I have a problem this summer at home— it’s ants. Little tiny sugar ants. They keep invading our house and our food. They’re not carpenter ants or fire ants, thank goodness. They’re just hungry little dudes and they will stop at nothing to get that food. Not even Terminix has been able to stop them. So I have to admit that going to see a movie about ants, well, on first blush that did not sound like a rush to me. But I kept hearing really good things about this movie. Many of the Marvel movies of late have lacked zip, or focus, or much of a real plot, or any real fun or humor. As it turns out, I’m really glad I overcame my anti-ant feelings, as this movie has all those things! ‘Ant-Man’ is the best summer fun movie thus far, beating out Minions by a mile! A little back story is in order.
Ant-Man actually is one of the early Marvel characters, all the way back in 1962 when I first started reading Marvel comics, and Stan Lee (who gets to be a bartender in his cameo in this movie) and Jack Kirby teamed up and dreamed up all kinds of interesting and quirky super-heroes—- like a guy who could shrink to ant size and lift 50 times its own body weight etc. For the launching of this particular Marvel franchise, Marvel brought out the heavy hitters— Michael Douglas as scientist Hank Pym who himself was the original Ant-Man, but in this movie he’s too old for the job so he has to find a suitable replacement. Enter the excellent Paul Rudd as the fresh out of prison (for being a cat burglar….which in case your wondering is not a person who steals cats) Scott Lang, one of the later Marvel Ant-Men. Throw in Evangeline Lilly as the beautiful daughter Hope Pym, and Michael Pena as the hilarious Luis, providing comic relief and Hispanic panic, and you’ve got a taco that caliente!! But would the dialogue and plot give these good actors something to sink their teeth into?
Answer— yes indeed, and all nicely served up in a one hour and 55 minute package with no filler, and no empty calories. There are some really funny sight gags, and funny lines in this movie. Scott Lang is a man just out of jail, and wanting to spend some time with his young daughter Cassie, only his wife divorced him and remarried a cop. So he realizes his burglaring days should be over. He’s trying to go straight….. But then opportunity knocks and the dialogue goes like this…..
Scott Lang/Ant-Man: My days of breaking in places and stealing stuff are over. What do you want me to do?
Dr. Hank Pym: I want you to break into a place and steal some stuff.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man: Naturally.
Besides, how does one train to be the world’s smallest super hero who hangs out with an army of ants? Does one put on Dave Matthew’s and whistle his ‘the ants go marching’ tune? And how does this new technology work anyway— Answer, by eliminating the space between molecules temporarily, so one can shrink temporarily. Don’t ask me how the process is reversed.
In any case, this movie is so much fun you are willing to suspend your disbelief for the full two hours and just enjoy the fun ride. Of course at the end there is a preview of what is to come in the next installment of this franchise. Stan Lee is nothing if not ambitious. If one of his Marvel movies proves less than marvelous, well move on to another character and another script. In this case it works well.
You will have noticed that I’m not spoiling the plot line and outcome. Suffice it to say, you will enjoy this film. In a summer full of dumb and dumber movies (e.g. see the forthcoming Pixels movie), finally we have a winner. Who knew it required ants?
Now if I can just get Ant-Man to come over to my house and sweet talk these little sugar ants into leaving my abode!