Reviewed by: David Simpson
negative effects of a life of crime on family relationships
importance of taking care of one’s family and loving them
turning your life around by using a second chance
fighting to save your child
Incredible ANTS of the Rain Forest
What can an ANT teach me about life? Answer
ants in the Bible
Paul Rudd … Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Michael Douglas … Hank Pym
Michael Peña … Luis
Evangeline Lilly … Hope Van Dyne
Judy Greer … Maggie
Hayley Atwell … Peggy Carter
Corey Stoll … Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
Bobby Cannavale … Paxton
John Slattery … Howard Stark
Abby Ryder Fortson … Cassie Lang
Wood Harris … Gale
Tip “T.I.” Harris … Dave
See all »
|Director||Peyton Reed—“Yes Man” (2008)|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“Heroes don’t get any bigger”
Sequel: “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)
The Marvel Machine moves on. This time, with “Ant-Man.” It’s the story of a guy who receives a second chance, a shot at redemption. He becomes a superhero, who learns to fight, trash talk, and save the world (or at least a small part of it), all in a few short days. Heard this all before? That’s because you have. But let me tell you why “Ant-Man” is different from the other Marvel universe movies.
First of all, Paul Rudd; he plays the protagonist, Scott Lang. He’s an intelligent, and brave man who is doing time for picking the wrong career. Crime. After his prison release, he wishes to stay on the straight path and help provide for his daughter, who lives with her mom and step-dad. Turned away, he tries one more criminal job to try and make a score, and gets caught by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the creator of the Ant-Man suit. Pym is in danger of losing his company to his former protégé, and also losing the secret he tried hard to keep hidden for so long. The secret of the Pym Particle. The shrinking particle.
Now, Paul Rudd is not your typical superhero casting. He’s a comedy guy, well known for “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and “I Love You, Man” Charismatic, but goofy, he is no Chris Hemsworth or Robert Downey Jr., who can carry a franchise on their backs. However, the casting is very strong, as the movie takes jabs of humor at itself, its star, and the character of the franchise itself.
Unlike all other Marvel universe movies, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It recognizes its status as a bit of a joke, kind of like the idea of an Ant-Man in general. But this formula works well for the audience. It’s witty, light-hearted, with the right balance of action and genuine heart-felt moments that provide the peaks and valleys. The original screenwriter, Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”), is a massively talented writer who can hit the right chords of insanity, realism, and entertainment. This makes for a different feel to “Ant-Man,” as the script and timing get genuine laughs out of the audience.
When it comes to morality, “Ant-Man” doesn’t really offend. There are some threats and negative discussions that take place between Scott and his wife’s new husband. There are a couple of innuendos thrown in, and Scott is revealed to be kissing a woman in one scene. The violence is there. Pym’s former protégé kills several animals with his experiments, although they are not graphic. He does the same to a member of his staff who opposes his idea. The fighting between hero and villain is exactly what we have come to expect from Marvel. There is some moderate profanity and vulgar language.
The theme of redemption is very strong, with second chances given to a criminal, and also offered to a different man who has never been trustworthy. Human nature is fragile, we look to God for strength, but the generosity and love of people can sometimes be the thing that turns us around from failures to heroes. “Be the hero your daughter believes that you already are” is a quote used twice in the film. You don’t need to be a hero to the world, be a hero to your family, to your friends, to the small group that you network with frequently.
Most will enjoy this film. It offers well-rounded characters, displaying humorous stereotypes, but also development and growth. It has a good theme, a good script, and is shot extremely well by Peyton Reed. The acting is as good as you could want, particularly Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.
Violence: Moderate to heavy / Profanity: Moderate—“Oh G*d” (1), OMG (1), “Oh my L*rd” (1), “damn” (9), “hell” (7), “a**” (7), SOB (2), s-words (4—including 1 BS), “p*ssy” (1), “b**bs” (1) / Sex/Nudity: Mild to moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.