For the life of me, I can’t figure out my feelings towards Marvel’s freshest superhero Ant-Man. It’s not that I didn’t like the movie, I actually did, it’s not even about Paul Rudd because he, as usual, was lovable and hilarious, but there’s just that little part of me that thinks that the whole idea of an ant-sized superhero is just a bit silly. Not bad silly either, just funny silly, where you get to enjoy the idea but smile at its silliness afterwards.
After a brief back story scene, the movie opens with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in prison, where everybody likes him, and the basic vibe of the movie is set even before we learn anything about our protagonist. The vibe being of course familiarity. There’s just something about Paul Rudd that you instantly like which is why there’s no judgment towards Lang even before we find out he’s like the modern age Robin Hood with a cat burglar skill set. This works well for Ant-Man and the first half of the movie really benefits from that fact, making us root for Scott even though the plot reveals him to be not the most reliable guy in the world. But it’s all good because Rudd is there and Rudd makes everything better.
Rudd as a superhero is probably my favorite concept ever but I also like the basic idea of Ant-Man where Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym passes the responsibility of the ant-suit on to Scott. Meaning, this technology has already been around and now, when Pym’s predecessor Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is close to achieving the same results for evil purposes, Scott needs to stop him. Then there is Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who has gotten close to Cross in order to help out her father, though they still have some unsolved issues in regards to Hope’s mother. Their subplot is sweet and emotional, adding some very needed depth to the movie and it’s related to Hope’s character development from being extremely frigid and unlikable into a lovable woman.
Then there is the supportive cast member Michael Peña as Luis who brings the much needed extra humor into the movie. His presence is likable, and his comic timing together with Paul Rudd works wonders and the two of them make a really good team on screen. It’s actually a shame that Peña isn’t on the screen more. That being said, I think the weakest character was Stoll’s villain because it was simply… boring. Yes, I said it, the villain plot line in Ant-Man was dull and it was the lack of appeal of the villain that made Ant-Man less great in my eyes. Villains should have appeal, the evil and mean kind of appeal that is as enjoyable as the hero saving the day. Then again, it’s hard for Marvel to pull off another Loki-moment and every villain that has to follow him from now on, has the added pressure of topping off Hiddleston’s charisma.
Truth to be told, I thought the ants were a lot cooler than the villain and they didn’t even have the opportunity to talk. Still, they were well utilized and used for good, all having different skills and it was so Paul Rudd Scott Lang of him to name one of the ants ANThony. But here’s the final confession that might be a surprise – I don’t know what else to say about Ant-Man. I’ve said all I had to say and it feels like the shortest thought process in regards to a Marvel movie ever. It’s almost like, yes, it happened, yes Anthony Mackie was there to tie Scott in for Captain America, yes, it will be cool to see him again. Sure I could discuss the CGI of the movie that was enjoyable and the train-fight-sequence was fabulous, but I’ve come used to Marvel’s quality. And even though the molecular-form-universe-thing that happened in the end freaked me out, I still liked Ant-Man. And that’s all I have to say about that.
PS: Why is it that Paul Rudd gets better and better and better with age?