One of the latest Marvel heroes to make the move to Hollywood, is Ant-Man. Directed by Peyton Reed, this movie is surprisingly lightweight, much like its shrunken protagonist.
The movie opens in 1989, where we find Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in a heated discussion with Tony Stark’s dad Howard (John Slattery), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan). He has discovered something called the Pym particle, which operates the Ant-Man suit and allows the person wearing it to shrink. SHIELD wants the particle bad. Pym however, is equally insistent on not handing over his discovery and a s a result is kicked out of his own company, Pym Technologies.
Fast-forward to the present. Pym is too old to still don the Ant-Man suit and too protective of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) to let her wear it. And so it remains locked in a vault in his house. But then Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) breaks into his house and steals the suit, only to return it a later date once he finds out what it is. Pym however sees the perfect new recruit in Scott and needs him to stop Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), a former protégé of Pym and Hope’s current employer, who has figured out the Pym particle on his own and is intent on using it to create a weaponized version of Ant-Man, called Yellowjacket, which he wants to sell to HYDRA.
Hope is decidedly less enthused about the prospect of letting Scott become the new Ant-Man, but goes along with it anyway. And Scott himself agrees to it because he wants to do something right in his life so his ex-wife will let him spend more time with his daughter. Let’s just say that she isn’t exactly impressed with what Scott accomplished so far and neither is her now boyfriend, a defensive cop played by Bobby Cannaivale.
Rudd doesn’t exactly look like a hardened ex-criminal, but he pulls it off easily enough with a mischievous grin that matches the movie’s sense of fun. Just like Guardians Of The Galaxy, the key word here is lighthearted. And the special effects look pretty damn spectacular.
The reason the movie ultimately doesn’t work quite as good as you want it to, can probably be attributed to the fact that the screenplay is written and then re-written by Edgar Wright (who was set to direct but left the project because of creative differences), Joe Cornish, Paul Rudd and Adam McKay and ended up a bit mess. Still nice enough, but I’m hoping the sequel will be better.