Monday, July 20, 2015

Staff Pick: "Ant-Man"

When it comes to Marvel movies, just about any new release seems to be a must-see.  All the movies interconnect in ways that make seeing only one or a couple feel like holding a piece of the puzzle as opposed to seeing the completed design.  Yet, the best Marvel films not only function as part of this complex web of storytelling but also stand on their own as entertaining introductions to characters we might not have known much about in the past.  Consider this for a moment: one year ago today, were you aware of what a Groot was?  I bet many of us were not, yet now “I am Groot” is as familiar a movieline as any other cinematic notable quotable.  Now, Marvel is asking us to meet Ant-Man, a character who may be familiar to Avengers comics fans but perhaps unknown to the public at large.[1]

So, should you spend time on this insect-sized hero and get to know him as you did an anthropomorphized tree and genetically enhanced raccoon last summer?  Despite perhaps seeming as odd a choice for a film adaptation as last summer’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in my estimation, ”Ant-Man” is not only a pick for this summer, but one of the most fun movies that I have seen all year!
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym

What makes “Ant-Man” a must-see?  The tone of the film is just delightful, effortlessly blending laugh-out-loud humor with real heart as well as the high-energy action sequences that we have come to expect from Marvel films.  The end result is two hours of sheer entertainment that are enhanced by some moments of real emotion and performances that will endear these characters to you for years to come.

The film is an interesting chapter in the ever-growing “Marvel Cinematic Universe.”  Yet, perhaps the best thing about it is you really don’t have to be an expert on the films that have come before to enjoy this film.  There are fun easter eggs throughout for the mega-fan amongst us, but watching the movie really doesn’t demand any previous knowledge.  The depiction of the character of “Ant-Man” is so complete that you will feel you know him, even if this is your first encounter with the character.  Marvel is the master of bringing characters, no matter their familiarity to audiences, into our homes in meaningful ways.  This film is no exception.  Go see it: you won’t regret it!

Paul Rudd as Ant-Man

Ohh & make sure to stay until the end of the credits.  Trust me, Mighty Marvel fans, it is all connected.  

[1] For more on Ant-Man’s origins, visit:

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