Ant-Man is the Best Marvel Movie of the Year

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Directed by: Peyton Reed
Story by: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish
Screenplay by: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas

I went in to Ant-Man with little to no expectations. I never was a big fan of the character from my early years. I’m a habitual movie trailer watcher and when I saw the trailer for this film months ago my initial thought was “no thanks, not interested.” It didn’t appeal to my inner geek.

Doing my best to arm myself with a sense of objectivity, I sat back and took in the experience.

Two words: Mind Blown.

Ant-Man delivered in a big way. The movie takes a page right out of the Guardians of the Galaxy mold combining comedy, action and a feel-good story into a beautiful masterpiece. Paul Rudd is witty, sarcastic, and yet delivers a punch to the abdomen with sheer brilliance. Scott Lang (Rudd), a felon with a history of theft whose daughter personifies him as a hero, struggles to prove himself a changed man. He’s been released from serving a prison sentence, and is out to re-establish himself a changed man in society. He meets Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man and retired S.H.I.E.L.D. physicist, who offers Lang the chance to reunite with his daughter on one condition — he has to steal.

If I had to choose one issue with the film it would be Douglas’ stiff performance as Pym. It took me well into the final act of the movie to settle into Dr. Pym’s character. This could have been intentional, given Pym’s background with S.H.I.E.L.D., and the loss of his wife. However, that’s the only thing I struggled with.

Michael Peña, who played Lang’s best friend and wing-man, did the comedic heavy-lifting with a seamless performance. His “ant-ics” were “brill-ant” and hilarious. The chemistry between he and Rudd set the tone for the movie from the get go.

Corey Stoll, was magnificent as Darren Cross, the heir apparent of Pym Tech and villain of the story. He was defiant and smug almost to the point of contempt. The best part, he wasn’t some half crazed, mental, over-the-top lunatic. He was calculative and planned his moves with careful, detailed consideration.

I appreciated Evangeline Lilly’s performance as Hope Van Dyne, Pym’s daughter. She was headstrong and intelligent, with an edge. Her only desire, to gain her father’s affection and respect. Lilly delivered with precision.

Ant-Man is the best Marvel movie of the year, better than Avengers: Age of Ultron and one of the top films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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