Posted July 17, 2015 by in


Total Score

4/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: super-hero, action
Director: Peyton Reed
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Actors: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll
Length: 117 minutes
Release Date: 7-17-2015
Studio: Marvel Studios
What We Thought

It’s the geekiest (and I mean that as a compliment) of the MCU movies while also its most subversive.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
Super-hero movies are all the same, right?  There’s some truth to that.  But Ant-Man is a different.Ant-Man
     In a typical super-hero film, the hero will foil a bank robbery, often as part of a montage of the protagonist’s exploits.  But Ant-Man is entirely about the heist, and what’s more, the hero is the thief.
     Essentially a caper, Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an ex-con who hears about a big score.  The job will pay off his child support, so he can see his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) again.
     Scott and his cohorts infiltrate a stately home, but behind the safe he finds not money or jewelry, but a high-tech suit and helmet.  At home, he puts the suit on and pushes a button, activating its powers:  Scott is shrunk down to the side of an ant.
     He barely survives the misadventure that follows, nearly getting squashed a dozen times.  That the suit makes him vulnerable, rather than more powerful, is what makes Ant-Man so exciting.  Everything is larger than him, everything is a threat.
     However, shrinking gives him more density, so he can pack a surprisingly mean punch when he wants to, and his size means he can squeeze in where other super-heroes couldn’t go, under doors, down drain pipes, and through keyholes.  It’s the perfect super-power for a burglar.
     And it’s a good thing.  Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has re-created and weaponized the technology of the Ant-Man suit, and intends to sell it to the highest bidder.  Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the suit’s inventor (and Cross’s former mentor) recruits Scott to infiltrate Cross’s laboratory and steal the “Yellow Jacket” suit, a dangerous tech in the wrong hands.
     Ant-Man is about Scott’s redemption, or at least, it’s supposed to be.  Scott becomes a hero to make up for his past crime and redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter.  However, we learn that the crime that he was incarcerated for was a righteous one, and his daughter adores him regardless.  The story doesn’t support what Ant-Man purports itself to be about.
Ant-Man     Does that matter?  Yes, to a point.  Ant-Man is not The Dark Knight or Spider-Man 2.  It is not a great movie, but not every movie has to be great.  Sometimes, it is enough for a popcorn movie to be entertaining, and I had more fun watching Ant-Man than most of the summer movies this year.
     Why?  Because it doesn’t take itself the slightest bit seriously.  Ant-Man is tonally the lightest of the Marvel Comic Universe, even more so than Guardians of the Galaxy.  As with most super-hero films, the fate of the world is at stake, but in Ant-Man, the outcome rests on a fight between two teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy little-bittle guys.  It’s the preposterousness of the scale that makes it so humorous, something the film exploits.
     I’m rating Ant-Man 4 out of 5 stars, not based on how good it is, but how good it is at being entertaining.  It’s the geekiest (and I mean that as a compliment) of the MCU movies while also its most subversive.  Not all super-hero movies are the same.  Not Ant-Man.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.



    What is this, an Oceans 11 movie for ants? /Zoolander


    Finally saw Ant-Man.

    I recall your review called Ant-Man the lightest Marvel movie, in terms of tone. I respectfully disagree. I thought a lot of the jokes fell kinda flat, in that I think they were there mostly to help paint our characters as the awkward introverts they frankly are. What I really liked in Ant-Man was the character development. Heck, we even feel bad for one of the ants when he gets (spoiler)ed.

    In contrast to Avengers 2, which was noted for weak characters but crazy-over-the-top action, the action here is more subdued (and more cerebral, got example the quantum scale scene). I liked this movie… If Avengers is an ESFJ then this is more of an INTP movie.

    I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed by an MCU film, and this is no different. It’s a fun movie. But it’s moving in a different direction than some of the others. I like that…


    I will say that possibly the biggest flaw in Ant-Man is that Cross (Corey Stoll)’s motivation is never entirely plausible. Is he supposed to be motivated by the desire to surpass his mentor Pym? Is he motivated by a sense of betrayal over Pym’s secrecy regarding shrink-rays? Is he simply being driven mad by Pym particles? I’m confused. The film seems to toy with too many ideas about why the villain is the way he is, and as a result, he comes across as flat and two-dimensional. He’s the bad guy, OK? He’s bad. Nothing else to see here…

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