I went to an early screening for Ant-Man last night. My excitement has been building over the past few months as the movie release crept closer and closer. I finally got to watch it on the big screen and I will preface by stating that yesterday was the first time in a very long time that the popcorn at the theater was good. It wasn’t just good, it was fucking great.
The movie didn’t actually start off with the Marvel comic page-turning logo which was a surprise. It jumped right in with a throwback scene explaining the struggle Hank Pym was facing in trying to protect his particles. There was some digital editing to reverse Michael Douglas’ age to look like he was in his early forties maybe. The CGI was pretty impressive and only once or twice did his mouth fall out of sync with the rest of his face. The introductory scene was pretty exciting and it only built from there.
There was action and comedy throughout the movie. The pacing was great. The special effects were wonderful. I don’t have much to say in terms of negative aspects. Was it a heist movie first and a superhero movie second? Yes. Were the three “broken-home” stories a bit convenient? Sure. Scott Lang has a daughter. Hank Pym has a daughter in Hope but also has a “prodigal son” of sorts in his protégé Darren Cross. Despite there being three similar arcs, at least two of the stories didn’t seem overplayed or heavy-handed and they certainly didn’t break the pace of the movie.
I only really have a couple issues with the movie and I don’t know that they’re even a surprise. Firstly, Darren Cross (with his Yellowjacket suit) was dispersed rather quickly as the villain. His motivation of “I want to impress and then squish my mentor” was a bit silly and sadly he falls into the rather predictable category of “underwhelming villainy” that Marvel movies suffer from. I don’t know that I can think of a single antagonist from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that isn’t a letdown and that only gets more depressing as more movies are released. Second, the rather generic angst-ridden daughter role in Hope was a bit predictable and hokey. I expected as much so I wasn’t surprised or let down. I just saw it coming a mile away. However, I feel that was all redeemed with “it’s about damned time!” and seeing the movie will fill you in on what I mean.
As a heist movie with a side of fantastical superhero shenanigans, it doesn’t get much better than Ant-Man. I dock it some points for the poor antagonistic aspect (just like every goddamned Marvel movie) but am forgiving since the movie isn’t about him. Minor Spoiler Alert: There are not one but two scenes once the credits start playing. Don’t miss either!