Ant-Man

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, TI, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Martin Donovan, Hayley Atwell, John Slattery, Anthony Mackie
Directed By: Peyton Reed

I think everyone is still sad over Edgar Wright not getting to direct Ant-Man, and people don’t see Ant-Man for what it truly is. An exceptional introduction into a B-list superhero. When I heard Ant-Man was getting his own film, I was like…really? But now we’re here, and I’ve seen it, and it was imaginative, funny, and a great way to introduce everyone to a not-as-well-known superhero. Paul Rudd has a lot to do with the films success. Excellent casting. Also, I noticed Judy Greer has become some sort of summer MVP, having appeared already in Tomorrowland, Entourage, and Jurassic World. She still has Grandma, which releases in August. She’s had a lot of coverage this summer.

So, the good and the bad, right? The good is Paul Rudd, mostly. He’s perfect as Ant-Man, and I can’t wait to see him evolve with the Avengers. I think they need a guy like him, who doesn’t take this stuff too seriously. I liked Michael Douglas, which is pretty typical. Evangeline Lily’s hairdo was distracting, but she played her role well, and should also have a solid impact on the future of Marvel films (without getting too spoilery). Michael Pena wasn’t as entertaining as I’d heard. His character became a little grating after a while. I like Bobby Cannavale much better as a good guy, so I’m glad that’s where he was here.

Corey Stoll. Not that I thought he did a bad job, persay, but his Yellowjacket wasn’t nearly the villain he could have been. In many ways, he seemed easily defeated by Ant-Man. This film deserved a better villain, and in many respects is being held back by the sub-par level of the villain. There’s so much setup, that by the time he finally gets to be Yellowjacket, he basically just gets stomped by Ant-Man. It’s so disappointing.

A creative appearance by Falcon assures us that Ant-Man is sure to be in the next “Avenger” movie, which is the Captain America sequel slated for next year. It was also nice to see Falcon get a bit of screentime, after being largely marginalized for all of Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

For me, I thought this was actually the strongest debut for a Marvel hero, however he was dampened by the worst villain. So while the story is solid, and the hero is good, he ends up evening out with the first Iron Man film as a tie for first. Heck, Iron Man didn’t have a great starter villain either. Captain America’s Red Skull was probably the best “starter villain” out of the origin movies.

Definitely go see Ant-Man. It’s a puzzle piece you’ll need for future films. It’s a lot of fun, too. If the wheel isn’t broken, don’t fix it. But next time, give Ant-Man someone to fight. Please?

FINAL GRADE: A-

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