Scott Lang is an ex-con, just trying to get his life back in order after serving time for a daring Robin-Hood-style theft of his former employer. When going straight doesn’t pay the bills, and he’s faced with not seeing his daughter anymore, he teams up with his friend and former cellmate Luis for one more big score. Unfortunately for Scott, the owner of the house, Dr. Hank Pym, former member of SHIELD and inventor of a one-of-a-kind shrinking tech, has different plans for the would-be burglar.
Part Iron Man, part Ocean’s 11, the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man features Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and an absolutely hilarious, scene stealing Michael Pena as Luis, Lang’s friend and former cellmate. Produced by Kevin Feige (The Avengers, Iron Man), Ant-Man is a perfect blend of buddy, superhero, and heist movie. The 3D Blu-Ray / Blu-Ray / Digital Copy combo is packed full of bonus content including “Making of an Ant-Sized Heist,” “Let’s Go to the Macroverse,” and deleted scenes and gag reels with commentary by Director Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd.
Closing out Phase II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man differs quite a bit from the other movies in this series, which may be why it did not perform as well at the box office. There’s plenty of the fight scenes you expect from a Marvel superhero movie, and some amazing special effects, but despite multiple references to, and even appearances by, the Avengers, Ant-Man feels very much like a standalone film (although how much it will influence Phase III remains to be seen). Specifically, the mass destruction and epic battles found in other MCU films is noticeably absent. This is very likely the first modern-era Marvel film where Damage Control could probably sweep everything up in a day, and most of that would be patching the giant hole in the Pym Technologies building and maybe buying a little girl a new Thomas the Tank Engine train set.
Don’t let the box office numbers fool you, though. Ant-Man is an absolute joy to watch and has more heart, with the possible exception of Cap and Peggy’s moments, than all the others combined. Scott Lang is a real person with real flaws who is thrown into an impossible situation. He recognizes he’s no hero, and even suggests enlisting the Avengers early on when things look dicey. When he finally does meet a real Avenger, he’s just as awe-struck as you or I would be. When you stand them side-by-side, it’s hard to see where an ex-con father might fit in with a bunch of geniuses, gods, aliens, witches, and super spies, yet I feel like when Civil War does finally roll around, Scott Lang’s humanity is going to end up playing a pivotal role.
I was provided a copy of this film for review purposes. All opinions are my own.