A paroled thief steals a suit that can shrink him to insect-size with superhuman strength, but a rival uses the same technology as a weapon of war.

Year: 2015
Certificate: 12
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul RuddPeyton ReedMichael PeñaBobby CannavaleEvangeline LillyCorey StollMichael DouglasJudy GreerGarrett MorrisMartin DonovanJean Louisa KellyJohn SlatteryTom KennyWood HarrisStan LeeNeko ParhamJoe ChrestAnthony MackieT.I.Rus BlackwellGregg TurkingtonCasey PierettiErik BettsJoe Bucaro IIIHayley AtwellJim R. ColemanReuben LangdonRod HallettDanny VasquezMichael JamorskiDesmond PhillipsRick AveryJohnny PembertonJessejames LocorriereDavid DastmalchianDax GriffinTip “T.I.” HarrisZack DuhameAnna AkanaRobert CraytonCarol Anne WattsKevin LaczNicholas BarreraAaron SaxtonOnira TaresAbby Ryder FortsonJordi MollaMichael Pena

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I love all things Marvel especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). When I saw that they were doing an origin film about Ant-Man I was slightly concerned, especially when I realised that they were relegating Hank Pym the original Ant-Man to the sidelines, and killing off Janet Van-Dyke the wasp and one of the founding members of The Avengers in the comic books. However, I really needn’t have worried.

After serving his jail sentence, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) just wants to reunite with his daughter Cassie and get his life back on track. But he soon discovers that people in the outside world – including his ex- wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her new cop boyfriend Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) – aren’t particularly kind to former convicts. Beaten down by circumstances, he agrees to pull off one last heist with his eternally optimistic buddy Luis (Michael Pena). It’s a crime that places him squarely in the path of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a retired, semi-reclusive scientist who decides to enlist Scott in his life-long mission of preventing the Pym Particle – a technological breakthrough that allows him to become the super-small, super-strong Ant-Man – from falling into the wrong hands.

Truth be told, Ant-Man gets off to a somewhat shaky start. The tale of an honourable rogue who’s looking for a shot at redemption is a well-worn storytelling trope, one that the film initially seems to embrace rather too eagerly. As we watch Scott soldier through a host of tiny indignities, the dialogue – still credited to Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish, with rewrites by Rudd and Adam McKay – is uninspired, and oftentimes uncomfortably on-the-nose. There’s no subtlety here, and the sense of fun that accompanies Scott’s attempt to hold down a job in Baskin Robbins feels a bit forced.

The film kicks into higher gear and stays there once Scott stumbles onto or, more accurately, steals his second chance. His discovery of the Ant-Man suit and all that entails – working with Hank, meeting Hank’s aloof but eminently capable daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), training to prevent Hank’s former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll,) from replicating the Pym Particle for sale to the highest bidder – give the story the shot of adrenaline it needs. In the blink of an eye, this superhero heist flick finds its feet and transforms into a whirlwind of action, humour, and heart. Reed’s camera zigs merrily from Luis’ unique method of exposition (brilliant) to Scott’s attempts to survive Hope’s training (bruisingly hilarious), before zagging into the dark, trembling heart of Hank’s troubled relationship with his daughter.

Perhaps, one of the most immediately noticeable differences of Ant-Man from its Marvel fellows is that it doesn’t engage, nor rush too much, to explosive battles that generally results in immeasurable destruction. It is noticeably evident on the fact that its most interesting and most jaw-dropping action set-piece, happens in a toy train set. Most importantly, this new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe places its comic prowess at the centre of its general effort to validate its entry to the franchise, and that is achieved without putting the natural action/adventure tendency of its superhero, nor the inevitable emotional nature of its characters, at risk of getting overshadowed by the rudimentary elements of the narrative.

Whilst there are mentions of The Avengers at various moments during Ant-Man, and also a guest appearance by an Avenger, if you haven’t seen any of the other MCU films it’s okay because Ant-Man works really well as a standalone movie. Just make sure you watch the credits because in true MCU tradition there are mid and end credit scenes, oh yeah and make sure you look out for Stan Lee, if you spot him let us know in the comments below!

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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