Ant-Man Fills Some Big Shoes
Like a lot of people, I was disappointed when Ant-Man was not included in the line-up for the original Avengers. I’m not sure if they thought that he would be too small to focus on with characters like Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man creating big effects or what. I wouldn’t say it was because he wasn’t well known because Hawkeye and Black Widow were included in the first movie and Vision was introduced in the second. Whatever the reason, I’m glad they finally did a movie for him. It is definitely worth seeing. I wish they had created it as Hank Pym but I guess they wanted to use him as extra cast to build up Scott’s character. While a lot of the casting of other Avengers were pretty much spot on (as could be) in terms of looks, I really don’t think Paul Rudd had the right look. I’m not saying he didn’t do a good job though. He did have some of Scott’s awkwardness while being heroic down pretty well. On the other hand, I was not fond of Michael Douglas as Hank Pym at all. I don’t think he had the look or personality for the character. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. There was definitely humor to the movie but it wasn’t forced and, unlike the second Avengers movie, made me laugh. It suited the character and the situations for the most part. There are actually 2 credit scenes so make sure you stay all the way through. But, to discuss much more, I need to get into the…
We start off the movie with Scott already in jail, solidifying his position as a thief. The first scene is (in a very unusual way) the other inmates saying good bye to Scott. He’s picked up by a friend of his who was released from jail previously. His friend and a couple new cohorts want him to get back in the crime business but he wants to go on the straight and narrow. This is hard to do when he even gets fired from Baskin Robbins because of his criminal record. Things only get worse when he’s kicked out of Cassie’s birthday party because he isn’t able to pay child support and his wife’s fiancé, Paxton, hates him for his criminal record. (He’s a cop.) For the most part (other than the introduction of side characters for the movie), this seems pretty on par with the character.
Over at Pym Technology, Hank Pym shows up at a building it seems he hasn’t been in a while. Darren Cross is now running the company and Hank’s daughter Hope is working with him. Things aren’t well between father and daughter since her mother died. (I was actually really disappointed that they had killed off Janet.) Cross (In from of a display showing Cross Technology, showing what he’s actually planning) starts a demonstration about what is essentially Pym particles but are still being developed. (They don’t work so well on organics.) He even points out the rumored history of an Ant-Man decades ago. There’s even a mention that these rumors are tales to astonish. (Tales to Astonish was the comic title the original Ant-Man first appeared in.) Aster revealing what he’s working on, he turns to the application of it in a Yellowjacket armor which could be used for war.
Back with Scott, his friends bring up a new heist possibility they heard of through a friend of a friend of a friend. (In other words, you know it has to be reliable… or not!) Between everyone in the group, they are able to get through the alarms and such and get into the house and past some very secured doors. There’s no money behind them though, just what looks like to Scott to be motorcycle gear. (If you haven’t guessed, it’s the Ant-Man outfit.) Once he gets back to the house he tries it on and gets it to activate, causing him to shrink down. After a number of antics, he ends up outside on top of a car full size. During all of this, Hank has been talking to him through the helmet and tells him to keep the suit. Instead, he immediately runs back and returns the suit only to get arrested while leaving the house. Pym talks to him in jail and then gets him the suit to escape, leaving everyone to wonder what happened to him. This ends up being his first ride on an ant which ends up with him back at Pym’s house.While there, Pym tries to recruit Scott use the suit to try to stop Cross. Hope thinks she’s the one who should do it because she knows how to use it and talk to the ants already. While training Scott, Darrin Cross manages to solve the problem he had with organics.
As we get closer to the invasion of Pym Technology, Hank finally reveals how Janet actually died. It was a mission where they were Ant-Man and Wasp. To stop a misslie, she shrunk down smaller than she should have. She stopped the missile but kept shrinking and couldn’t stop. (Supposedly, she had to shrink between the molecules of the shell to get in, but if she kept shrinking, I’m not sure how she was able to do anything to the bomb at that point.) This was the reason that Hank pulled away from Hope and she finally understood after over 20 years. Scott takes off to get some equipment from an old warehouse that Hank needed. The problem is that that warehouse is now the home base of the new Avengers team. This puts the Atom against the Falcon. This makes for a very interesting battle, but Scott eventually escapes with the equipment.
Now that they have what they need, the real preparations begin. Scott recruits the 3 other thieves to help on the mission to get the Yellowjacket suit and to destroy all information on the particles. After a bunch of sneaking and battling, Cross escapes with the suit and particles but the building and all it’s information is destroyed. Ant-Man follows Cross but he gets in the suit and the real battle begins. Part way through the battle Paxton catches up with Scott and arrests him. This leaves time for Cross to revive and get to Paxton’s house to get Cassie. Scott ends up getting there and ends up fighting Yellowjacket (I really hate that they used that name for a villain!) on a Thomas the Train train track. Scott tries to stop Cross using some growing/shrinking disks that Hank made which end up only making an ant grow big and the Thomas the Train engine to go flying through the front wall into the street. To stop Cross, Scott does the whole “shrink between the molecules” thing to get in the suit and make it implode, killing Cross. Somehow, even though he was small enough to go between molecules, he was big enough to break wires and computer chips before going sub-atomic. (I guess that really gives a whole new meaning to microchips.)
Of course, we can’t have the hero just disappear so he is able to pull himself back and grow back to full size again. This news givens Hank hope that they might be able to save Jan. (You never see her face, even in a picture of Hank and Janet so I guess they are leaving that open to any future casting.) The heroics to save Cassie puts Scott on Paxton’s good side too. Hope and Scott end up kissing which was inevitable given the tension between them throughout the movie. Right near the end, we finally get to see Stan Lee as a bartender.
In the first credit scene, we see there was another room behind the one the Ant-Man suit was in. In there, there’s a Wasp suit that needs to be completed and that Hope will get to use. The second scene was between Captain America and the Falcon that will lead into Ant-Man joining or at least working with the Avengers. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.