Ant-Man Movie Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny

Ant-Man and FriendsAnt-Man and Friends
  First of all, let me say that the new Ant-Man movie is a lot of fun, and, of course, is a close fit with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  If you like Marvel movies (i.e., those put out by Marvel Studios), by all means, you need to see the Ant-Man movie.  If you are a fan of the Ant-Man in the comics, the movie version of the familiar Ant-Man family of characters are, in our opinion, similar enough to the originals to satisfy, with some variations to make it all fit into the Marvel movie universe. Ok, with that out of the way, we will take a look at some specifically good things about the Ant-Man movie, and some things that, frankly, could have been better. The Good: Humor:  This film, like Guardians of the Galaxy before it, uses quite a bit of humor throughout the movie.  Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man, has a team of sidekicks who are primarily there for comic relief. Michael Peña plays Lang's buddy Luis, and his mannerisms and story-telling technique in the movie are just hilarious. Read more about the orginal Ant-Man and Wasp in this short e-book on the Avengers.   The Heroes:  One concern that appeared with the first trailers and info on this movie as the pre-release publicity began was the fact that the title character would be the second Ant-Man from the comics, Scott Lang, rather than the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym.  Lang is played by Paul Rudd, while an older Pym is played by Michael Douglas.   Our fears were allayed by the fact that Douglas' Pym has almost as much screen time as Rudd's Lang.  SPOILER ALERT HERE...  
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)

  From the opening scene of the movie (and pay close attention to who the white-haired billionaire playboy is, as well as the woman), we see Hank Pym in action and we start to learn more about what he did in his younger days...hint, fans of the original Ant-Man (like this reviewer), loved what the Michael Douglas character does in the movie and in the flashbacks.  Also, we see an Ant-Man/Wasp team-up, as it should be.   MORE SPOILERS...   Special Effects:  When we first see Hank Pym, he is the younger Michael Douglas as he appeared in films nearly 30 years ago.  This effect is by the same company that made Chris Evans look like a 98-pound weakling in the first Captain America movie.  When I saw this scene, all my fears of the original Pym character/Ant-Man being pushed aside were alleviated.  Also, the shrinking effects throughout the film were fantastic!   Marvel Easter Eggs and References:  Old fans of Marvel comics will love the Easter eggs and references, from the "Tales to Astonish" verbal reference to the names of businesses that refer to comics creators.  And, of course, the requisite Stan Lee cameo (don't blink, it is a quick one!), and the mid-credits scene (again, fans of the Wasp will like it), and the after-credits scene that helps place Ant-Man in the upcoming events that will shake the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oh, and there is a cool super-hero cameo in the middle of the movie as well that helps set up the after-credits scene.  Also, several heroes are referenced at the end, and one of them seems to be a reference to a certain hero that everyone wants to see interact with the Avengers.  No, we will not spoil that one.  Go see the movie! By the way, the "dog" in the movie is cool!
Scott Lang finds the Ant-Man Suit

Scott Lang finds the Ant-Man Suit

  The Bad (or stuff that at least could have been done better):   The Villain:  A bald evil scientist who develops a powerful weapon and seeks to sell it to the highest bidder.  After the good guys interfere with his plans, he uses weaponized suit himself, and becomes the villainous super-powered bad guy.  As the super-powered bad guy (the suit gives him the same basic powers as our hero, but with some cool weapons upgrades), our villain finds the female character most important to our hero and threatens her life, forcing our hero to make a move that could prove fatal, "but he has to save the girl..."
Yellowjacket vs Ant-Man

Yellowjacket vs Ant-Man

Ok, that synopsis fits the Yellowjacket villain from Ant-Man, as well as the villain from the first Iron Man movie (Jeff Bridges played the bald Obadiah Stane, who puts on a super-armor to try to kill Iron Man and his love interest, Pepper Potts).  In Ant-Man, Actor Corey Stoll plays Darren Cross, who becomes Yellowjacket and threatens Ant-Man's daughter.   In other words, the villain is somewhat generic.  Not bad, but certainly not great.  Plus, as a fan of the comics, this version of Yellowjacket is a fail. But, having said that, the film itself is a success: a fun, humorous introduction to Marvel's newest film hero and his extended network of characters.  Plus, it sets us up for Ant-Man's  interaction with the Avengers and other heroes in the future.  Go see Ant-Man.  It was a lot of fun! Read more about the orginal Ant-Man and Wasp in this short e-book on the Avengers.  

About the Author

Roger Lee
Roger Lee is a life-long comic book and sci-fi aficionado. As such, he fell into the habit of writing about the superheroes and sci-fi scenarios that he reads in the comics and books and sees on screen. Since writings on superheroes need to be shared, he has written for web audiences for years. His writings have appeared on www.comicshistoryguy.com, www.comicbookmovie.com, www.bamsmackpow.com, and now in superheroreviews.com.