Ant-Man shouldn’t work. Heck, it’s about a guy that shrinks and communicates with ants. Also, Paul Rudd is a superhero. Marvel’s latest offering had everything standing against it, but, in the end, it totally works.
Although Ant-Man is one of the longest running comic book heroes in their lineup, he’s had zero cinematic presence (or really a modern day following). The box office opening weekend numbers are in and Ant-Man hauled in $58 million, which wasn’t quite up to Marvel par, but should still be heralded as a massive accomplishment.
My expectation was maybe a 4/10. I left the theater completely and pleasantly surprised. Let me preface the next paragraph with a disclaimer: I am a DC fan. Whew, got that off my chest.
Marvel needs to keep it light. Yeah, yeah, I know the Captain America movies got a lot of hype, specifically “Winter Soldier,” but that doesn’t say Marvel to me. I’ve always really enjoyed the humor of “Iron Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The times Marvel tries to make a film a little darker, I immediately start to think, “Noooooo. Leave that to DC.” I feel these films really excel when they have a comedic element. “Avengers,” and the sequel, were really just explosions left and right with a troupe of heroes in the foreground. I’ll pass. I know that’s not a popular opinion to have, but whatevs.
Ant-Man obviously suffered from the script being passed among numerous writers, I’ll admit that, but I thoroughly enjoyed the humor that Paul Rudd brought to his role. It seemed that they really let him loose and times and that definitely made things fun. The fight sequences with him constantly shrinking and growing back to full size were awesome. I also thought Corey Stoll did a great job as Yellowjacket.
Now, I could delve into how terrible Marvel’s villains are in just about every movie (looking at ya, “Iron Man 2”), or how the movies that introduce us to a new character (like “Thor”) try to do too much, but I’ll save that for another day. This was the first villain out of maybe two other Marvel films that felt like he actually had some depth. It could also be due to the level of deceitfulness hidden under charm that Stoll brought to his character, though.
Bottom line: Don't have high expectations and you won’t be disappointed. It was also really fun seeing Paul Rudd make Ant-Man all his own.