One movie that was a frequent rewatch in the house was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The journey of these kids as they tried to make it through their backyard (due to their micro size, it’s now an elaborate jungle) and back to the house captured my imagination on what the world can hold depending on your size. As a tall man, I get constant stares from children and any small spaces like airplanes and bathtubs are miserable. Though I like my large stature, I do imagine what being a foot shorter could hold. I might be able to take a bath. I could sit anywhere on an airplane without my knees scrunched up to the folding tray.
Of course, there’s a difference between being only five foot six and one inch. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a technical marvel, but for the most part, I rarely see shrinking stories as that interesting. At leas the Disney movie took an existing environment and created a new world. Other existing stories like The Incredible Shrinking Man and Epic are just the same places in a different size. That doesn’t create an interesting atmosphere. Ant Man reimagines the micro world much better then the latter two.
Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is a thief whose just been released after serving a jail sentence. He tries to go straight in order to pay child support and see his daughter, but that proves hard as any criminal record would do. He turns to another theft job as tipped off by his best friend Luis (played by Michael Peña). He manages to break into a house and open a safe, but instead of money or valuables, he finds a suit that he initially mistakes for a motorcycle suit. He takes it any way and tries it on, only to discover a button that alters his size.
After a scary introduction to the micro world, he tries to return the suit only to discover that that suit’s maker, Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) had intended Scott to steel it. He reveals, along with his daughter Hope (played by Evangeline Lily), that they are working to stop a scientist/business man Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) from developing his own shrinking suit, as the latter intends on selling it to Hydra. Scott works on using the suit to his advantage, which increases his strength in the micro world and allows him to communicate with ants, in order to plan the ultimate heist to stop Cross.
Marvel Studios is continuing its streak of interesting superhero movies, as Ant Man does not disappoint. To make it clear, Ant Man isn’t much of a crime-fighting story and sticks to more of a heist scenario (Much how Captain America: Winter Solider was a spy story). That makes for a nice change of pace and allows a darker hero to take hold.
Speaking of which, Paul Rudd is likable as Scott Lang. He gets some good jokes about his crimes while reacting to the micro world. He shall be a welcome member to the Avengers.
Michael Douglass, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Peña (he steels the comedic scenes) all add their charm to this more comedic Marvel story. The only character who gets the shaft is Darren Cross as the villain. I liked him on House of Cards and hoped he would bring more depth to this antagonist. Oh well, at least he gets some good “bad guy” moments.
The star of the film is the micro world. This is a very experimental looking world that looks both intimidating and fun. It’s clearly CGI, but it’s really spectacular on the big screen.
I’ll give this four Ant Man helmets out of five. Though not as epic as Avengers: Age of Ultron or as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man gives us a smaller (no pun intended), different marvel story that I’m open to seeing more of.