I think it’s safe to say we’ve finally figured out how to make heist movies. While as recently as 2011 we were handing over these concepts to the likes of Brett Ratner (Tower Heist), in recent years we’ve had our fair share of great heist films (Fast & Furious 5-7, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Town, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, etc.). I think there are a few films that played a big part in this genre reinvention. In addition to the aforementioned The Town and Fast Five, 2010’s Inception proved that heist films could cross over into sci-fi effectively, as also seen in Marvel’s Ant-Man.
I brought up Tower Heist specifically because, oddly enough, I think that Ant-Man contains an explicit reference to it, despite the fact that maybe 20 people ever saw it. Michael Peña’s description of a previous rendezvous of his has a very similar plotline (stealing millions from a corrupt corporation and then giving it back to the people it rightfully belongs to, and also driving a Bentley into a pool), and Tower Heist‘s crew just happened to include composer Christophe Beck and actor Michael Peña (the same one who told the story!).
Thankfully, Ant-Man is quite a few steps above Tower Heist (I didn’t even dislike Tower Heist, but it’s fun to disparage Brett Ratner). It combines a hilarious script by Adam McKay with a mind-blowing story by Edgar Wright to create what’s certainly one of my favorite Marvel movies. The entire cast is great (special props to Michaels Douglas and Peña), and while it does drag at certain points and have a fair share of plot holes (Why does no one notice when swarms of ants start coming out of the sink and shit?), none of it really distracts from the overall great experience of watching the movie.
Spoiler alert: the post-credits scenes set up a potential upcoming Wasp movie (!!!!!!) and give us a relatively uneventful look at Falcon and Captain America struggling to bring back Bucky’s memory. Falcon says he “knows a guy”, and I’m not 100% certain what that means but I’m sure it’s awesome. Speaking of Falcon, there’s a pretty funny scene where he and Ant-Man duke it out. Director Peyton Reed isn’t really good at fight choreography, but it’s fun to watch.
The interesting thing about the villain, played by Corey Stoll, is that he’s Obadiah Stane. They are the exact same character. I have to say that was probably the worst part of this movie. While most of the characters were relatively unique, Darren Cross was far too predictable to be enjoyable, although Stoll delivered a pretty solid performance.
And holy shit, the special effects. This is really the most impressive shit I’ve ever seen in a Marvel film. The shrinking scenes feel so real, and the set design is amazing. At one point, a giant Thomas the Tank Engine crashes through a two-story window and smashes a police car. You won’t see any of that in Iron Man 3.
So overall, I give it a B+. Not perfect, but I don’t think a Marvel movie ever will be, and this is one of their best attempts. Like this post if you like it, follow my blog if you like it like it, comment if you’ve got something to say, you can also follow my Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and be on the lookout for more reviews and other cool shit real soon.