Karen and her son, Spencer, love watching movies together. This time around, Karen made the excuse that she “had to work” because she needed the money to “pay for bills.” Can you believe that? Lucky for us, her husband, Blake, stepped in and watched Marvel’s Ant-Man, which is in theaters July 17.
Dad: Hi. Karen had to “work” tonight so I got lucky. Spencer and I saw the screening of “Ant-Man” at the world famous El Capitan theater in Hollywood. Since Spence is the grizzled review veteran, I’ll let him kick this off.
Spencer: Thanks pops, glad you could take a moment to join me here at “Mom/Dad Said, Son Said”. Alright, so we saw “Ant-Man”. Now, if you know me at all, you know that anything to do with superheroes or comic books is my whole deal. So, I was PUMPED to see this. “Ant-Man” is the twelfth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it’s the debut of a pretty cool superhero from the comics (and significant character, considering Ant-Man was actually one of the founding members of the Avengers back in the 60’s) played by Paul Rudd. Let me just say this; Marvel is on a roll. I really enjoyed this movie. This is the fourth movie of theirs in a row that I really liked (Captain America 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Age of Ultron, and now this). What are your thoughts, father?
Dad: If you know me at all, you know that I think the world of my son (Spencer). But….Nerd. I had no idea what MCU meant until I read the previous paragraph. As we were leaving the theater, I heard “Comic Book Guy” from the Simpsons utter something about “MCU.” Let’s just say that he wasn’t talking to a lady friend. Now that that’s out of the way – I agree with Spencer. I have no idea what’s going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but I do know that I love these movies. The action is great, the characters are solid and the screenplays are getting increasingly funnier.
Spencer: I may be a nerd, but I am one good lookin’ nerd. Essentially, this is a heist film. Scott Lang (Rudd) is recruited by Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), a scientist and creator of the Ant-Man suit, to steal another suit, the Yellowjacket suit, made by Pym’s protegé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). So far, so good? However, these aren’t any ordinary suits. These suits allow the wearer to shrink to the size of an insect. Cross wants to use his suit for evil, though, as you would expect from any supervillain, so Ant-Man’s got to get it back with the help from Pym’s daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Lang’s criminal buddies (Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, and David Dastmalchian), and, well, ants who he can communicate with.
Dad: Scott is a down-on-his luck career criminal trying to do right by his adorable little girl. Paul Rudd is normally known for his comedic roles but he does an excellent job of playing the devoted (albeit misguided) father and he really nails the action hero in this film. I don’t want to give away too much but there’s a little something for the ladies thrown in after a fight scene. Spence and I both thought that it took a little long to get to some of the action sequences but they are worth the wait.
Spencer: True that, padre. Going into the movie, I was really eager to see how this movie tied into the rest of the MCU. I thought they did a good job of showing people who might not be familiar with a property like Ant-Man, that this is in the same universe as characters like Iron Man or Thor. There are several mentions of other characters in the MCU, and even a couple appearances by some characters. You also get some flashbacks to show what was going on with superheroes and other people in this universe in the past.
Dad: Thanks, Nerd. I think that Ant-Man being a lesser known character and not part of the Avengers movies was a tough sell for Marvel. To introduce the character, it feels like a lot of the action and a few of the jokes were given away in the trailers. Still, there were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that I did not see coming. The action was really good, the effects were great and the story was solid. I was impressed by Rudd and Michael Douglas but I really was surprised by the writing. The writing team is an all-star line-up of comedy/action veterans – Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead, solid player on the “Doug Loves Movies” podcast), Adam McKay (Funny or Die, father of Pearl from the “Landlord” short) and Paul Rudd delivered a great 117 minute script that had me laughing and forgetting that my son is a nerd.
Spencer: I got to say, I agree with everything you’re saying, Blake. Really, my only complaint is that it took a while to get to some real action, like you said, but after that there was lots of really fun action. And that’s the only reason I gotta give it a 9/10! Just overall, a super enjoyable, funny, action-packed movie.
Dad: Solid 9 from me as well. At this point, Marvel knows what they’re doing and they seem to deliver every time. Make sure you stick around for the full credits. I’m no nerd but even I know that there’s always a goodie or two at the end of the MCU films. Did I use that correctly Spencer?
Spencer: Yessir. Please don’t talk to me in public.