Had it been too desperate and hopeless, ANT-MAN would have shrunk its way for admission to the almost-complete, Avengers team. But neither such concern nor saving the world from an impending catastrophic destruction, holds weight heavy enough to pull this miniature superhero from his top priority: winning back his daughter. The emotional weight of the narrative comes across as an anomalous content to the generally comedic structure of the film, but they serve purpose for the overall flow of the proceedings, nonetheless.
The film follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who has just been released from prison after committing burglary. He has been prohibited to see his daughter due to his inability to provide financial support, no thanks to his being an ex-con that keeps hindering him from getting a job. He meets the highly-intellectual yet solitary scientist, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who has a job for him: pulling off a heist on his ex-protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who is in possession of a size-changing prototype, that poses massive amount of threats to worldwide security. Using a military suit that allows him to shrink back and forth, in size, Lang carries on with the mission with the hope that by doing so, he would be able to reclaim and earn the reputation and respect he lost, especially his daughter's.
It's easier to see Ant-Man as a beautiful mess, rather than a well-crafted superhero flick with profound depth and sense . There's a lot of illogical nonsense that always nearly sends the film to wreckage, but there's also so much of the fun side to make up for the eventual narrative shortcoming. At the center of its comic efforts, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang/Ant-Man shines with his general amiability, pulling off his role with credible wit and comic allure. Rudd is such a delight here, and his presence and effortless take on his character make the mostly messed-up flow of the events, extremely palatable. There's also much to say about Michael Douglas, how his character, Pym, easily integrates well with Lang and his daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lily) , to provide a firm and well-knitted character framework. Corey Stoll, on the other hand, is less impressive, barely providing the needed threat to make his presence felt and his belligerence imminent. But on moments where he and Lang engage in beautifully-choreographed fight scenes, the ineptitude gets relegated below the more important aspects of the proceedings, and once it does, the breathtaking visual schemes work under the spotlight, capturing Lang's size-changing skill with epic elaborateness. There's magic in every size shift, and the visual artistry is at its peak to deliver the moment.
Perhaps, one of the most immediately-noticeable difference of Ant-Man from its Marvel fellows is that it doesn't engage, nor rush too much, to explosive battles that generally results to immeasurable destruction. It is noticeably evident on the fact that its most interesting and most jaw-dropping action setpiece, happens in a toy train set. Most importantly, this new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe places its comic prowess at the center of its general effort to validate its entry to the franchise, and that is achieved without putting the natural action/adventure tendency of its superhero, nor the inevitable emotional nature of its characters, at risk of getting overshadowed by the rudimentary elements of the narrative.
It's actually hard to gauge ANT-MAN using the same measure that made the rest of its pack, mammoth and omnipotently powerful. But in its own right, and sub-atomic scale, this microscopic superhero is clearly a power behemoth, and it will surely spring back to its even bigger form, once the Avenger call is delivered.
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