Marvel’s latest addition to their cinematic universe has ultimately given audiences everything they desired.
The film is laced with the traditional quick wit and one-liners, canon in-jokes, over-the-top action and even a new hero for fans to write inspired fan fiction about in the coming months.
Unfortunately, the overall plot, character motivations and personalities are just some of the company’s recycled old parts.
To its credit, Ant-Man is perhaps the most comedic film in the Marvel franchise thus far, with lead actor Paul Rudd getting to stretch his comedic chops throughout the film.
Rudd’s portrayal of Scott Lang is basically Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, only less cynical and power hungry. He’s handsome, he’s witty, he’s charming. He’s everything you’d want in a leading man and he gives a good performance.
Other characters basically follow the same suit as Rudd, being enjoyable but ultimately cookie-cutter inserts.
Michael Douglas is the distinguished actor portraying Hank Pym, a crusty old mentor to the protagonist. Douglas plays the role straight and does the best job outside of Rudd in the film.
Evangeline Lilly is Hope van Dyne, Pym’s daughter, who is the typical leading lady that brings nothing new or fascinating to the story or the canon universe.
She’s strong-willed and intelligent, but still needs to be protected because she’s a woman. While she does do a bit more than the usual female side character by putting on the most ridiculous training montage in recent memory, she’s basically another Jane Foster from Thor or Pepper Potts from the first two Iron Man films.
The worst offender of all though is the main antagonist, Darren Cross. Played by Corey Stoll, this character is the most uninspired villain to appear in a Marvel film yet.
He’s in control of Pym’s former company and has developed his own suit in an attempt to make an ultimate weapon to sell for a very large amount of money.
So money is his motivation for his evil. We get it Marvel, money makes men evil.
The plot of the story fares no better. It’s a typical origin story with an anti-hero protagonist down on his luck, doing something crazy, getting extremely lucky and ultimately overcoming his problems to become a true hero.
Granted, the writers did spice things up by making this more of a heist story, but ultimately it came down to the good guy punching bad guys and saving the day.
Speaking of action, that’s probably the best part of the entire film. The fight scenes will either be a straight action moment where everyone is fighting for their life or include the protagonist’s and antagonist’s ability to shrink, giving the audience some of the funniest and exciting parts. The fight scenes often push B-movie ridiculousness with a blockbuster budget.
Ultimately, Ant-Man isn’t anything special, but is just more of a run-of-the-mill superhero flick. While some of the action sequences and comedy may be worth the price of admission for some, for others it could be a big disappointment.
While it’s not Marvel’s worst effort this year (see any Fantastic Four review), Ant-Man missed too many opportunities and didn’t take nearly enough risks. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. It’s sitting somewhere comfortably in the middle at a 5/10 rating.