Marvel Did it Again and Yet I’m Surprised for Some Reason

About a week ago I took the family to see Ant-man and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.

I will freely confess that I did not expect much from the film.  I like all the principle actors and expected good things from them but not being much of an Ant-Man fan I did not have high expectations for the movie (especially after Edgar Wright walked away).

Paul Rudd was excellent as oft-misguided but always well-meaning Scott Lang, a character I honestly was completely unaware of.  Michael Douglas was amazing as an aging Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly was perfect as Hope Van Dyne.  Even Corey Stoll did good things with a very limited, by the numbers villain.

I liked the heist based plot a lot.  It was very refreshing to see the plot be much more lower stakes than Age of Ultron.  I know a lot has been said about the fact that Hope was seemingly pushed aside as she was a much more skilled candidate for using the Ant-Man suit but honestly as a father I understood Hank’s feelings on the issue.

At its core this story was largely about fathers and daughters, be it Scott’s struggle to be the man his daughter thinks he is or Hank’s inadvertently alienating his daughter while desiring to keep her safe and bridge the gap he feels growing with her.  It is in this way that the movie hit home for me, having two daughters of my own and desiring nothing more than to, pardon the cliché, be a hero to them and the hurt that comes from feeling like you’ve failed them.

I also loved the relationship between Darren Cross and Hank Pym.  There was definitely a vibe of unrequited admiration and a failed father/son dynamic.  I particularly liked the scene where Cross stepped aside so Pym could see that model revealing the planned renaming of Pym’s company.  Much like Ronin in Guardians I wish Cross had been a little more fleshed out and less of an Obidiah Stane rehash.

Anthony Mackie’s brief appearance was also a highlight for me.  Having Scott arrive at the newly minted Avengers headquarters, expecting it to be a warehouse and battling a man he obviously is in awe of was a great scene that almost stole the show.

I know it is an unpopular opinion but I didn’t care for the comedy relief trio that was Scott’s crew.  Particularly I didn’t care for the two over dubbed, exposition montages with Luis (Michael Pena) rehashing dialogue while other actors are shown speaking.

All in all the movie was much, much better than I expected and frankly falls near the top half of the 12 movies in the MCU.

If you haven’t seen it yet I highly suggest you take some time soon to check it out.

-S.Y.

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