Movie Reviews: Marvel's Ant-Man
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I have my favorites and least favorites among the Marvel films. There are some I’m happy with only having seen three or so times, and others I want to watch until my eyes bleed. Ant-Man? It's eye-bleed material.
I still have the adrenaline flowing through me from seeing that post-credits scene. Yes, for just a moment, I’m going to have a complete and utter fangirl freakout over the few precious seconds Marvel has gifted me with in regards to what is to come. I don’t want to say exactly what the scene was because….no, you know what? I’m going to have my fangirl freakout right here, right now. If you don’t want spoilers, you shouldn’t be on the internet. This is so big, it probably already caused a meltdown on your Twitter and Tumblr walls.
CAPTAIN AND FALCON ARE HIDING WINTER SOLDIER!!!
Bucky Barnes is back, guys! And Steve doesn’t want to tell Tony about it, which is just one more punch in a battle of egos that will certainly jumpstart the events of Civil War. For those of you who don’t know what that means, that is a whole different can of worms that I don’t want to open right now because, at the moment, I’m supposed to be talking about ants, not worms. Just know that it’s big. And comes with a bonus Bucky for your viewing pleasure.
Alright, shaking that off for the moment, let’s get back to what we’re actually here for: ANT-MAN!
I will start by fully admitting that I came pre-biased. Comic book movies are my favorite genre (though whether it is a genre is up for debate), Marvel’s MCU movies are the top-notch of comic book movies (in my opinion), and I kind of have a stupid love for Paul Rudd. Unless the filmmakers planned to pull a Wolverine: Origins on me and somehow manage to screw up what should have been a perfect lineup, there was no way I was not going to like this movie. You are reading the words of a person who actually attended the twenty-nine hour Marvel Movie Marathon for the Avengers: Age of Ultron release.
That being said, I have my favorites and least favorites among the Marvel films. There are some I’m happy with only having seen three or so times, and others I want to watch until my eyes bleed. Ant-Man? It's eye-bleed material.
First, it is very funny, and not just because of Paul Rudd. His style of humor works perfectly with the mood of the whole film which makes fun of itself. I mean, come on, it’s a guy who shrinks down to the size of an ant and goes around kicking ass. Even Marvel was like, “This is too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Let’s have some fun with the tiny-people-duking-it-out concept.” And they did, but they managed to make fun of themselves while they were still creating action sequences that got your blood pumping and all your competitive/concerned hero-cheering sensors firing off exactly as scheduled. They had their usual witty, comic book film one-liners, goofy sidekick characters that improved on the funny instead of taking away from it, and one particular scene involving a fight between Ant-Man and Falcon (surprise cameo!) that put one of those grins on my face that becomes painful after several seconds. It was Guardians of the Galaxy-type fun.
Second, as I briefly touched on above, the cameos! We had people and various Easter eggs popping up all over the place that tie into the MCU-verse, including some Peggy Carter action and the return of John Slattery to play the aged Howard Stark (as he was portrayed in Iron Man 2). There were SHIELD references, Hydra nods (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, anyone?), and, for once, Marvel directly addressed the question of why the Avengers aren’t just called in as a team whenever something elsewhere in the world is falling apart. That scene actually made my whole day, the fact that calling the Avengers was brought up as a valid solution to a problem (by Judd’s Scott Lang), and turned down for an equally valid reason by Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man (played by Michael Douglas). Plus, we got an Avengers: Age of Ultron reference in that same scene.
Third, aside from the comic-y action and the clever and/or occasionally stupid humor (in a fun way), the movie also played a bit like a spy movie, which is a genre I also love. There were setups and double-crosses all over the place, enough to make things unpredictable, but not to any sort of confusing levels. The only thing I would have liked to see more of was Scott cat-burglaring his way into things as just himself instead of using the Ant-Man tech. I mean, I know the whole point of the movie is to have Ant-Man running around Ant-Manning it up, but there’s something inarguably compelling about watching a guy figure out how to break into a top-notch security system using only his intellect. Well, that and some wicked parkour skills.
Overall, I would rank Ant-Man among my favs in the Marvel universe, which is funny considering I didn’t even particularly like the character in the comics. It had the right amount of action, the right amount of ties to the other pieces at play in the MCU-verse, and just the right levels of cheesy-ness that I expect from my beloved comic book films (and the best freakin’ post-credits scene ever! I had to circle my way back around to that!).
So, go, comic book movie fans, watch Ant-Man, get worked up over the action, laugh at the jokes, find the Easter eggs, and don’t try to take it too seriously. It’s meant to be fun. It’s a guy who saves the world by riding on the backs of ants. Even Marvel understands the absurdity of it.