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I really don’t have a lot of new insight to add on Ant-Man; my original review is still pretty accurate to what I think of this movie. I think it is a much better movie than it is given credit for. It has a lot of comedy and it has a lot of heart. The action is very well executed and makes full use of the concept of people and things having the ability to shrink and grow on command. The heroes are developed quite well, and even the villain gets a decent back story. Darren Cross isn’t the most exciting villain, but his history with Hank Pym makes him a satisfactory foil for Scott and his relationship with Hank.
Darren’s story of having been Hank’s protégé starting shortly after his college days sets him up as having been the logical choice to inherit Hank’s Ant-Man identity. However, Hank (as in the comics) recognizes a darkness within himself, something which he also recognizes within Darren. As such, Hank does not trust Darren not to abuse the power which the Pym Particle represents. And when Hank cuts Darren out, Darren becomes disillusioned and gives in to that very darkness by conspiring against Hank, discovering the Pym Particle for himself, and doing with it exactly what Hank feared. The idea that comes to mind for me is a parent who worries that his son will experiment with marijuana and pushes him away, so the kid rebels by becoming a drug dealer.
This story is paralleled by Scott’s story. He went to prison for doing the right thing (well, sort-of), and as a result lost his wife and had his relationship with his daughter strained. Hank looks at Scott and sees some of himself, particularly his relationship with his family. Scott wants to do right by his daughter, and Hank gives him the opportunity to do it.
This relationship between Scott and Hank makes Darren jealous, though we aren’t given much reason beyond “I devoted my genius to him and he threw me away.” I do wish that they had given Darren more of a back story, particularly in why he feels so spurned when Hank cuts him out. Did Darren have a bad relationship with his own father so that Hank became a surrogate father-figure? But this is the biggest flaw I see in both Darren and the movie, so that’s not such a bad thing!
I really like Ant-Man; it’s close to my favorite Phase 2 movie, though Captain America: The Winter Soldier still edges it out. I am very glad that Michael Pena is going to be back as Luis in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and I am excited to see where the story will go after Scott’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
What did you think of Ant-Man? Which is your favorite Phase 2 movie? Let me know in the comments!