Ant-Man is definitely a film that felt both connected and isolated to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a stand alone entry it definitely feels compact and doesn’t feel bloated with trying to tell too many different storylines. This film thus being classified as a heist film really struck to me as a message film about the relationship between fathers and daughters. That relationship and bond between child and parent hasn’t been a focus in a film for a while. The parallels between the two main Father daughter journeys of Hank and Hope with Scott and Cassie balance out well. Focusing on the concept on how daughters can view their father as a personal hero is a danger for every father. Not living up to expectations or being someone who they can or can’t be. The emotional core was there that helped ground the film in a solid way.
Some other general positives I wanted to point out in the film included the fact there was a lot of diversity in the cast. Michael Pena, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris and Bobby Cannavale were great additions to round out the cast that helped elevate the film feel more real world. Some of the background characters that Michael Pena’s character interact with were all minorities of Hispanic, Asian and Black. The only Avenger who cameo’d in the film was Black as well, being Anthony Mackie’s “Falcon.”
My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are over! What do you need me to do?
The comic book history of the “Ant-Man” character were set up so that Scott Lang becomes the reigning Ant-Man and Hank Pym is retired. I felt this was a good choice to do to help set up the Father/Daughter relationship. It also adds a legacy hero enter the MCU so that more than one character can play the hero. Hope was very well realized as a character who struggles with her father on being accepted into her fathers life. They do mention Janet in a cool way with tying it into the Microverse which is in the comics.
Overall the film did take some time for me to get really invested into the story and characters but after Age of Ultron and the immense amount of plot and characters that were going in that film it was refreshing to have a simpler story. The villain was better developed with a few surprises I didn’t see coming regarding mentions and motivations. Sometimes I felt that Paul did struggle to be the lead of the film and that it became more of an ensemble piece rather than a solo story. With those set backs aside it is one of Marvel’s better stand alone films. There are some great cameos and easter eggs throughout the film that tie the movie into the MCU seamlessly.
Spoiler bits I want to mention involve Evangeline Lilly’s character Hope. When she learns about her mother and what happened it all made more sense why she wasn’t doing the heist in comparison to Scott. He was expendable, she was not. By the end during that mid-credit sequence she gets to receive the new Wasp suit from her father. I hope going forward after Civil War, Hope returns and teams up with Scott to bring another great female superhero to the MCU. Though currently Evangeline Lily is pregnant and can’t be in Civil War I hope they make an Ant-Man sequel somewhere in the mix.