please see the second paragraph. And since they teased her involvement in future Marvel movies, I just think it’s a bit surprising to imagine Lilly in a superhero movie because I’ve never considered her mainstream enough.

This is one film I’d want to watch again for sure. And apparently we’ll see Ant-Man pretty soon in the next Captain America, so that’s one reason for me to care about that.

But nope, still not reading the comics.

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