Today’s movie makes me a little sad. Not because of the movie itself, but because it is the last movie in the MCU and it will be 2 months before the next one hits theaters (not that I am counting down or anything). Anyways, I was hooked on seeing this movie after catching one scene in the trailer that had me laughing every time I saw it. I was a little concerned that this movie would try to be too funny for it’s own good but when I finally saw Ant-Man in theaters, those fears were quickly put to rest.
The plot: In 1989, Dr. Hank Pym interrupts a meeting at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters between Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and Mitchell Carson after discovering that S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to replicate his secret formula known as Pym Particles. After assaulting Mitchell for mentioning his dead wife, Janet, Hank quits S.H.I.E.L.D., vowing to never let anyone have the secret to the Pym Particles as long as he lives. In the present day, Scott Lang has just been released from prison and is trying to stay on the straight and narrow but is unable to find or keep a job due to his record. Meanwhile, Hank is invited to visit Cross Industries by Darren Cross, his former protege who had forced Hank out of his own company with the help of Hank’s estranged daughter, Hope. Cross is holding a small presentation to unveil his companies latest invention, the Yellowjacket, which would allow the user to shrink down to the size of an insect. Hope shares Hanks concerns about the suit and asks how they can stop Cross and Hank says he knows a guy. Scott goes to see his daughter Cassie on her birthday but his ex-wife Maggie and her new fiance Paxton, who happens to be a cop, don’t want him there and tell him to leave. Needing some money in order to try and get visitation with Cassie, Scott decides to do a job off a tip that Luis was given. Breaking into a house, Scott manages to break into the safe in the basement but the only thing in the safe was a strange suit. Taking the suit back to Luis’ apartment, Scott tries it on and, noticing some buttons on the hands, pushes one of them and suddenly shrinks down to the size of an ant. A voice starts speaking to him in the suit as he falls through the cracks in the floors of the different apartments and when he finally regains his normal size, he takes the suit back to the house but gets arrested as he is leaving. In jail, Scott receives a visit from his lawyer, who turns out to be Hank Pym, who tells Scott to go back to his cell and wait for instructions. As Scott is sitting in his cell, some ants bring him the suit, which Scott puts on and uses it to break out of jail. Hank summons a flying ant to carry Scott back to the house but Scott ends up fainting on the way there. When Scott wakes up, he meets Hope, who is not happy to have him there, and tells Hank that before she leaves for work. After she leaves, Hank explains the history of the Pym Particles and what he wants Scott to do. Meanwhile, at Cross Industries, Cross has finally succeeded in shrinking a living test subject, which Hope realizes means they only have a few days to complete their plan. Scott suggests going to the Avengers about this but Hank refuses, saying he spent half his life keeping his technology away from Howard Stark and he did not want to turn it over to his son. Hank and Hope work on training Scott on how to use the suit as well as work with the ants, but Hope is still angry about Hank not letting her use the suit. Scott explains to Hope how Hank is protecting her because he (Scott) is expendable and Hope helps him learn how to communicate with the ants. Later, Hank tells Hope the truth about what happened to her mother, how she was the Wasp and helped him on his missions as Ant-Man but on their last mission, she was forced to go sub-atomic in order to stop an ICBM and never returned. Hank sends Scott to retrieve a device he built from an old Stark warehouse but when he gets there, he discovers that the warehouse has been turned into the Avengers new headquarters. Scott encounters the Falcon and the two men briefly fight but Scott is able to disable the Falcon’s suit and get away. Back at his house, Hank berates Scott for almost getting caught but when Scott shows that he retrieved the device, Hank compliments him. As Hank goes to work on finishing the plans, he is surprised to see Cross in his study and the two men talk, while Scott uses the ants to hide the plans from Cross. After leaving, Cross calls Hope to increase the security in the building, which Hope relays to Hank and Scott and Scott decides to bring his friends Luis, Kurt, and Dave to help with the job. Luis, posing as a security guard, lowers the water pressure which allows Scott to break into the building through the water system. Inside, Scott uses the ant to place charges to blow up the building, as well as fry the servers, then goes after the Yellowjacket suit, but Cross was onto the plan and takes the suit out of the vault, trapping Scott inside. Cross gloats to Hank about being onto his plan and selling the suit to Hydra but when he goes to shoot Hank, Hope grabs a gun and points it at Cross. Scott manages to use his enlarging disks to get out of the vault and works on taking out the guards but Cross manages to shoot Hank in the shoulder and escape with the suit. Scott goes after him while Luis presses the alarm to evacuate the building and Hank and Hope escape in a tank, which Hank had kept miniaturized on his key chain. Cross gets onto a helicopter on the roof and takes off but Scott manages to get on board and tries to steal the suit while Cross witnesses his company’s building be destroyed. When Scott gets thrown out of the helicopter, he manages to hold onto a seatbelt and climb back in but Cross has put on the Yellowjacket suit and begins attacking Scott, inadvertently killing the pilots in the process. Their fight ends up inside a briefcase, which falls out of the helicopter and lands in a family’s swimming pool and Scott manages to knock Cross into a bog zapper but before he can finish destroying the suit, he is tasered by Paxton and his partner. Paxton is on the way to take Scott back to jail when they get a call about a hostage situation at his house so he heads there. At Paxton’s house, Cross has taken Cassie hostage but Scott manages to get free from his restraints and goes inside to save her. The two men continue fighting and when Cross is about to kill Cassie and Paxton, Scott goes sub-atomic in order to stop Cross, destroying the suit and causing Cross to shrink in on himself. Scott continues shrinking through the molecules but hearing Cassie’s voice calling out to him, he grabs his last enlarging disk and places it in the suit’s regulator, allowing him to return to normal size, where Cassie hugs him upon his return. Later, Hank questions Scott about his experience but when Scott can’t remember anything about it, he theorizes that the human mind simply can’t handle the experience. As Scott and Hope leave, Hank ponders if Janet might still be alive and goes to leave the room, only to see Scott and Hope kissing. Later, Scott is having dinner with Cassie, Paxton, and Maggie and Paxton tells Scott there was a camera glitch the night Scott was arrested but he says that everything was done by the books and Scott was released, so that he won’t be going back to prison. That night, Scott meets with Luis, who tells him that the Falcon is looking for him while at his house, Hank shows Hope a prototype wasp suit that he and Janet were working on and offers it to Hope. Some time later, Cap and Falcon are shown to have Bucky in custody and due to “the accords”, Cap says they are unable to go to Tony for help and are on their own but Falcon says that he knows a guy.
Ant-Man met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, as shown by the certified fresh rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale — albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.” The movie was a box office success, earning over $519 million off a $130 million budget. The movie opened up #1 at the box office, and drew the largest shares of families and women than any previous entry in the MCU, as well as being the largest opening for a movie for both Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.
This is a fantastic movie to watch. Paul Rudd did a great job as Scott Lang, with Michael Douglas (Hank), Evangeline Lilly (Hope), and Corey Stoll (Cross) doing good jobs as well. However, Michael Pena kind of stole the scenes with his antics and humor whenever he was in them, especially his storytelling scenes. The plot was pretty good and I did like how they introduced the Yellowjacket, which was more family friendly than the comic book origin of the character. I also liked how they added the Falcon to the story to help set up Scott’s involvement in future movies, primarily Civil War. The special effects were pretty good, especially all the times that Scott, or Cross, would shrink and grow. One more great movie to watch in the MCU.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5