Wow, it took me forever to get this, and honestly, that’s because Amazon didn’t drop the price on Ant-Man for a year. I had so many other things going on, and usually Amazon does a significant price drop on Blurays almost immediately, that when this and another movie I waited forever on, Tommorrowland, sat virtually unchanged at their release prices for a year, I just didn’t bother.
So was it bad that I waited and watched other things? Let’s fine out as I review the smallest superhero that Marvel has done to date.
Scott Lang isn’t your typical hero, he’s a convicted felon who just got out and is having trouble putting his life back together. He has a daughter he isn’t allowed to see and can’t keep a job, so he turns to his ex-con friends and they try to break into the vault of reclusive billionaire Hank Pym, former head of Pym Technologies. But it isn’t Lang breaking into Pym, it’s Pym testing Lang to take over in his Ant-Man suit so he can save the world.
I’ve always been iffy on Ant-Man. I’ve had some good things to say about Lang’s run in recent years, but overall, I could take or leave the character. That’s not to say this isn’t a good movie, it absolutely is, but I didn’t go into it sold on Ant-Man. It was made a bit worse when you realize the kind of development hell that Ant-Man went through, starting off with Edgar Wright in the director’s chair, but finishing after Wright and Marvel parted ways, with Paul Rudd, co-writing with Adam McKay, being directed by Peyton Reed. You get what could have been a hot mess, but it all turned out decent in the end.
The problems, at least as I see them, is that Rudd is no Robert Downey Jr., and that’s what they tried to make him. He needed a lot of charisma and frankly, I think he came up a bit short. He was better in his next miniature-sized appearance in Civil War, even though he had no real reason to appear in that movie. And the movie wasn’t even. They tried to make it funny, but a lot of the jokes were left laying on the floor. It was very much hit-or-miss and I think that comes from the two dramatically different writing styles that ended up crammed into the final movie. And while I was cool with having both Pym and Lang in the movie, I’d have rather seen Pym in the suit than Lang most of the time. And just having Janet Van Dyne missing in action, even though that actually happened in the comics to a certain degree, just didn’t feel kosher. We all know it was done to get around the uncomfortable subject of spousal abuse that has colored Hank Pym’s character for the past 30 years. I’d have rather seen her in the movie, rather than trying to recast Pym’s daughter into the upcoming role of Wasp. But that’s a personal thing, so take it as you will.
As I said, it isn’t a bad movie, I just hoped it would be better, especially after waiting so long to see it. Here’s hoping the next one, which comes out in 2018, will knock it out of the park.