In early 1962, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby created a character named Hank Pym who goes by his codename, “Ant-Man.” His costume allows to shrink as the size of an ant, gaining super-strength, super-speed & allowing him to use telepathy towards ants. Ant-Man made his first appearance in “Tales To Astonish” issue number 35.
Hank Pym also has a wife named Janet, who goes by The Wasp, together they are core members of The Avengers. Besides Hank, he has a protégée named Scott Lang who took over his job. Scott made his first appearance in Avengers issue number 181. He wore the suit for the first time in “Marvel Premiere” issue number 47.
Ant-Man appeared in other forms of media including cartoons, video games, crossover appearances & merchandise consisting of action figures, t-shirts, collectables, costumes etc.
A film adaptation of Ant-Man was in development since The Late 1980’s. With the success of Disney’s Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Stan Lee came up with an idea to adapt the character, but for unknown reasons, plans were cancelled. Cut to the year 2000, Fox successfully released the first X-Men film, encouraging movie studios to capitalize the success both critically and financially. Howard Stern (yep the radio shock jock himself) visited Marvel, he tried to purchase the film rights, the company rejected him because of his controversial image.
Three Years Later, Edgar Wright wrote a film treatment (a prototype of a screenplay) focusing on Scott Lang as the lead character as oppose to Hank Pym who was really the original. Edgar envisioned his story as a dark science fiction crime thriller influenced by the works of Elmore Leonard. Marvel refuses to approve Edgar’s concept, because they want to make a movie appealing to kids & adults.
A Few Years Later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe released a string of successful films introducing a new generation of comic book fans. Development of Ant-Man officially commenced with Marvel hiring Edgar Wright to write the script, this time for the whole family. When Marvel read Edgar’s script, they attempted to persuade him to re-write the script. Unfortunately, Edgar left the project due to creative differences.
Marvel recruited Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers, Ricky Bobby, The Big Short) & Paul Rudd to change the script. Besides Paul working on the script, he managed to win the part as Scott Lang. Thus, Ant-Man was officially on board.
Ant-Man was released in 2015. It received positive reviews from critics, fans and movie goers. Plus, it made enough cash at the box office.
With Avengers: Infinity War coming out in April 27 & Ant-Man & The Wasp will be released in July 6, I would like to share my thoughts on what’s good or bad about Ant-Man’s big screen debut.
Big: Paul Rudd did a hilarious job for his performance as Scott Lang/Ant-Man.
Other Cast Members such as Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer & Bobby Cannavale all did a great job for their respective performances.
Hayley Atwell & John Slattery reprise their roles as Peggy Carter & Howard Stark.
Peyton Reed did a good job on directing the film.
Director, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd himself, wrote the script.
Despite calling it quits, Edgar Wright earns credit as a writer and executive producer.
Action Sequences are blended with a touch of comedy containing over-the-top fight scenes.
Similar to Guardians Of The Galaxy, comedy in this movie made me laugh containing witty dialogue and visual humor.
Visual Effects looked gorgeous. Paul Rudd & Corey Stoll sore Motion Capture suits to bring their costumes to life made by C.G.I. I’m giving the effects team Bonus Points for bringing the effects to life without the illusion wearing off from the naked eye.
Cinematography didn’t contain no Shaky Cam or Dutch Angles present throughout.
The film’s storyline is primarily influenced by The Mask Of Zorro. Both lead characters are petty thieves rescued by the former man behind the mask, they’re given a chance to redeem themselves as protégés going through hectic training, their teachers finally passed their equipment to them and both protagonists have a love interest linked to their mentors.
My favorite line is, “No no no, not those three wombats!”
Besides Zorro, the film is also influenced by Honey I Shrunk The Kids & The Ocean’s Trilogy.
A member of The Avengers makes a brief appearance.
Chemistry between Scott & Hope felt normal. According to the MCU timeline, they’ve known each other for a week. I’ll allow it, because I’m glad they didn’t earn an early relationship.
There’s a miniature model covered in white. Looks like somebody’s been watching Zoolander!
Without giving too much away, we learn about Hank’s personal back story on why he permanently took the suit off.
One character said, “Watch your language.” This alludes to a running gag from Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Former SNL cast member, Garret Morris makes a cameo appearance. Ironically, he played Ant-Man on SNL in a sketch with superheroes attending Superman’s party.
In almost every Marvel movie related tradition, Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance again.
An instrumental piece called, “Escape” plays in the background. Escape was also used in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Quentin’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight came out the exact same year as Ant-Man.
Luis whistles “It’s A Small World After All.”
The film did a jab on Thomas The Tank Engine. I believe it’s payback for producers responsible for making Thomas & The Magic Railroad.
For the first time in MCU, Spider-Man is mentioned as a guy climbing up walls. He’s officially part of the MCU after Sony finally made an agreement with Disney & Marvel Studios. It’s about gosh darn time!
A Mid-Credits Scene sets up Ant-Man’s next solo film with a new partner.
A Post-Credits Scene sets up Captain America: Civil War.
Small: Corey Stoll’s character Darren Cross/Yellowjacket is obviously similar to Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2. Both villains are businessmen who’s main motive involves on creating a military unit stealing technology created by his rival company. Did Venom ever plagiarized Spider-Man abilities? No! He literally attaches to him, learns about his powers and gains Spidey’s memories. There’s a reason why Venom is a cult classic character who doesn’t belong in The Department Of Redundancy.
Product Placement featuring the following brands such as Ford, Pepsi, Baskin-Robbins & Life Savers. I’ll give this con a pass, because I couldn’t find any other brand to find.
The Final Verdict: A-
Ant-Man is another home run for Marvel. I have to admit, it was much better than Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but not on the flawless Apex rank as Guardians Of The Galaxy. I’m not saying Ant-Man is bad, it’s a descent entry to the MCU. If you’re excited for Infinity War & Ant-Man & The Wasp, definitely give this one a watch!