Ant-Man  is the latest addition to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. No Iron Man or Captain America here, but instead, we get Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Scott’s a former thief who’s just gotten out of jail. Hank is a brilliant scientist who’s created a suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. Recruited by Hank, Scott decides to embrace his inner hero and help Hank pull off a heist to save the world.
[Insert “small” pun here]: Unlike the recent Age of Ultron, the stakes of Ant-Man are suitably smaller. There’s no end-of-the-world threats or skyscrapers being blown to pieces. It’s just a man trying to pull off a heist. All of it works very well, from the action sequences to the character interplay. Paul Rudd shines with his comedic charisma and we buy into his journey as he becomes the Ant-Man. It may be another “origin story”, but at least it’s a competent one.
In Wright We Trust. A lot of hoopla was made about the exit of Edgar Wright, who was formerly slated to write and direct, but exited due to “creative difference” (a common excuse). Peyton Reed steps in, and while he does do a fine job, a lot of Edgar Wright’s fingerprints are still present. The scenes with Michael Peña have that same style and energy that Wright is known for. The action scenes also have an inventive, Edgar Wright-like quality to them. Heck, even the fast cuts and editing show up here and there. He did end up getting credit for co-writing and even executive producing, which is good to see. While we’ll never see Wright’s true vision, we do get a taste of it in Peyton Reed’s version.
What’s with the villains? Loki aside, Marvel movies have never had a truly great villain. They almost had it with Ultron, and they almost have it here. Corey Stoll gives a solid performance and does feel like a genuine threat. But he’s never given enough time to develop. Most of the attention is given to the heroes, but Marvel handles them so well that it’s easy to overlook the villains.
A different Marvel Movie, but still a ton of fun. Another solid addition to the Universe.