My feelings about the Ant-Man movie are complicated. I was really excited about Ant-Man when it was first announced that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) was going to be directing it. Needless to say I was disappointed when he left due to creative differences with Marvel Studios. So for me Ant-Man will always have to compete with the pure Edgar Wright version of the movie that only exists in my head, and like anytime when reality has to compete with fantasy it is tough for reality to compete.
That said, Ant-Man is a fun movie. Marvel Studios seems to have making superhero movies down to a science now, even when translating their lesser known properties to the screen. Also, with the sheer number of movies Marvel Studios has produced in recent years they have smartly started to play with the genre a bit. The Captain America: The First Avenger was naturally a superhero film mixed with a period piece, but the Captain America: The Winter Soldier was also a mix, this time of superhero film and a spy thriller. Ant-Man is a superhero film mixed with a heist movie.
Like any heist movie, Ant-Man establishes what needs to be stolen, then establishes all the reasons why it is impossible to steal the item. It then has the ringleader establish a crew with specialized skills that can overcome the security around the item to be stolen. Of course, the heist has complications which are only overcome by quick thinking on the part of the crewmembers during the heist. In the end, despite these complications the heist is successful.
Of course, since it is not a pure heist movie Ant-Man also has to fit in time for a traditional superhero origin story and a big supervillain battle before the movie is over. Like Avengers: Age of Ultron it also takes some time away from the main plot to establish ties to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe by having Ant-Man fight an Avenger to get a MacGuffin “needed” for the main heist. Personally, I wish they had kept it closer to the traditional heist film structure and eliminated the battle at the end, merely leaving Darren Cross raging at how Hank Pym had pulled one over on him. I am guessing my opinion is in the minority on this though.
As someone of Latino descent, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a bit about Luis. Played by Michael Peña, Luis is one of the first* Latino characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While I wish he was more then a comedy sidekick, he is genuinely funny and gets the most to do of any of the secondary characters. Welcome to the MCU Luis, hopefully we will see you in the sequel.
All and all I enjoyed Ant-Man. It had a good mixture of action and humor. I don’t feel it was quite as enjoyable as last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy but I would definitely recommend it to superhero movie fans.
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*Maria Hill is Latina in the comics, but in the MCU she is played by a white actress (Cobie Smulders). Conversely, Agent Sitwell is white in the comics, but is played by a Latino actor (Maximiliano Hernández) in the MCU.