“Ant-Man” is a pleasant surprise, much better than I anticipated. Sure, it’s a Marvel movie, and most everyone loves Marvel, but who would have thought a movie about a man who shrinks to become “Ant-Man” would be any good? Yet it is, and very good, at that. It is action-packed, funny, and features a self-deprecating and amusing good guy in actor Paul Rudd, as Scott Lang. Michael Douglas is terrific as Dr. Hank Pym, as is Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, Pym’s daughter.
The film opens in 1989 with a young Dr. Pym — and the filmmakers either used CGI or took scenes from a film in which a younger Michael Douglas starred. Douglas looks 26 years younger in the opening sequence. He is a powerful man who is having problems with a few of his employees, and he punches one of them in the nose. Flash forward to the present, and he is no longer the main boss, having been voted out by a few board members, including a man he once mentored, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). Darren has been after Pym’s secrets for years, believing he has kept a secret involving shrinking that could make Darren a lot of money. Pym and his daughter, Hope, are also in a strained relationship, and they have been since Pym’s wife and Hope’s mother, passed away. Her death is a subject Pym refuses to talk about with his daughter. Enter Scott Lang, who has a prison record and gets fired from a donut shop when the boss learns his past. Still, Lang is the perfect man, in Pym’s estimation, to don the suit and become “Ant-Man.”
The movie contains many humorous scenes, including one in which Lang is having tea with Pym. He is offered sugar, and when he sees two trained ants bringing the two sugar cubes to him, he turns them down, only to see the two ants carry the two sugar cubes away. There are many other comical scenes, as well as the customary Stan Lee cameo. Stan draws a hearty laugh from the audience, as usual. In another scene, a toy train in a girl’s room is enlarged, crashes through a wall, and falls onto a car outside. The toy train’s rolling eyes are hilarious, but you have to see it to appreciate it.
The plot features a lot of good versus evil sequences, especially Pym’s desire to use his amazing knowledge for the good of mankind — although Darren would use them for his own selfish evil purposes, and for revenge if he has his way. The human elements of the movie are really the heart and soul of it, as it features a scene of Hope talking to Lang, sharing her frustration with her father for not being allowed to don the Ant-Man suit as Lang does. “He doesn’t trust me,” she says. “Don’t you know why he has me doing this?” asks Lang. “It’s because I’m expendable, and you’re not. He’s trying to protect you. He loves you.”
The movie contains some profanity so parents should consult the content description to make informed decisions. We are happy to award “Ant-Man” our Dove Family-Approved Seal for ages 12+. The special effects are awesome. “Ant-Man” is an amazing action-packed movie, and it tells two different stories about the love of a father for his daughter. Not bad for a comic book movie.