Ant-Man

L is for Luis

Who didn’t come out of the first Ant-Man film not loving Luis?! He is funny, caring (he makes food for his friends as they’re working), and loyal.

Luis is a criminal, but he’s a loveable criminal who got arrested for a petty crime but from being in jail he met Scott and got a best friend. Luis is the kind of guy who looks at the positives in life even when there’s a lot of things going against him.

Luis’s monologues/story telling are the best! I like how they’re all filmed anyway with the different actors mouthing the lines, but I also like how Luis can go off on a tangent, giving minor details that are nothing to do with the main point of the story but instead show what some of his interests are. He needs people to help him focus otherwise he might not ever stop talking.

Luis is great fun. I like how in Ant-Man and the Wasp he is now the boss of a security company with Scott, Kurt and Dave and he tries to be a good boss and wants to have a successful company. That doesn’t stop him doing perhaps less than legal things to help Scott out though. Their friendship is wonderful and supportive.

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J is for Jim Paxton

OK so why did I choose Jim Paxton for the letter J when there’s characters like JARVIS, James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Jane Foster? They’re all great but I find Jim Paxton just really interesting and a character that subverts the usual sterotypes.

He’s set up kind of like an antagonist in Ant-Man but he’s never downright horrible to Scott. He’s Scott’s ex-wife’s fiancé but there’s no competition between the two men over Maggie’s affections. Instead, Paxton is rightly wary as he doesn’t want Maggie or Cassie to get hurt if Scott goes back to his criminal ways. He’s a detective so he has to do his job when Scott gets caught burgling Pym’s house, but he’s still disappointed in him. Over the course of the film though, Paxton see’s that Scott can be a hero too and he directly puts himself in harms way to protect Cassie from Yellowjacket.

Then in Ant-Man and the Wasp it takes it a step further and Paxton now cares about Scott just as much as Maggie and Cassie do. And he, Scott and Maggie are a team who are together raising Cassie and again, there’s no competitiveness or nastiness to be found. I think having this kind of family on screen is so important.

Paxton is a great minor character. He’s charming, caring, a good cop and a good stepdad. He looks out for his family and he will speak his mind. I just love the whole Lang-Paxton family and think they’re one of the most functional and well-adjusted families in the entire MCU.

If I’m being honest, there could’ve been way more characters from the Ant-Man films featured in this A-Z of My Favourite Characters in the MCU because there really are some great, fun and interesting characters in those two films. After this post there will be one more Ant-Man character featured, can you guess who it’ll be?

C is for Cassie Lang

Cassie is the best kid ever! I love her relationship with her mum, stepdad, and her dad – how the Ant-Man films show a functioning and healthy family with stepparents not competing with the biological parents is brilliant and something I’m pretty sure I’m going to talk about in another post later this month.

Anyway. Cassie is just great. She’s sweet, smart and loving. She’s funny, has a kind of weird sense of humour and totally rolls with the fact her dad is a superhero and she now has a giant ant as a pet.

I love how she wants to be her dad’s superhero partner and that’s something I could totally see happening in future MCU movies and I’m down with that happening. I think Cassie would make a great superhero, like her dad she’d probably have a lot of fun with it, but she’s also probably got a lot more common sense and end up being better at it than him.

I love Cassie a lot and I hope she does well and thrives in school and grows up to be even more capable and amazing, even if she doesn’t become a superhero.

REVIEW: Ant-Man (2015)

I didn’t write a review for Ant-Man when it was first released but it did make my Top Ten Films of 2015.

Recently released from prison, former-thief Scot Lang (Paul Rudd) wants to go straight so he can see his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) but those plans go awry when he meets Dr. Hany Pym (Michael Douglas) who needs Scott to pull off a heist to stop scientist Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from endangering the world.

Ant-Man is a great heist film. It follows a lot of the usual tropes seen in heist stories, training montage, a crew, plans going wrong, but it also has a super-suit that can shrink the wearer and give them a disproportionate amount of strength compared to their size. The special effects and sequences when Scott is the size of an insect are innovative and a lot of fun. The scenes where Scott’s going from big to small in a blink of an eye while fighting bad guys are well-shot and exciting.

While Ant-Man’s villain isn’t particularly menacing nor memorable, it’s nice to have a superhero film where the story is on the smaller scale and the climax of the film isn’t a potential world-ending catastrophe. At this films core are a group of characters who are trying to do the right thing, even if a lot of them are former criminals.

