The studio that brought you Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ and the Galaxy’s band of misfit Guardians brings yet another addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the word ‘ant’ is in his name, there is nothing small about this new hero.
After the previous Marvel movies expanding the universe and pushing the story lines of those heroes we know and love, the studios’ newest addition, “Ant-Man”, brings us back to square one; introducing a new character and creating a hero to love and look up to. And boy, did they succeed!
“Ant-Man” does not focus on the life of the original Avenger, Hank Pam (Michael Douglas), donning the suit but rather a small-time crook, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), taking the suit to become something of himself. Scott Lang is recruited to protect the world from
Raid bug spray greater threats.
The other films brought biologically enhanced super soldiers, billionaires with iron suits, a hulking green man affected by gamma radiation, and even a demigod. Although these different qualities really build them to be heroes we look up to and place on pedestals, there is a certain level of realism that is lost. They become symbols of hope and safety, however, they still remain out of reach. “Ant-Man’s” appeal is in that the hero is a normal man, a father. Marvel creates a hero out of the ordinary and this rags-to-riches idea gives the audience a different idea of belief; belief in the sense of believing in your capability and potential to be more than you think.
At its heart, beneath the action and the costumes, this is a family film. We find that the much of the film’s energy and motivation is in that of the father/daughter relationship of Hank Pym and his daughter and Scott Lang and his. This adds a certain appeal that is otherwise absent in the other Marvel films, which is the empathy or relatable quality in that family aspect.
With any new Marvel movie, there is the anxiety in the response and feedback of introducing a new hero. One feels the weight of whether or not the audience will accept this new offering into the universe. As we’ve seen with different reboots and remakes, the response can be brutal. However, as we’ve seen with films such as, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the feedback can be welcoming, giving us more heroes to love. “Ant-Man” succeeds in this introduction. Although it came with a few different flaws, the film bashes any negative initial thoughts and does so by playing it safe.
Initially, I went into the movie not knowing much about the character and not thinking so highly of his powers and abilities. However, the visual effects and the world they create in his shrunken size show the greatness in his power. This is no “Honey, We Shrunk the Kids” type of effects; rather they create a whole new world in this film, with an incredible amount of realism, which enhances the gravity of his power.
My only qualm with this film is that I felt it held back a little bit. You get this feeling of them finding their footing, almost testing the water to see what they can get away with. I can’t fault them for this, however, they were finding their bearings, as any new film does. I just felt they could’ve taken more risks, whether it be with the action or the humor (but praise to Michael Pena for all the laughs). The last movie we were introduced to all new heroes was “Guardians of the Galaxy” and we saw that pushing the envelope can be rewarding. However, as “Ant-Man” progressed, I found them being more and more comfortable, eventually finding their groove.
As we’ve seen with other Marvel movies and Disney movies in general, you should give the underdog a chance. Although this hero can be somewhat obscure to people who aren’t Marvel buffs, there is much to be enjoyed by all sorts of audiences. What the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacks in heart is made up for by “Ant-Man.” We’ve finally met a hero like one of us.
And stay through the credits. Come on guys, it’s a Marvel film.
- Runtime: 117 minutes
- Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
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All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios.