So I saw Marvel’s latest movie – Ant-Man – this past weekend, and here’s what I think: It’s great!
Just like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel tried a different formula with Ant-Man. They’re calling it the “heist film” formula, and that’s pretty accurate. Much of the movie is centered around a heist involving the Yellowjacket suit. Here’s a quick run-down, and I’ll try to keep the spoilers minimal.
Waaaaaay back in the 1980’s, we see a 30ish Hank Pym locking heads with the leaders of SHIELD, including Agent Carter and Howard Stark – both in their 50s or so. SHIELD wants the secret of the Pym Particle, which is how Hank Pym shrinks. Hank insists the technology is too dangerous for anyone to have, especially a group like SHIELD. Why he thinks the Pym Particle is so dangerous is one of the big spoilers of the movie, so you’ll have to watch it to find out.
Flash forward to the modern day. We see former cat burglar Scott Lang getting out of prison and trying to reunite with his daughter Cassie. His ex-wife is engaged to a police officer, and you can imagine what the new beau thinks of Scott. Unable to see Cassie unless he comes up with child support money, Scott gets desperate and decides to take on a job – a job that happens to be Hank Pym’s house. Scott takes the only thing he can find – the Ant-Man suit – and later tries it on. Hilarity ensues, but it all convinces Pym that maybe Scott is a guy he can use.
See, as it turns out, Pym’s former protege Darren Cross has spent the last 15 years trying to crack the secret of the Pym Particle. Inspired by rumors of a super-soldier who could shrink during the 60’s and 70’s, Cross has developed his own suit he is calling The Yellowjacket. Pym, of course, still feels the technology is far too dangerous, and wants to stop Cross before he can sell a working copy of the technology to the highest bidder. This is where Scott comes in. Pym wants his help breaking into Cross’ facility so that they can destroy the Yellowjacket suit along with all research data.
Much of the movie is spent leading up to the heist planning, and then planning/preparing for the heist. Like any good heist movie, though, things quickly go south and all manner of fun action happens. And since this IS a Marvel movie, after all, the film is also used to further flesh out the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A couple of other superheroes make cameos, and we see some history from a hitherto-unexplored period of the MCU.
Thanks to their continuing success, Marvel seems to be more comfortable injecting humor into their movies now. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, this thing had me laughing every 15 minutes or so. I might not give it a perfect 10, but it’s definitely an 8 or 9. It was a good superhero movie, a good action movie, and a good heist movie. I’ll definitely be adding it to my collection when it comes out on DVD.
ALSO, astute Marvel fans will notice that this movie has the MOST easter eggs & comic references by far. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo?” when you watch this thing!