Ant-Man…Need I Say More?

Film - Ant-Man 01.jpg

Have you seen the new superhero Ant-Man movie yet?

(As opposed to the old Ant-Man movie…which, yeah, there wasn’t one.)

If haven’t seen the film yet, you should. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Ant-Man was the perfect example of Marvel at its best.

I was never an avid follower of Ant-Man during my comic book phase as a kid, but I had heard of him. Let’s be honest, though cute-sounding, his name doesn’t inspire visions of daring heroic feats. Rather, you think of a small guy running around, which frankly “ant” the sort of thing that ranks up there with the powers of the other Avengers. So, imagine my complete and utter surprise when I found that this film was among one of the best, most enjoyable, superhero films that I have seen in many years. I became an immediate Ant-Man fan! (By the way, I get tickled over how that sounds when you say it over and over again: Ant-Man fan, Ant-Man fan, Ant-Man fan!)

To avoid spoilers for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, I’ll keep my comments and observations very general in nature. Maybe I’ll add a spoiler-inclusive video in my YouTube channel sometime soon for my other opinions and insights. Moving on…

 Paul Rudd portrays Ant-Man.

Paul Rudd portrays Ant-Man.

Part of the enjoyment of the film is the impeccable casting of the main characters. Paul Rudd is, by far, the most wonderful selection to represent Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. (Granted, Rudd is technically portraying the second incarnation of Ant-Man, following the original by Hank Pym, but let’s not split hairs here.) Nevertheless, I’ve been an ardent fan of Paul Rudd and his work for many, many years. He’s like the perfect “everyman” which many of you know is the type of hero reflected with Caleb, the human protagonist from my Sunset Vampire series.

Hell, I’m an everyman sort of person in real life, so what’s not to love about Paul Rudd as Ant-Man? Rudd embodies the intelligent sort of nice guy who’s trying to turn his life around and take an active role in his young daughter’s life. Oh, and the little girl who portrays his daughter Cassie in the movie, young actress Abby Ryder Fortson, is SO CUTE and adorable!

 Michael Pena portrays a humorous character named Luis in the Ant-Man film.

Michael Pena portrays a humorous character named Luis in the Ant-Man film.

The added humor interjected by supporting actor, Michael Pena, adds laughs to numerous moments in the movie and providing a nice foil to Paul Rudd’s more subtle, tongue-in-cheek situational humor and dialogue.

  The movie Ant-Man explores father-daughter relationships.

 The movie Ant-Man explores father-daughter relationships.

The film does a good job of presenting the primary characters and their backstories to viewers who have no knowledge of Ant-Man or his lore in comic history. To its credit, the central story doesn’t rely heavily on science fiction themes and superheroes/villains, but rather emphasizes the personal challenges and very human-relatable relationship struggles between the central characters. The movie has a great underlying theme about father-daughter relationships that plays well among multiple characters and helps the audience to empathize with them. Honestly, that sort of blew me away because I wasn’t expecting the movie to resonate with me at such an emotional level. This sort of approach gives me hope that Hollywood is FINALLY starting to present basic human interest subplots and themes in ways that mass audiences can appreciate and easily digest, while also generously heaping on the superhero/villain conflicts that traditional comic fanboys and fangirls are expecting. Now I’m looking to DC Comics and wondering if they can credibly approach what Marvel Studios is already perfecting. While we may see something hopeful next year with Batman v Superman, I don’t expect much in the human relations category from the Suicide Squad film that follows. We’ll see.

 Who is Ant-Man?

Who is Ant-Man?

So, back to the Ant-Man movie. Who is Ant-Man? Well, in briefest form, Ant-Man is a human wearing a special suit that uses a secret chemical formula to shrink him down to much smaller form (essentially, insect sized), yet imbuing him with 20 times (or more) his normal strength, as its all compacted into a smaller area. There’s also technology in the helmet that permits him to interact with ants (of all subspecies and varieties) to assist him with his missions. I know that doesn’t sound impressive, but believe me, it’s quite formidable when you see how it’s married together on the big screen. I’m very impressed, and it makes logical sense…from a purely fantastical, science-fictiony perspective.

 Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas in the Ant-Man film.

Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas in the Ant-Man film.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed about the film was that it posed the question, “Do you think that everyone deserves a second chance?” The film explored the idea of redemption, which I found as a refreshing undercurrent that guided the central characters. It’s a topic that doesn’t regularly get explored in superhero films in a manner that the average person can relate to. There’s a sincere quality to the way it’s handled in Ant-Man that’s both reassuring and realistic.

Overall, I give the film my whole-hearted endorsement. It’s a 10 out of 10, and also a film that I eagerly intend to add to my home movie collection. Moreover, stay until the FINAL credits finish rolling to not only gain insight into where the Ant-Man storyline is continuing, but also get a brief sneak-peek into next year’s Captain America: Civil War movie.

That’s all for now, but leave me a comment telling me if you’re already an Ant-Man fan, and/or what you thought of the movie. Until next time, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Reading! Peace.