Ant-Man Parent Review
Though the characters and relative lack of objectionable content is good, perhaps the greatest victory is in transforming an implausible concept into something that seems almost logical.
I suspect many of us comic strip newbies will approach Ant-Man in much the same way we did the Guardians of the Galaxy debut. I’ve heard of The Incredible Hulk and Captain America, but Ant-Man? Sorry. No idea. Based on what this movie teaches us about his origin story, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is another Tony Stark—an ordinary guy whose suit makes him extraordinary. Looking much more stretchy and nimble than Iron Man’s full body cast, Scott’s Ant-Man getup gives him the ability to become teeny-weensy with the push of a button.
The gimmick is a Cold War era invention of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who discovered he could reduce the empty space between atomic particles, thereby making objects much smaller and denser, while also increasing their strength. However, like so many Marvel Universe inventors, his creation is hijacked for military use by Howard Stark (John Slattery) and weapons dealer Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan). But they were missing one key aspect of Pym’s secret, which prevented them from ever putting it to use.
Fast forward to the present and Dr. Pym discovers his former apprentice Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is on the brink of putting the puzzle together. It’s about this time when Scott, who has made some bad life choices, decides to break into the Pym residence. Fortunately, the thief’s creative B&E skills impress the scientist. The aging man has been looking for a new candidate to wear the incredible shrinking suit – one he hopes will conspire with him to stop Cross from putting the final touches on his version of the minimizing machine.
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the Marvel Comics franchise is the interplay between characters and references to other super heroes. And those are abundant here. Even those of us who haven’t got a clue what the backstories are, can still laugh along with the gags—and then pester our comic geek friends to fill us in after the show is over.
Even better, Ant-Man reduces the objectionable content found in many action films to the point where parents may find this production suitable for ‘tweens and teens. As a role model, Scott is a poor example when he figures the only way he can get the money needed to make his child support payments is to turn to crime. Yet, by the end, his more positive choices prove he is willing to sacrifice for others. Despite some violent depictions, the film allows for more character interaction than past Marvel outings, which rely heavily on wide-scale mayhem. Most of the altercations here are one-on-one sparring matches. Blood effects are limited to a nosebleed and a gunshot wound. And profanities include a few scatological terms along with small selection of other mild curses and terms of deity.
Perhaps the greatest victory for this script is its ability to transform such an implausible concept into something that seems almost logical. (The movie’s pre-release trailer did nothing to convince me this tale would be more than a laughable bomb.) With nano-technologies making headlines in reality, Ant-Man allows our imaginations to believe a shrinking suit could have a useful purpose in our weapons closet.Directed by Peyton Reed. Starring Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña and Michael Douglas. Running time: 117 minutes. Updated May 13, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Ant-Man here.
Ant-Man Parents Guide
In the movie, Dr. Pym tells Scott that he should become the hero his daughter already thinks that he is. Why do children often idolize their parents? What kind of responsibility does that place on the shoulders of the adults? In what ways should parents respect that trust?
Marvel creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in each of these comic-inspired movies. Did you spot him in Ant-Man?
This movie is full of product placements, from the name of a sleeping pill, to an ice cream shop and brand-named toys. (How many more did you see?) How does mentioning or showing specific merchandise provide another way for companies to market their wears to the audience?
What does this film say about the importance of size? How can even small things be a big deal? Why are ants a good example of this concept? Real life scientists are also exploring the power of the microscopic. Learn more about Nano technology here.
From the Studio: The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Marvel Studios