Marvel Studio’s lost son, Ant-Man, is about to arrive at cinemas worldwide, but will his fan base grow or remain as small as the title character?
Out of all the Marvel movies, Ant-Man has had one of the rockier roads on his journey to the big screen. For a time, it seemed like Marvel had forgotten about him and now the studio is about to find out whether or not they should have.
In a lot of ways, Ant-Man doesn’t fit in with the current Marvel cinematic universe. Coming in now with an origin story when everyone else is gearing up for Civil War makes Ant-Man seem way behind the rest of the characters.
Some fans might appreciate that the tone of the film really does call back to the first wave of Marvel movies. If you’re one of the many fans who feels that the MCU is starting to get bogged down by having too many interconnecting story arcs then you might find it refreshing to explore a new origin story, but does Ant-Man have an origin worth watching?
Like a lot of comic book heroes, the role of Ant-Man has been filled by a number of people. The film has two, Hank Pym, who is the original, and Scott Lang, the man who inherits the mantle.
Hank is played by Michael Douglas and the film explores his relationship with his daughter, which broke down after his wife died. Douglas does a great job subtly hinting at a darker side to the character that Marvel has unfortunately shied away from exploring more fully.
Paul Rudd plays Scott, who is an ex-con having a hard time finding a job to pay child support for his daughter. While Rudd is very likeable, he wasn’t believable as an ex-con. Maybe it was the script, which is very comedic, but it might just be out of his range as an actor.
Ant-Man may seem like its separate from all other Marvel properties, but there are actually several connections in the film. The difference between this and other Marvel movies is that the connections are either vital to the plot of this film or done for comedic effect. At one point Ant-Man ends up going head to head with one of the Avengers in what might be the best part of the movie.
Marvel villains have become a bit of a laughing stock and Yellow Jacket aka Darren Cross, Ant-Man’s antagonist, is no exception. The character is Hank’s successor and is angry that Hank never shared the secrets of the Pym Particle (the source of Ant-Man’s powers) with him so he took over the company. Corey Stoll tries his best to portray Darren as something more than a one note villain, but in the end he comes across like a child. Albeit a child who has no problem murdering people in cold blood.
Evangeline Lily plays Hank Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne. Hope is the brains behind the operation, though she could be the muscle if she was given the chance. The only problem with her character is that after all the build up about what really happened to her mother when she finds out it ends up being something that any sane person would have told her years ago.
While there are a lot of problems Ant-Man will hopefully fix if it continues as a solo film series, the supporting cast is not one of them. Scott’s roommate Luis, played by Michael Peña, is hilarious and has the best comedic timing of anyone in the film.
Out of all Marvel movies superheroes, Ant-Man may have the strangest powers, but they are also the most visually interesting. Ant-Man ability to shrink turns everyday objects into interesting battlegrounds. Even his ant controlling ability, which is a little out there, is well realised with different types of ants helping in different ways.
Ant-Man is far from the best Marvel has to offer, but his story is light and not held down by heavy tie ins. Fans of origin stories will naturally enjoy this film more than those who don’t, but if you’re starting to tire of superhero movies and only watch Marvel out of obligation then this is one that you could definitely skip.
What do you think? Are you an Ant-Man fan? Do you still enjoy superhero movies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.