Ant-Man (2015)

DVD Cover (Walt Disney Studios)
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Overall Rating 65%
Overall Rating
Ranked #175
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Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Doctor Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. --TMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: October 5, 2016
After being stuck in Development Hell for years, many fans were worried that Ant Man would never see the light of day. However, after cycling though scripts and directors, he finally got his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While Scott Lang is looking forward to a new beginning after being released from prison, you just can't leave a life of crime in the past so easily. His ex-wife and new fiance are none too trusting about the influence he has on his young daughter, and companies aren't too keen about taking on a convict with a history of stealing from his employer. Hell, he can't even convince Baskin Robbins to let him keep a job scooping ice cream. At wit's end, he finally succumbs to his best friends wishes to return to the life he promised to leave behind. The job is a retired millionaire's mansion; he's out of town for the week and has a massive safe in the basement. Perfect target. Or it would have been, except the only thing in the safe was an old leather suit with a strange, futuristic helmet. After all that work, he's not just going to leave it there, and while playing around with it that night, he discovers it gives him the power to shrink! You see, that rich old man is Hank Pym, a brilliant scientist who spent his younger days as the superhero, Ant-Man. Turns out his protege, Darren Cross, is on the cusp of repeating his technology. Knowing full well what kind of terrible things he would use that technology for, Pym's enlisted Lang to become the new Ant-Man and steal Cross' tech.

Truth be told, there's nothing too engaging about this story. After bouncing around production teams, all that's left is a patchwork pile of cliches. Scientists wants to protect his invention from evil competitors trying to profit from it? Seen it. Ex-con trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his kid? Seen it. Man learning extensive new skills in far too short of a time via training montage? Seen it. It's a shame to see how much the film suffered from all the behind the scenes drama. For a franchise stemming from decades of comics, you think they could have dug out something interesting to give the movie its own legs to stand on. As is, it's only purpose is to introduce the character for future use in the Universe.

Fortunately, the movie does have some amazing characters to give it some life. In fact, it's these characters that completely drives the movie. He had to grow on me, but I really enjoyed Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. His dry sarcasm was an unfilled role before his addition, and will fit in nicely with the group's usual banter. While it was an interesting decision to go with the secondary character instead of the traditional Hank Pym, I'm guessing Marvel felt he was too similar to Tony Stark. They're right, but I'm sure their constant dick measuring contests would have been a nice source of comedy over the following movies. Evangeline Lily was a great foil to Lang as a budding love interest. Sure, the cold woman who's slowly won over by the lead is yet another in Ant-Man's long list of cliches, but she never lost her edge, and it's looking like she'll have a bit longevity in the Universe going forward. Be nice to see one of the characters' lady pals gel with the group, instead of being forgotten like Jane Foster, Betty Ross and seemingly Pepper Potts. Hell, even Scott's group of criminal friends was a lot of fun. Yes, Michael Pena's character was another cliche (fast-talking, dopey comedic relief) but damned if he didn't get a few laughs out of me.

Unfortunately, Marvel was once again slacking in the villain department. I mean, look at Yellow Jacket; the hero's business partner betrays him, mirrors his technology and ramps up its destructive capabilities. It's Obadiah Stane 2.0. Plus, like all the villains before him, he's not given any time to be fleshed into a real character. Review in and review out, I rave how making umpteen movies together has given the heroes an airtight chemistry. On the other hand, villains come and go without any real development. Marvel has been able to skate through with this problem for awhile now, but they're going to have to address it soon if they want to carry the franchise into Phase Four and beyond.

So, it's got some problems, but there's no denying that I had fun with it. The replay value just isn't there though. I'm looking forward to Ant-Man in future sequels, but his introduction certainly fell flat. 6.5/10.
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