Making a mountain out of an Ant Man

Nobody expected that a movie about a shrinking man who could control ants, would be any good. At least the people who I talked to felt that way. Hell even I had some doubts about how good such a movie could actually be. But when Edgar Wright was attached to write/direct the film I was on board. I loved his cinematic style and his sense of humor. In fact the first movie my wife and I saw together was Shaun of the Dead and to this day it holds a very special place in our hearts.

Then things changed, Peyton Reed came aboard and my confidence was shaken. It’s funny how opinions can waiver so much especially after having your heart set on how a movie could have been. Even after walking out of the theater I wonder what the Edgar Wright version of the movie would have been like.

Unfortunately that is a movie we’ll never see but what we have in its place is a wonderfully crafted three act play that delivers action and humor in spades. One of the greatest assets of the movie were the supporting cast. I’ve seen Michael Peña in various supporting roles and never paid him any mind. This role however really ingratiated in my eyes, kind of like a Luis Guzman or John Leguizamo. His stand out performance as Scott Lang’s sidekick was perfect, the yin to Scott Lang’s yang. Along with his crew – Peña’s team is tasked with making these former criminals like-able, and they do that well.

Then there is Rudd – when I first heard that they were going to tell the Scott Lang story and not the Pym story, I was not happy. I felt that the Pym story was what should have been told, especially as he was a founding member of the Avengers. I didn’t think that Hank Pym’s story would be strong enough to have his own film, but introducing him as a central role around the Avengers was what I felt would have been best.

Sure enough Marvel proved me wrong and in their infinite wisdom they adapted the role of the hero and were able to craft together a story that was just on the border of the standard superhero genre that we’ve been exposed to. In focusing on the Scott Lang character and writing a story around him they were able to shake up the genre and make you root for what would otherwise be a bad guy.

All in all if you have any doubts about Ant Man, I say put them aside and go watch the film. If anything, it’s got some great writing and effects. Seeing a young Michael Douglas on the screen was what impressed me from the start and if anything, the post credit scenes (there are two of them folks) are also fun and set up some key story elements for Civil War.