Monday, July 20, 2015

Ant-Man Shrinks the Competition

Marvel and DC Comics have superheroes that are mirror images of each other minus certain character traits or purpose. Marvel for example has the assassin Deadpool who is known as the “Merc with the Mouth.” His mirror image is DC’s Deathstroke, the mercenary for hire. Virtually the same only Deadpool is a mutant and more of a comic relief and Deathstroke is the serious professional. Marvel has Tony Stark or Ironman who is a billionaire but is more fun-loving and easygoing while DC has Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman, another billionaire, only more dark and serious.

Another DC character that has a mirror image is Ray Palmer who is better known as The Atom who has the power to shrink to the size of a molecule. Marvel’s version of him is Hank Pym who is the first Ant-Man. Both men are well renowned scientists who dream of creating a world without illness and violence and are dragged into the action by various forces. The difference is Ant-Man has an additional talent which is his technology allows him to connect with ants and uses them to help him with his adventures. Now Marvel has taken the next step in introducing new fans by bringing Ant-Man to the big screen.

Ant-Man opened last weekend and while hopes for the movie were as minimal as could be due to delays and loss of its original director, the film has received gigantic applause. Out of all the superheroes and their amazing powers, the ability to shrink doesn’t sound appealing at first. In Marvel we’ve seen a man in an iron suit, a demi-god, a monster with incredible strength, and a super soldier so a hero that shrinks doesn’t sound so cool at first. Marvel though is blessed with better story telling than DC and that’s why this film doesn’t disappoint and is number one at the box office. Ant-Man is a two hour film that gives better understanding to why being able to shrink is an ability to take seriously.

It starts off in the early days of S.H.E.I.L.D. with surprise appearances by known Marvel characters and Michael Douglas staring as the intelligent scientist Hank Pym. After realizing what others want from Pym’s creation, he decides to do the one thing that he has to in order to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. After decades in seclusion he returns when he finds out that his former protégé has created a similar suit and plans to sell it to an unknown buyer. Now in fear that his nightmares are about to come to reality he turns to Scott Lang for help.

Played by Paul Rudd, Scott Lang is an intelligent man who made a poor decision that got him locked away and destroyed his life. Now given a second chance to make things right, he prepares to step into the smallest shadow ever created with the help of Hank Pym and a reluctant ally. During the course of the movie, Pym is forced to face old demons that have haunted him for years and in certain ways connect him with Scott on several levels. Paul Rudd’s debut into the action scene was well done and while this role required him to take a more serious turn he still portrayed some of his well-known comedy in the movie. Also in the movie are surprises during the film that will further connect Ant-Man to the rest of the universe and of course their signature post credit scene.

Ant-Man is scheduled to return in Marvel’s next film and arguably it’s most anticipated, Captain America: Civil War. What part Ant-Man will have in the movie is unclear but in a war that pits Captain America against Iron-Man, this film may have introduced us to the wildcard. No word yet on a sequel but considering the critic’s praise and the overwhelming acceptance of the Marvel fans, another one will most likely be coming. Big congrats to everyone involved because virtually nobody thought this film was going to be a success when it was announced. Ant-Man is great summer movie filled with action and comedy that can be enjoyed by every one of all sizes. 

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