Review: Ant-Man Is Marvel's Perfect Heist [@rascalfkennedy @marvel]
3.5Overall Score

ant-man

Can we just marvel at Marvel for a minute? Can we bask in the greatest movie saga of this century thus far? They’ve literally dominated the superhero market for the last seven years. From 2008 to now, Marvel has given us 12 epic films (save your opinions of The Incredible Hulk or Iron Man 3 or even Thor 2). I remember earlier this year, being at a movie theater for 29 hours just to see Avengers: Age Of Ultron, that’s the greatness that is Marvel Studios. The story they are building only gets better and better, with Captain America: Civil War on the way and somehow, they’ve convinced America that Ant-Man was a worthy enough superhero to drop $58 million on opening weekend.

Think about it, Ant-Man is maybe a second, third tier superhero in the Marvel universe. Yet director Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd and company kept the story moving and float to craft a film that may look like a superhero movie on the outside but in most instances is a heist film through and through. Not since the Ocean’s film series has an ensemble cast worked a heist such as this. Michael Douglas, Rudd, two charismatic (yet stereotypical) best friends in Michael Peña & T.I., a boilerplate villain in Cory Stoll, it all works inside the concept.

Ant-Man is the latest Marvel hero to get an introductory film, following last year’s blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy. Ant-Man was created by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man. Pym, like Howard Stark was a tech genius. He was also a soldier in the military via the Ant-Man suit. Pym, unlike Howard, didn’t want to exactly be a part of the weapons race. He basically “retires” from the military to become a pure scientist and not a soldier in the military.

Scott Lang (Rudd) becomes our present day Ant-Man. He’s our cat burglar turned clean guy turned cat burglar. Lang is the perfect guy for the job. He’s the perfect thief, a modern day Robin Hood. The whole motif also makes him a perfect superhero candidate. He’s all about helping those in need. Scott is also trying to be the perfect hero for his daughter, which at least gives a wise-cracking Rudd an emotional center. Until it was discovered Hawkeye had an entire secret family in Age Of Ultron, Lang seemed to be the only hero in the MCU who had more to care for besides freedom and justice and personal gain. He wants his daughter safe, no matter the cost. He wants to be a hero to give his daughter the impression that he’s more than a routine criminal.

Ant-Man holds your attention for its duration, despite running into typical obvious Marvel tropes. We know how the film will end but there’s far more easter eggs within it that alludes to the upcoming Civil War. If the hints weren’t already made in Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man makes them even more clear. Pym doesn’t hate superheroes (which was the consensus idea after the comic book world saw the first Ant-Man trailer) he just hates the Avengers. And by hating the Avengers, he just really hates Tony Stark. Any of Douglas’ drawl and delivery when Stark was brought up literally felt like his mouth tasted blood whenever Stark escaped his lips. That, is hate.

A few Marvel heroes from Age Of Ultron and another Captain America film make surprise appearances, plus a mention of a certain being that’s been an outcast from this MCU. Plus, Marvel is running two storylines at once that somehow may meet to become one universal one once we get to the Infinity War films in 2017 & 2018 respectively.

Somehow, even Marvel painting by its own numbers is starting to churn out millions of dollars. They’re the Apple of the film industry (don’t let Universal fool you) and the more Marvel wants to twist and invite the comics into the movies, the more they’re going to win.

Rascal F. Kennedy is an artist living in Houston. His latest EP, Beach Day is available now. You can follow him on Twitter.