Episode 078 - "Ant-Man" (2015)

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It’s Marvel Monday and we’re back on the Road to Infinity War. Today’s movie is “Ant-Man” (2015), the film I never thought would work. The film was directed by Peyton Reed, with the story written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, and additional input from Adam McKay and Paul Rudd. The film had a $130 million dollar budget and made over $500 million at the international box office. And it deserved every ticket.

The film follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a self-styled corporate thief and electrical engineer, who is being released from San Quentin after serving time on felony burglary. Meanwhile, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), formerly Ant-Man during the 1980s, has discovered his prodigy Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is nearing a breakthrough on the Pym Particle, the amazing substance that fuels the incredible shrinking power of the Ant-Man suit. Hank recruits Scott to train with his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) to become the Ant-Man and infiltrate Cross’ lab to destroy the research.

This film gets continuity right in so many ways. I really loved how they started with Scott Lang’s rendition of the character, but still allude to Dr. Hank Pym’s tenure in the 1980s, including a nice cameo by Hayley Atwell. We unknowingly are being set up for “Captain America: Civil War”, just two years before the Starks are assassinated. And Scott’s tangle with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) at the new Avengers facility is the right way to integrate the multiple threads in the universe.

The film does comedy very well, especially Michael Peña’s comic relief as Luis, and Rudd makes Scott Lang hilarious. The story may be a bit cheesy, but the amazing special effects moving between perspectives and going subatomic make it work. I mean, going subatomic was one of the reasons I became so excited for “Doctor Strange” (2016), but we’ll get there.

“Ant-Man” (2015) is such a great film, and my criticisms are so few and far between that I won’t even bother to mention them. The film blends action/adventure, comedy, and family drama within San Francisco, with excellent pacing, insane special effects, and wonderful performances. The sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018), will follow in the giant footsteps of “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) this July.

I can’t wait.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (CERTIFIED)

Metacritic: 64

One Movie Punch: 9.6/10

“Ant-Man” (2015) is rated PG-13 and is available wherever you enjoy movies.

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