Thursday, September 10, 2015

Box Office Review: Ant-Man

"Ant-Man" is the 12th film from Marvel in the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" and the final film in what's considered Phase 2 of Marvels long term film calendar. We are introduced, almost entirely, to a new cast of characters. Outside of a brief action sequence involving an Avenger from a previous film and a dramatic confrontation with SHIELD this movie stands on it's own legs and does so quite well.

The opening scene takes place before "Iron Man" and reminds the audience this Marvel cinematic universe is vast. We meet Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who confronts Peggy Carter, Howard Stark & Mitchell Carson (who seems determined to acquire the technology Hank has created for the Ant-Man suit). It's established immediately that Hank Pym will not allow any group, government or organization to acquire and mass produce the "Pym Particle" technology while he is alive.

Enter Scott Lange (Paul Rudd), an above average intelligent burglar who is officially being released from Prison for cyber terrorism against a company he was working for. We meet the 3 individuals who will become part of the heist team  & we get our first glimpse of Hank Pyms house where Scott steals the Ant-Man suit. This is only because Hank orchestrates the deal without Scott or his team aware they are being tested.

Enter the antagonist Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) who at one time was Hanks protégé. He's developing the "Pym Particles" for his own financial gain & to become more than his mentor. Hanks daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) sees an immediate need to join with her father to stop Darren Cross, her boss, and the training of Scott Lange begins. Scott will become the Ant-Man & with any luck he'll be successful in stopping Hydra from acquiring Darren's successful recreation of "Pym particles."

"Ant-Man" is quite possibly the most creative and humorous Marvel film to date. A true heist film w/ multiple heists occurring throughout. Sure, watching a guy communicate with ants might be a stretch for some viewers, however, it adds a fun level of humor for those who have already seen it. Plus everyone who saw the film knows more about ants now than before they walked in. The 3 members of Scott Lange's team also serve as additional comedy relief as well as characters who help move the plot along. Luis (Michael Pena) is the charm this film deserved. His performance stood out the most and was a delightful surprise.

Marvel continues to build on science as a means for humanities salvation and destruction. Marvel even introduces a new realm, the subatomic realm. A location between time and space that defies all laws of our natural order. It's a possible introduction to one or more dimensions present in "Doctor Strange" mythos. In November of 2016 "Doctor Strange" the movie is being released so it’s a strong possibility this new realm is preparing the movie going audience for the supernatural. Marvel enjoys hinting and walking the viewers into new spectacular stories over time and this feels like it falls into their subtle strategy.

Overall, I give this film 1 thumb up and a smile. It's alittle rushed in pacing and there's a few missed opportunities to build on the tension that explains why Scott Lange is the hero and not Hank Pym or his daughter Hope. There's so many new characters it's understandable why screen time is split so many ways; however, one can't help but feel the pacing and character development is a bit forced. Entertaining and comical this film is worth the price of a ticket. The special effects alone warrant a big screen viewing (and I should know, I saw it twice).

Ant-man is playing at a theater near you. If you saw the film let me know your thoughts below in the comment section. Let's talk movies!
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