Speaking of former-criminals Luis played by Michael Peña is a great character. His stories are hilarious and every time he’s on screen he steals the spotlight because you can’t help but smile at his antics and mannerisms. Scott’s other friends are computer-hacker Kurt (David Dastmalchian) and wheelman Dave (T.I.) while these two have less to do than Luis, they still get their odd moments and are both fun characters.

A core theme of Ant-Man is the relationship between fathers and daughters. There’s Scott wanting to be the hero his young daughter Cassie already sees in him, and there’s Hank and his strained relationship with his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). How Hank and Hope’s relationship evolves over the course of the film is great because they are forced to begin to understand one another.

Ant-Man is a funny, clever heist film with superhero elements. Scott’s a great down to earth lead and the way the story uses a miniaturised hero and a lot of ants makes for a very enjoyable film. 4/5.

My Top Ten Favourite Films of 2015

It’s the end of the year so that means it’s time for best-of lists! So if you haven’t spotted my top ten list on HeyUGuys Movie Bloggers Top Ten – a list you should check out because it’s interesting to see what a load of different bloggers love – here is my top ten and my thoughts on each film. Now please note, all of these are UK cinema releases because as you’ll notice, one of these films came out two years ago in America.

10. Dope
I watched Dope on a plane and it was great. It made me laugh and think and I really enjoyed all the characters and their chemistry. It’s a small film that definitely deserves a lot of love.

9. Spy
Spy is a film I missed at the cinema but then I caught it on a plane and I wish I’d seen it at the cinema! It was surprising, funny and often kind of ridiculous but it really was so much fun. Jason Statham neds to do more comedy films.

8. Straight Outta Compton
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. It was about a time in recent history and a band that I knew next to nothing about but I couldn’t help but get pulled into the story and I found myself caring about these people.

7. Ant-Man
Who would’ve thought that the Marvel film on my top ten list would be Ant-Man and not Avengers: Age of Ultron? Not me! I was really anti-Ant-Man a year ago, mainly because of my dislike of Hank Pym from the comics, so I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed Ant-Man. The cast had great chemistry, Michael Pena stole every scene he was in, and it was about a heist and I love heist movies! Ant-Man really was a pleasant surprise. (more…)

TRAILER REACTION: Ant-Man

First-Marvel-Ant-Man-PosterThe first proper teaser trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man has been released and it’s all a bit bland really isn’t it?

Now I won’t lie, I’m a bit apathetic towards the Ant-Man movie as a whole for a while now for a few reasons.
1. I don’t like Hank Pym as a character – he is an abusive idiot and he’s the one that creates Ultron and that mess so I’m annoyed that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe the blame for that’s going on Tony Stark (he has enough stupid mistakes of his own). But when I heard that the focus was going to be more on Scott Lang as Ant-Man I was like OK, I can get behind that.
2. One of the main/only things I was looking forward to about Ant-Man was that it meant that’d we’d get Janet Van Dyne aka Wasp. Janet is an awesome character and superhero, one of the founding members of the Avengers and is another female superhero to add to the franchise! But wait, then there was the news that she’d be killed off in the film just as its getting started. I was seriously not impressed.
3. The whole production nightmare the film has seemed to have gone through – any film that has a director dropping out after working on the film for so long is bound to cause problems. It’s not an encouraging thought.

But let’s forget about that and focus on the trailer. I thought the promo stuff for Ant-Man has been pretty cool so far with the “ant-sized” teaser trailer and the minimalist poster, but now it was time to see some footage.

The synopsis of Ant-Man makes it sound like a heist movie (and I love heist movies a ridiculous amount) but by watching the trailer you don’t really get that vibe at all. It doesn’t seem to know what sort of tone it’s going for. It’s super serious with Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) voice over explaining why Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is special and how he must take up the mantle of Ant-Man but then there’s a couple of jokes thrown in that really don’t fit and fall flat.

The trailer also doesn’t give much information as to what the power of Ant-Man is (my mum watched the trailer and finished it being none the wiser as to who the character really is) and there’s no sign of the major villain.

I liked the glimpses of Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) being a badass and I am intrigued about her (maybe she’ll be Wasp? Can you tell how much I want Wasp in this stupid movie?!) I also liked the very brief appearance of Michael Pena because I like him and didn’t know he was going to be in Ant-Man.

I get it’s a teaser trailer, but a teaser is supposed to interest you and leave you wanting more and I didn’t get that feeling from Ant-Man at all. That being said, Marvel hasn’t really let the fans or general movie-going audiences down yet so have a bit of hope for Ant-Man and I’m ready and willing for Marvel to change my mind about a character I so far don’t really like. We shall see what happens when Ant-Man’s released in July.