Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: 17 July 2015

Director: Peyton Reed
Paul Rudd
Michael Douglas
Evangeline Lilly
Corey Stoll
Bobby Cannavale
Anthony Mackie
Judy Greer
Abby Ryder Fortson
Michael Peņa
David Dastmalchian
Hayley Atwell
Wood Harris
John Slattery
Martin Donovan
Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Dr. Hank Pym
Hope van Dyne
Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
Sam Wilson / Falcon
Maggie Lang
Cassie Lang
Peggy Carter
Howard Stark
Mitchell Carson
Ant-Man movie poster Ant-Man movie poster Ant-Man movie poster
Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll in Ant-ManAnt-Man starts with a bit of a confusing opening if the audience does not recognize Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Howard Stark (John Slattery) from the first Captain America film. The two are in a heated discussion with Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Pym refuses to release the data on his personal project claiming the technology will never be used again. End of story.

In present times, Pym's former partner Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has been working on Pym's shrinking technology. He has reached the level of shrinking inanimate objects but cannot shrink a living creature. It is only a matter of time before he succeeds.

Paul Rudd as Ant-ManMeanwhile, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just been released from prison. He is a divorced father with a young daughter. His Ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) won't let Lang see his daughter until he repays child support. Lang doesn't have many options so he agrees to rob the house of a solitary man who has a very large safe in his basement. There must be something valuable in there.

Lang breaks into the house only to find the safe extremely well guarded. Lang is able to bi-pass the security and open the safe only to discover an odd looking mechanical suit. As it is the only thing in the safe, he steals the suit. Upstairs, Hank Pym is watching the whole scenario.

Paul Rudd as Ant-ManOnce back home, Lang puts on the suit, presses a red button on the glove and immediately shrinks down to about 1/2-inch tall. After several hilarious misadventures, Lang finally enlarges to normal size only to be arrested for stealing the suit. Lang meets with his attorney only to discover the lawyer is Hank Pym. Pym needs Lang's help. Lang needs Pym's help to get out of jail. The two men team up.

Hank Pym is alone because he knows how dangerous the suit can be. During the Cold War, an ICBM is launched against the U.S. Using his technology, Pym and his wife, who is dressed in a similar suit, try to stop the missle. The only way inside is to shrink to sub-atomic level. His wife shrinks, destroys the missle and is forever stranded in the sub-atomic realm. Pym cannot allow his former partner Cross to succeed. Pym needs to steal Cross' prototype and destroy all data on the project. The plot thickens when Cross plans to sell the technology to Hydra. Unwittingly, Pym and Lang are forced into the on-going struggle between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra.

Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas star in Ant-ManPaul Rudd is great as Scott Lang / Ant-Man. He delivers every line with a droll monotonous voice that is a stark counter-point to the amazing technology and out-of-this-world story line. The more Pym explains the unbelievable, the funnier the unbelieving Lang responds.

Michael Douglas is fantastic. Pym is conflicted. He truly embraces the technology he created. He teaches Lang all of the secrets about using the suit as well as the added bonus of being able to communicate with the insect world. On the other hand, Pym is dibilitated by the loss of his wife.

These two characters have a lot in common. Lang has aliented himself from his wife and daughter after going to prison. After the loss of his wife, Pym has alienated himself from the world at large as well as his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Circumstances give each man a chance at redemption.

Paul Rudd as Ant-ManThe special effects are quite impressive. Shrunken down to ant size gives Lang a singular perspective on the world. Everything from a normal bathtub, LP record player, mouse trap look different from an ant's perspective. The funniest sequence in the film is the battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket aboard an H.O.-scale toy train with a "Thomas" engine. The two men battle on the "speeding" train and then action cuts to a long shot as the toy train derails for no apparent reason from a normal perspective. The visual joke is fantastic.

Ant-Man is much funnier than the previous Marvel films. Lang's partners-in-crime Luis (Michael Peņa), Kurt (David Dastmalchian), and Dave (T.I.) are a riot. They talk their way out of situations with some of the wittiest lies. In another instance, Pym needs to escape from Cross' plant before it explodes. He pulls a "toy" tank out of his pocket and puts it on the floor. Cut to outside where a full-sized tank smashes through a wall and just a suddenly disappears.

Corey Stoll as Yellowjacket in Ant-ManAs a whole, Ant-Man is a wonderfully funny, amazing, and action-packed. Unfortunately, the resolution to the final battle is all-too obvious. Of course, it leads to a stunning view of the sub-atomic world. An ever-shrinking Scott Lang is saved by his daughter's voice calling him back. Because the foreshadowing was so obvious, the scene is rendered a bit sappy.

Once again, kudos to Marvel Studios! The passion they have for their comic book franchise translates into their passion to get the characters right for the big screen. The audience does not need any prior knowledge of Ant-Man comics to enjoy Ant-Man. Enjoy!