In my recent perusal of superhero movies I stumbled upon what I consider a gem, a diamond in the rough. Not many would agree, but they aren’t talking to you right now, I am. The ‘Ant Man’ series falls under the banner of the ‘B Team’, those movies only meant to bolster the main storyline. However, it has its own appeal, from the casting to the acting, that sets it apart from other humorous action movies. Let’s start with the basics: the plot.
Upon watching ‘Ant Man’ & ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ I realized that I wasn’t intending to be surprised with the series, merely entertained. What sort of special effects would be employed? Would there be a shock factor? A Quentin Tarantino-esque twist? I’m glad I didn’t get my hopes up. It gave me both “superhero” and “movie” all in one, so it fit the category. I was relieved, however, to find it kept me smiling throughout. A chuckle here, a laugh there, and above all I wasn’t bored with it. I could see myself having it on in the background with kids around without worrying if there would be scenes that went too far. Oftentimes in this day and age movies tend to throw blood, guts, and sexual innuendo on screen to keep the audience engaged, but the ‘Ant Man’ series needed none of that. The interactions between the cast sold the like-ability of the movie to me, which bring me to the cast in general.
By the way the negative space is purposeful, sort of an allusion to how the movie progresses, but I am getting ahead of myself. The casting was well done, in my humble opinion. In ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ Michael Douglas takes his pomposity to battle with Lawrence Fishburne’s scathing derision and Paul Rudd plays mediating force. Now remember, this is an action movie at its core, so Paul Rudd definitely benefitted from the supporting cast propping up his lack of Kung Fu dazzle. In fact the Wasp (played by Evangeline Lilly) and Ghost (played by Hannah John-Kamen), Ant Man’s side kick and the main ‘super villain’ respectively, had much more value as fighters than the main character. Even so, the true sell was how the ancillary characters affected the flow of the story. Everyone from Michael Peña to rapper “TI” had their moments of glory, all with a healthy dose of comedic back-and-forth and camaraderie. It checks all the boxes of an action comedy any way you slice it (emphasis on the comedy).
In summation, if you’re looking for a gripping tale of loss and mystery, sprinkled with intrigue…find another title. If you want a couple of laughs with the family with some special effects thrown in the mix put in either ‘Ant Man’ or ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ and prepare for sheer entertainment. There is a certain level of joy that can be found in the simplicity of the series. It doesn’t try to do too much, it touches on science fiction tropes like “quantum”-everything and how going past the point of no return can affect the world and those in it in a myriad of ways, and above all it evokes laughter from all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope you, the reader, see it for what it really is: a non-serious action comedy with Paul Rudd as the lead. Trust me, there are worse ways to spend a movie night.