Movie Review: Ant-Man (2015)

Running time: 115 minutes

Director: Peyton Reed

34321After it was announced last year that Edgar Wright and Marvel had parted ways due to creative differences over the Ant-Man script for years, and with Peyton Reed taking his place in the director’s chair, a lot of people started to believe this was proof that Marvel’s glory days were coming to an end and that Ant-Man would be the first movie for the studio to bomb at the box office. Sure, that was the exact thought when Guardians of the Galaxy was announced and it ended up doing more than ok. So, did Marvel end its Phase 2 in a high note, ensuring that at this point we should trust Kevin Feige, or did they not recover from Wright’s departure?

Ex-convict, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finds himself involved in Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) plan to retrieve from Pym Tech the shrinking formula he developed in his youth and that his former protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is trying to replicate to create an army. With the reluctant help of Hank’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Scott learns how to use the Ant-Man suit and become the hero they need to pull off this heist.

Marvel's Ant-Man..L to R: Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hank Pym/Ant-Man (Michael Douglas)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014The first time we meet Hank Pym is in 1989 as a spectacular CGI young Michael Douglas is resigning from SHIELD after finding out that Howard Stark has been trying to replicate his shrinking formula. This scene introduces us to the original Ant-Man and sets up some backstory to his character, in addition to revisiting some beloved MCU characters from previous movies like Howard Stark (from the first Iron Man) and the always delightful Peggy Carter (Captain America: The First Avenger) as the SHIELD founders.

In present day, Scott Lang is about to be released from San Quentin State prison after serving some years for a Robin Hood-like burglary. Out in the real world, his priority is to make amends with his family and prove to his ex-wife Maggie and her partner that he is still fit to be a good dad. But, despite his clear efforts they won’t let him see his daughter Cassie (played by the most adorable Abby Ryder Forston) until he pays the child support he owes them. Once again this year we have Judy Greer in a blockbuster film being the worried mom, at least Bobby Cannavale had an active part in the film besides just being the stepfather who is a jerk to the hero.

screen-shot-2015-04-13-at-10-12-53-amUnable to find a proper job with his criminal record, his friend Luis (portrayed by Michael Peña, who steals the show every time he is on-screen) convinces him rob an old man’s house. This way his path crosses that of Hank Pym’s, who needs his help and wants him to become the Ant-Man to retrieve from Pym Tech the shrinking technology that Hank’s former protégé, Darren Cross, is trying to replicate to create an army of tiny men. And as it is so typical with Marvel movies now, the villain is probably the weakest part and in the end, forgettable. Corey Stoll is good in the role and his motivation is clear but the execution is quite poor and often needs of a lot of exposition.

Scott is trained by Hank and his daughter, Hope, with whom he doesn’t have a very good relationship and creates great father-daughter parallels with Scott and his own daughter Cassie. Hope is reluctant to use Scott for the mission as she is far more capable and already knows how to use the suit. And even though her character was well realized and she had some cool fight moves during the training session, I would have liked to see Evangeline Lilly taking some part in the action. Spoiler! At least the end credit sequence foreshadows some exciting stuff for her character in the near future.

Ant-Man-3We will never know what movie did Edgar Wright have in mind so it is pointless to compare what we have and what we could have had. The important thing is that Marvel did it again and Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man is a simplistic but effective heist film with well-balanced comedy and does a great job at tying the film to the MCU while keeping it self-contained. Unlike Thor’s quest in Age of Ultron, neither of the references or cameos pull you out of the movie or feel like set up. The action sequences may not be the best we have seen from Marvel, but the use of the macro photography makes it a visual spectacle, and the relationships between the characters are a treat to watch. In the role of Scott Lang, Paul Rudd proves that he is a legit superhero and deserves a place in the Avengers. He was likable, believable, relatable and a perfect addition to the MCU. In a shared universe where supersoldiers, gods, raging monsters and enhanced humans defend the world, Ant-Man seemed like an odd choice to add to the franchise but, as Stanley Tucci’s Dr. Erskine said in Captain America: The First Avenger, maybe what we needed now was a little guy.

9/10

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

First of all, Happy New Year! Now, let’s star with some honorable mentions like Peach Perfect 2, Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland, films that I’m looking forward to, though not quite as excited about as the following:

#10 The Martian

ridley_scott_va_a_dirigir_the_martian_con_matt_damonDirector: Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott hasn’t done many great movies lately but I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt. The Martian is based in the novel by Andy Weir, so the story is already there and if Ridley Scott can do something is making an spectacular-looking film and with this one being set in Mars, I expect nothing less.

 

#9 Minions

minion-miniDirector: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

The cutest part of Despicable Me has finally its own movie and is of course going to be one of my most anticipated of 2015. Starring the minions, this movie is going to be incredibly funny and adorable.

 

#8 The Hateful Eight

-7882faad-1c50-4e2a-b005-b0e51c821e04Director: Quentin Tarantino

After what he did with Django Unchained, I just can’t wait to see what Tarantino has in store for this movie. The script for the film leaked but I’m glad he’s still making it, that shows it has a lot of potential.

#7 Crimson Peak

Crimson-PeakDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain in a movie together, do I need to say more?

