For a few brief moments, the unstoppable juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) looked like it was about to grind to a halt with Ant-Man. Unlike most other films under the Marvel Studios umbrella, this production has been haunted by doubt and dissension. Fans were nervous about the narrative decisions to relegate Hank Pym – the original Ant-Man in the comic books – to the sidelines, while killing off his wife Janet Van Dyne (who, as the Wasp, is one of the founding members of the Avengers). Then came that hugely publicised parting of the ways between Marvel and original director Edgar Wright, who oozes so much geek cred that people understandably mourned his departure from the project after years of development. And yet, the final product – Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man – is a fun, frothy delight, one that proves once and for all that Marvel knows precisely what it’s doing and where it’s going with the most crazily interconnected movie-and-television franchise of all time.
After serving his jail sentence, Scott Lang (Rudd) just wants to reunite with his daughter Cassie and get his life back on track. But he soon discovers that people in the outside world – including his ex- wife Maggie (Greer) and her new cop boyfriend Paxton (Cannavale) – aren’t particularly kind to former convicts. Beaten down by circumstances, he agrees to pull off one last heist with his eternally optimistic buddy Luis (Pena). It’s a crime that places him squarely in the path of Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), a retired, semi-reclusive scientist who decides to enlist Scott in his life-long mission of preventing the Pym Particle – a technological breakthrough that allows him to become the super- small, super-strong Ant-Man – from falling into the wrong hands.