Ya know, there was a time when it seemed impossible to make a live action super-hero movie revolving around an iconic hero like Spider-Man, seriously back in the 80’s and 90’s the thought of a Spider-man film seemed Non-Existent. Well, fast-forward to present day where even lesser known characters like Ant-Man are getting their own theatrical films, how things have changed. I must admit, this was a character that I knew nothing about and I was worried that his new movie would be your generic, run of the mil origin story, but thankfully through some really creative writing and an excellent script, the 2015 movie “Ant-Man” not only exceeded it’s low expectations, it made me a big fan of the character.
Like most good super-hero stories, “Ant-Man” is themed around redemption, it’s all about a small time crook who did terrible things and has a chance to redeem himself by becoming a hero, which may sound kind of “been there, done that”, but with several smart twists and turns that were very original and inventive. Most superhero origin movies build up our main character as the first of his kind, there was never a Batman before Bruce Wane, there was never a Spider-Man before Peter Parker, but “Ant-Man” is actually about passing the torch. There was in fact an Ant-Man before who’s gotten old and now has to train a young man played by Paul Rudd to be this new hero who operates on a smaller scale. He doesn’t go out into the city to fight crime, instead he uses a shrink suite to go on under cover heist missions against evil corporations.
The concept alone is brilliant, but the movie gets so creative with how our hero shrinks, moves in his environment and even communicates with ants to overcome obstacles that it becomes one of the most unique and fun experiences I’ve had in a long time. While the premise itself is off the wall crazy, the scale is thankfully toned down a lot, making it come off like a breath of fresh air, but still just as fun as any superhero movie gets. The action scenes are all good, the comedy is spot on but beyond all that, it’s just all the creative and fun things the film dose revolving around a shrunken man that make this film so appealing. The casting is all spot on, I’m not even a fan of Paul Rudd but he hit it out of the park as Ant-Man and was very charming whenever he was on screen. The biggest ace up this movies sleeve is Michael Douglas who was the original Ant-Man turned classic wise old advisor. This guy stole the movie with every scene and I actually found him to be more intriguing then our main lead. The supporting cast is all serviceable and the comedic relief characters were surprisingly likable. The only character I didn’t like was the villain called Yellow Jacket played by Corey Stoll. He was functional as a threat and had kind of a cool design but the performance was a little too hammy and he also came off like a card board cut out of other villains we’ve already seen.
I have to admit, with all these superhero movies come out, I was worried that I’d be getting tired of them, but “Ant-Man” proved once again that there are still some really good comic book films out there and I can’t wait to see this guy in a sequel. It was funny, it was creative, it looked awesome and it also did a good job fitting in with the Marvel universe. Was it a perfect movie ... not really, but there was nothing to really complain about either. Do I want to see it again ... sure, would I own this on DVD ... absolutely! If you snickered at the trailers or the character in general, I say give the movie a chance, you might be surprised.
I give “Ant-Man” 4 stars out of 5.