Ant-Man, 4/15/17, 4.5 Stars.
When Marvel first announced their bite-sized hero was getting his own movie, you probably thought it was just a “tale to astonish,” and then a horror story behind the scenes when there was a shakeup in director and script. Well, I can say that those stories were clickbait stories to scare the fans, because Ant-Man is a great movie. We begin with a flashback to 1989 where Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) confronts his SHIELD associate Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan), along with Howard Stark (John Slattery) and fan-favorite Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). After a brief scuffle where Hank punches out Mitchell, he quits SHIELD. This sets up the plot, but first Marvel logo and our introduction to the main protagonist: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who’s just getting out of prison. After getting picked up by his friend Luis (Michael Pena), he stays with him, gets a job, gets fired, then gets back into the burglary game so he can make enough money to pay child support to see his daughter. Upon this heist, he discovers the Ant-Man suit, and what follows is preparation for and execution of a heist that he, Hank, and Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly) put together when Darren Cross’ (Corey Stoll) version of the suit is ready. This all moves at a pleasant pace, and no major holes are to be found. However, I have to say the CGI’s obvious fakeness reared its ugly head every now and then. I know I shouldn’t be too hard on them for that, but it just didn’t stick for me. However, I have to say that they did a great job of developing the main characters: Scott, Hank, and Hope. Luis and his crew were likable for being comic relief, but that’s about it. I also have to say they made this relatable for single dads with Scott’s motivations, because well-meaning parents like that exist, and others would just say “yeah, that would be me in that situation.” Christophe Beck’s soundtrack is as quirky and fun as the characters, and is kept out at the right moments. Finally, Marvel’s humor shines through, as always, especially when you mix Luis and Scott’s roommates with Hank and Hope. It’s cool, they keep the language clean, with a few appropriate slip-ups here and there. Overall, Ant-Man is the smaller, more intimate Marvel movie that Marvel Studios will probably decrease on over time, because they’re ramping up to Infinity War. Enjoy this modest stakes film that could have been one of their TV shows, but instead, got to be a movie.