Ant-Man (2015) (Blu-ray film review).

December 30, 2015 | By | Reply More

I did wonder why they started with a second-generation Ant-Man rather than see his creator, Henry Pym, have his career. With a guest appearance of the Falcon and their new headquarters, it would have meant that the original Ant-Man was appearing before even the likes of Iron Man came into being. When you consider that originally in the comics, Henry Pym had a couple appearances before the Marvel Universe got going, they’ve actually stayed within the current time frame.


In middle-age, Hank Pym (actor Michael Douglas) gets kicked out of his own company and realises that the new chairman, Darren Cross (actor Corey Stoll) is a liability seeking to control his Pym Particle – the chemical means that to shrink and enlarge and yet retain all the attributes of weight and strength – for weapon usage. Without the secret of how to do it, test animals get squished, Cross isn’t likely to succeed but he is learning.

A few years later, Pym gets into action again. Cross wants to sell the ability with the Yellowjack armour to the highest bidder and has finally worked out how the Pym particle works. Isn’t it time we had Advanced Ideas Mechanics (AIM) there as the cleaner face of Hydra?

However, Cross hasn’t quite perfected it yet and during the interim, Pym recruits recently released ex-burglar Scott Lang (actor Paul Rudd) by coercion to become his replacement. As Lang explains to Pym’s daughter, Hope (actress Evangeline Lilly), he was chosen for this job because he was more expendable than her. Together they train Lang to destroying the technology Cross is developing and how to get ants to do his bidding as Ant-Man. There is also an explanation that the full helmet is needed to stop brain damage because shrinking messes up the chemicals and stuff in the brain. Somehow Cross works this out without being told.

From here on, it’s a sort of a ‘Mission: Impossible’ plot with a shrinking twist. There are a lot of family issues here with both the Pyms and Lang’s ex-family but you need to watch the film rather than me give spoilers. There are a lot of predictable things in terms of seeing something established and then later used but the roller-coaster of a train ride, Thomas the Tank Engine included, is such that you roll with the action. Unlike the earlier reviewed ‘Avengers: The Age Of Ultron’, there is rarely any down time in the film and it flows well. The humour is incorporated into the actions than used purely for laughs.

Hank Pym’s home looks like the house that was used in the 1966 film ‘The Love Bug’ which, when you consider who owns the rights, isn’t too implausible. However, the wall isn’t always visible that Scott Lang dives over so might well be a different house.

Don’t forget to watch all the credits because there are two previews hidden within and a hint of being needed by the Avengers for their next film.

The audio commentary between director Peyton Reed and Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd is lively and interesting. The film has the distinction of being the first to be filmed at Pinewood Studios, San Francisco and principally played out as a heist movie. The lens of the Ant-Man helmet were put on digitally, as was the opening and closing of the helmet. The dilemmas of the life-span of ants is raised several times, especially as so many get killed. Oddly, neither of them address the fact that enlarging an ant might also extend its life-span or increase its strength, speed and diet proportionately. I suppose we should be grateful it wasn’t a queen ant but thems the breaks.

About the only thing I could raise a query with is why does Hope Van Dyne keep her mother’s name and not that of her father? It isn’t as though they are totally at odds with each other. Granted Hope stayed in Cross’ company to keep an eye on what was going on but I doubt if it would have meant a name change.

I can understand the popularity of the ‘Ant-Man’ film, purely because it is so different from the other super-hero films of late where it’s practically all-out war. That’s not to say that all super-hero films needs to follow ‘Ant-Man’s lead or flying ant but it is a reminder that quipping is part of the Marvel gender that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The extras only come with the blu-ray edition so if you want them, you’re kinda forced to go in that direction but they are worth a look. As with the ‘Iron Man’ films, ‘Ant-Man’ is a demonstration that sometimes choosing a second-tier character isn’t too crazy because it lacks the baggage of the first-tier with the audience in having to explain too much. This was expectation is less but with digital effects and a decent script, all things are possible.

GF Willmetts

December 2015

(region B blu-ray: pub: Marvel/Disney. 1 blu-ray disk 117 minute film with extras. Price: £15.00 (UK). ASIN: B011VDCJFI)

cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña and Michael Douglas

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Category: Films, Scifi, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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