The Road To Endgame – Part 12: Ant-Man
It’s weird. Ant-Man is the first film in this retrospective to legitimately make me tear up and feel emotion. And the thing that ultimately caused me to feel emotion?
The death of a bloody Ant.
Seriously, I felt an emotional connection with a CGI bug.
Ant-Man is a film I expected nothing at all of. Unlike 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, I’d actually heard of Ant-Man prior to watching the review, but I had absolutely no interest in the character. So I was quite surprised to find that I actually rather enjoyed watching Ant-Man when I first watched it. This was three years ago however, and now the main question I have is whether or not I still have the appreciation for the film that I had back then. Indeed, I believe my appreciation for the film has only grown since first viewing.
Ant-Man is a story about ex-convict Scott Lang looking for purpose in his life after being released from prison. He does this by (initially unwillingly) becoming a vigilante known as Ant-Man, working with the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, to take down a corrupt company that is trying to use his ideas for warfare and profit. It’s an extremely simple premise, one that focuses more on the comedy aspect of the hero himself rather than the actual Superhero aspect. After all, how seriously can you honestly take somebody who calls himself Ant-Man? It’s a genius decision on the part of Peyton Reed.
While the film itself is nothing special – a middle of the road Marvel film with some great action beats but nothing really deeper than that – it’s quite the funny film. Never before did I think I’d ever see an action set piece in a superhero movie that involves a giant Thomas The Tank Engine, but here I am having witnessed just that and absolutely LOVED every moment of it. Sure, it’s nothing particularly thought-provoking, but it’s not really trying to be, it wants to be just pure unadulterated fun and it succeeds.
The cast is pretty good too. Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang, and he’s as charming as he is in basically every other role he’s ever had. With this movie, he’s also cemented himself in my mind as being a comedy god, able to wield humour almost as a weapon. Michael Douglas is also incredible fun as Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man.
I feel I should take a moment to note that they de-age Douglas in this film and it’s freakishly realistic, unlike several other recent attempts at it (Rogue One comes to mind). Evangeline Lily plays Janet Van Dyne and she’s alright I guess? I didn’t particularly care for her character, but I guess I didn’t hate her either, just complete and utter indifference. The villain however, I didn’t particularly care for. It’s at this stage in the MCU when they should be doing more with the villains than simply “Hero but evil”. Still, Corey Still tries his best with the lacklustre material he’s given.
Oh, and Michael Pena is utterly entrancing in this as Scott Lang’s best friend, Luis.
Ant-Man, while being one of the less notable entries in the MCU, is still a fun film to experience. It’s not ultimately necessary to watch in the Road To Endgame, but it’s a pleasant detour from the regular.