Ant-Man is the twelfth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it introduces us to the weird hero known as Ant-Man. In the film, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) gives Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) a chance at redemption by teaching him how to control the Ant-Man suit in order to break into a building and steal a weapon from Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).
The film feels like one director wanted to make a fun Ant-Man movie while another was tasked with making a studio film, which is not at all surprising, given the production problems of the film, but still extremely disappointing.
There are sequences that are just pure fun to watch and are really well-directed too, but for every one of those, there are poorly-directed scenes that are just so bland and boring, filled with jokes that don't work and expositional dialogue, all executed monotonously. You can actually feel the stylistic shift as you're watching.
Inconsistencies continue further when the film goes out of its way to shove in character/s from different Marvel films all for the sake of connectivity that it loses all identity of itself. It feels like the characters have jumped into a completely different movie, and what makes it worse is that the tie-ins are either inconsequential to the film and just serve as set-up for future Marvel films or just aspects that completely come out of the blue, disregarding the concept of set-up altogether.
The saving grace of this film is that it's presented more as a heist/adventure film than it is a superhero/action movie. There are maybe only two actual fight scenes, including the finale, and even then, the finale doesn't adhere to the formulaic 'save the world' explosion-fest that we're so used to already. The stakes here are more personal, which makes sense because the movie's plot is supported by a familial story and Scott Lang's road to redemption.
The two different father-daughter relationships are developed really well and is one of the brighter spots of the movie. Also, if it wasn't clear before, Paul Rudd can totally carry a movie. Rudd has got the charm, wit, and sincerity that most Marvel leads have, and is also surrounded by an incredibly comedic supporting cast that I'm just glad we have in the MCU.
Ant-Man is the same Marvel fun from the same Marvel studio. It just falls victim to the burden of trying so hard to further develop a cinematic universe that it loses its cohesiveness and individuality.