I am a big fan of superhero movies. And although my preference goes out to the darker DC characters (Batman, The Flash, The Green Arrow, Superman, Legends of Tomorrow), I also love the Marvel movies (Spider-man, Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor). However when I first saw the trailer of Ant-Man in the cinema, it did not really appeal to me. I guess that is because of the overload of superhero movies at the moment. A few months later I was browsing Netflix and there it was again. Somehow I couldn't resist the feeling that I had to watch the movie. And I'm glad I did!
So what's the movie about? As the movie starts we see the scientist Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas)in the year 1989. Pym is the creator of the Ant-Man shrinking technology. He designed a suit that makes it possible for a man to shrink in scale, but gain in strenght. As he discovers S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attempts to replicate this technology to use as a weapon, he resignes and takes a vow to keep this technology hidden for the rest of his life. In the present day we see that his company, Pym Technologies, has been taken over by his estranged daughter Hope (played by Evangeline Lilly) and his former protégé Darren Cross (played (exquisitely by Corey Stroll). Cross has developed his own suit, the Yellowjacket, and he is close to finalizing it by using the shrinking technology. He only has to do a few more tests to optimize his suit and this horrifies Dr. Pym. Next we see Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd - I love him!), leaving prison to move in with his former cell mate Luis (Michael Peña). We learn he was in prison for cat burgling and see him struggle to hold a job. We also see he has a little daughter called Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). He drops by his daughter's birthday unannounced and is sent away by his former wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her new fiancé Paxton, a police detective (Bobby Cannavale). Maggie tells Scott he can't see Cassie untill he can provide child support. No matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, Scott eventually has to fall back on his old ways if he ever wants to see his daughter again. He agrees to join Luis' new crew to commit a burglary to provide for child support. Scott breaks into a house and cracks the safe. But instead of finding a lot of money, the only thing he finds is an old leather suit. He decides to take the suit and tries it on at home. When he does this he shrinks to the size of an ant, wich scares the living hell out of him. He decides to return the suit to the house, but is arrested on the way out. The house turns out to be Dr. Pym's house and the whole burglary turns out to be a set up. Pym visits Scott in prison and smuggles in the suit, to break him out. Lang decides to help Pym to try to stop Cross from selling, his now optimalized Yellowjacket to Hydra (a terrorist organization). When Hope finds out that her father is not to be blamed for the death of her mother (she died disarming a nuclear bomb as Wasp), she decides to help her father and Scott to stop cross. But first Scott has to learn to handle the suit and its abilities, as well as learn how to fight. This turns out to be a bigger (but quite funny) challenge than they thought it to be. Will they be in time to stop the world from being overtaken by Hydra and the Yellowjackets?
In spite of my concerns about the movie, I was positively surprised by how much I enjoyed watching it. First of all Paul Rudd is great in his role of the well meaning criminal Lang. I've always had a soft spot for Rudd, especially since his role of Mike "Crapbag" Hannigan (Phoebe's boyfriend/husband) in "Friends", one of my absolute favourite tv shows of all time. The role of Mike seemed to be written for no one other than Paul Rudd and it's great to see him integrate a part of Mike Hannigan in other roles. Ant-Man has a lot of funny moments and that's when Paul Rudd's is at his best. Ofcourse Michael Douglas is very solid as Dr. Pym and the interaction between Douglas and Rudd is great. And then there is Corey Stoll as relentless bad guy Darren Cross. His performance came as a surprise to me. I liked his whole wolf in sheep's clothes thingy. (for a lack of a better description LOL). And then there is Lang's crew portrayed by Michael Peña, T.I. and David Dastmalchian. Their portrayal of Scott's doofus criminal partners is golden. Add special effects and a nice score and you've got a great Marvel production.
I am glad that I shoved aside my concerns about the movie and watched it, because I loved the movie. There are rumours about a sequel or even a prequel and I would certainly watch this.
If you like superhero movies, with a perfect mix of action and humour, break out the popcorn and watch Ant-Man.