I have to start off by saying I’ll always wonder what Ant-Man would have been if Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) had stayed in the director’s chair. He was attached to the project for several years, but departed over creative differences with Marvel. Much of the time a departure like that spells disaster, but working from a story by Wright and Joe Cornish, director Peyton Reed (The Break-Up) delivered a solid film dealing with the origins of Ant-Man.
When we first meet him, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is getting set to leave prison after serving time for robbery (though not armed robbery). Divorced, Scott has a young daughter who idolizes him and an ex-wife whose getting remarried and wants Scott to get a ‘real’ job. After he’s fired from a job at Baskin Robbins due to his criminal past, Scott is contacted by physicist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who wants him to take his place as Ant-Man, a superhero who can take on the baddies, big or small.
A longtime fan of Paul Rudd, he was the perfect choice for this role. Scott Lang isn’t eager to be a superhero, but he is genuinely interested in changing his life, in order to maintain a relationship with his daughter. He could have played the role to seriously and become a brooding mess, but Rudd manages to balance his emotions and find appropriate moments of humor throughout the film. Rudd also plays well off of Michael Douglas who gives one of his better performances of recent years as Hank Pym. He instils his character with a lot of knowledge and wisdom. Like Hank, ultimate goal is to protect his family, but he’s hurt them terribly in the process.
Hank’s daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), has conflicted feelings towards her father and those emotions result in a shaky relationship with Scott. While Lilly’s role could have been regarded as little more than eye candy, the way she handles the father/daughter dynamic makes her interesting to watch. It’s clear that while Hope is committed to work that will make the future bright for others, part of her is stuck in the past, wondering why her father largely ignored her after mother’s death.
Not to be forgotten, Michael Pena turns in another memorable performance as Scott Lang’s best friend Luis. Energetic, he just makes every film he’s in better. Props to Corey Stoll as the repugnant villain Darren Cross, a bitter former student of Hank Pym determined to take over the Ant-Man business. Together, all of these characters came together to create a story that makes me excited to see the next installment of the Ant-Man saga.
Downloading Ant-Man from DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com was easy. I watched the film in HD on a 60” TV equipped with 5.1 Surround Sound. The video was clean and clear throughout, with no apparent issues. Colors were bright and vivid. The film sounds great, it’s robust and delivers the detail you would expect from a Marvel movie.