Ant-Man and the Wasp will be crawling their way to Indian theatres this weekend. But a sequel would not have been possible had the origin film Ant-Man failed to strike a chord with viewers. Ant-Man was commercially successful and had received positive reviews as well, which was initially something of a surprise as the flick is not your typical movie that belongs to the pantheon of Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The 2015 superhero film was edgy, charming and delivered everything that a Marvel movie typically delivers, albeit in ‘small’ and subtle bites. There was humour, action, and the whole avenging bit. But none of it was melodramatic and larger-than-life, unlike other MCU movies. The subversion began with the titular character himself. A tiny superhero. The idea that you can be small but heroic instantly connects with a good section of the audience. People love their underdogs. And Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, the character played by Paul Rudd, was an underdog to begin with. Scott Lang was a criminal, with a Robin Hoodesque vibe to him. He protested against the big conglomerates and stole from rich corporate houses.
And after serving his time in the cell, Scott Lang aka Paul Rudd is recruited by Hank Pym (portrayed by Michael Douglas). Along with Pym, his tough daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Scott’s hilarious clique, Lang becomes Ant-Man and launches a great heist to foil the diabolical plans of Yellowjacket, the bad guy.
Yellowjacket was where the movie failed. Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket was not an impressive guy. Not the kind of guy who is apt to play a villain in a superhero flick at least. His character clearly wasn’t developed enough, and despite Corey Stoll’s fine performance, the nemesis in the film was unable to evoke any emotion in the viewer.
Of course, the Marvel film made a strong case with its fine performances, and our hero Paul Rudd stole everybody’s thunder in the film, as he was meant to. Rudd was at his charming best even with his tired and somewhat forced one-liners. He was self-deprecating as well as the Ant-Man, very reminiscent of Rudd in real life. The supporting cast comprising Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michael Pena fit well in the skin of their characters. Filmmaker Peyton Reed was not at the top of his game here, and things could have been tighter and crispier, but as the saying goes, you can’t have everything in life.
The action sequences were quite mind-boggling though. I mean, the man can shrink and expand at will. And thanks to that particular ability, there were a lot of fun action bits. Remember the final battle between Yellowjacket and our guy? The men were running on toy rail tracks and throwing kids’ playthings at each other. You will have to watch it to believe how cool it actually looked on the big screen. Words don’t do justice. That Ant-Man is an underrated MCU movie is not an overstatement.
Also read | Ant-Man and the Wasp: Character guide
Let’s hope Ant-Man and the Wasp lives up to the hype that was created by Ant-Man. Ant-Man and the Wasp will release in India on July 13, 2018.