#6 Spectre

007-bond-movie-announcement-new-title-spectreDirector: Sam Mendes

I love what Sam Mendes has done with the Bond movies, especially with Skyfall and Daniel Craig is such a fantastic James Bond.

 

#5 Ant-Man

Ant-Man-Movie-CostumeDirector: Peyton Reed

It’s not much what we know about this movie and the production has been a rollercoaster with Edgar Wright leaving after so long attached to it and some people are starting to lose faith, but, for me, Marvel has yet to disappoint so I’m trusting them for now.

 

#4 Pan

hugh-jackman-in-an-image-from-the-new-pan-movieDirector: Joe Wright

I can’t describe how much I liked the trailer for this movie and that is why it’s so high in my list. Peter Pan is one of my favourite fairy tales and I just love the cast gathered for this movie. The kid, Levi Miller, looks like he could be a great Peter Pan and I’m super excited about Hugh Jackman and Garret Hedlund playing Blackbeard and Hook. The only one I’m still not fully convinced about is Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.

 

#3 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

imagesDirector: Francis Lawrence

The first part might have suffered from a lack of action and being quite slow but everything in it was leading up to this moment  and even though Mockingjay is my least favourite book of the trilogy, the movies have still to disappoint me and I’m sure this  will be an action-packed finale.

#2 Star Wars: Episode VII

2014StarWars_TheForceAwakens_Press_251114Director: J.J. Abrams

The race for the top spot was in a dead heat but finally I’m putting the next Star Wars in second place just because at this point, considering the previous films, I have a little more faith in Marvel. Still, I’ve loved everything related to this movie. The teaser gave us just what we needed, I’m very excited about some of the cast members and to see the original cast coming back. The most disappointing thing is to think is still a year away.

 

#1 Avengers: Age of Ultron

avengers-age-ultronDirector: Joss Whedon

The first Avengers movie is probably one of my favourite movies of all time and it seems the sequel is going to be at the same level. The trailer was just spectacular. I like the change in the tone, the new additions with the twins, Vision, and, of course, Ultron, who has the potential to be an amazing villain. Also, I’m so excited to see how the events in Age of Ultron and the relation between Ironman and Cap lead to Civil War.

 

Marvel News

No more origin stories.

dr_strange_by_yamaoMarvel has revealed that there will be no more origin stories in the films. This is going to affect especially the Doctor Strange movie, for which a script was already done telling the origin story, so they are now rewriting it. This way when we meet him for the first time in the movie he would already be the sorcerer supreme, which makes sense after his name was dropped in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and if they want Scarlet Witch to appear in the movie. I guess they will explore it through flashbacks, as his origin story is so amazing and interesting. It is rumoured that the Untitled Marvel Project for 2016 will be the Doctor Strange, in that case, they would start shooting next year and we should start hearing some casting news in the next couple of months

Ant-Man starts production.

1The film has just begun filming and Marvel has already released the first image of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. It has also been revealed that John Slattery will reprise his role as the older version of Howard Stark from Iron Man 2, so we might get some flashbacks with him and Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas.

MCU Future

In this interview, Kevin Feige has said that there’s a possibility of seeing the real Mandarin and the Red Skull again in future projects. And Black Panther and Captain Marvel are two strong candidates to get solo movies given the strong fan demand.

Ant-Man Comic Con Footage Description

paul-ruddAnt-Man starts shooting in two weeks in Atlanta, so the footage Marvel shown at Comic Con is not from the actual movie but only a test footage with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd doing the voice over.

The Ant-Man footage begins with a shot through a laboratory, where we see numerous beakers filled with different colored liquids, along with a glass cage with an anthill inside. The footage cuts to a rooftop where we see Ant-Man there in his shrunken state, but it seems he is being pursued by full-sized humans. Lang is petrified, which leads Pym to say, “Geez Lang. You’d think someone only shrunk your balls.” An ant lands and Scott Lang climbs on his back, petrified, as we can hear Pym talking to Lang through the helmet. It appears that Lang may be inside a computer, as we hear Pym telling Lang to jump off a huge ledge, as Lang tries to talk to the ant. When he jumps off the ledge, the flying ant comes up to catch him, as the film’s logo comes up. (MovieWeb)

 

News from the Comic Con Marvel Panel

The Marvel panel focused on the two movies that are coming out in 2015, Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Evangeline Lily will play Hope Van Dyne in Ant-Man, and not Janet, and will be the daughter of Hank Pym. She hasn’t read the script yet so she couldn’t say much about the character. There are no news if she will be the Wasp or even if the Wasp will be in the movie. Also, Corey Stoll will play the villain Darren Cross, who would also be Yellowjacket, another deviation from the story in the comic books. The movie starts shooting in two weeks and will come out on July 17, 2015.

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It was reported yesterday that Joaquin Phoenix was in negotiations to play Stephen Strange. Sadly, there were no confirmations for Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel or any other movie besides a sequel for Guardians of the Galaxy which will hit theaters on July 28, 2017 and will also be directed by James Gunn.

Posters for ‘Avengers’ and Ant-Man

Comic Con started officially today and Marvel is kicking things off by releasing concept art posters for every Avenger. First for Iron Man and Scarlet Witch and a bit later for Captain America and Black Widow. We can expect to get concept art pictures also for Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Quicksilver in the next hours. All the posters convined will form a larger picture, as you can see below.

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Also we had a first look at Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.

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