Year: 2015
Rating: PG-13
Length: 117 minutes / 1.95 hours

In the never-ending array of superheroes feeding into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to support such franchises like Captain America and The Avengers, it can be difficult to make some of the B-tier and C-tier heroes seem interesting enough to devote a whole movie to them. To ensure each movie feels different from its predecessors, certain unique attributes must be applied. Whether it’s the sci-fi-themed Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) or the mind-bending visuals of Doctor Strange (2016), each film requires a gimmick to make it work. For Ant-Man (2015), it’s comedy.

If you approach Ant-Man as a standard superhero film, you’re likely to be disappointed. There are almost too many off-hand references to much of the MCU to make anyone not familiar with the vast array of movies lost and confused. Plus, the hero’s “origin story” in Ant-Man is almost par for the course. However, if you watch this film with the understanding that it’s more similar to comedy/caper/heist films than a superhero film, you’re likely to be satisfied. From Michael Peña’s third-party information chains to some of the physical comedy involved with the ants, the movie is fun to watch.

And while Edgar Wright (of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) and Baby Driver (2017) fame) didn’t end up directing this movie, his influence in the screenplay is certainly recognizable. Of course, Ant-Man also owes a debt of gratitude to other “shrinking” films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), just as much as it owes to Bokeh photography and any number of heist films (like Ocean’s Eleven (2001)). Sure, CGI made much of this film possible, but without the ridiculous nature of a shrunken world infused into the plot, it would have been more boring than fun.

A fun little movie for fans of comedy and heists, I give Ant-Man 4.0 stars out of 5.

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