ANT MAN MOVIE POSTERAnt-Man is Iron Man light. Right down to the teeny tiny suit. And since I’m a huge fan of Iron Man (due mostly to Robert Downey Jr.), I couldn’t help but like Ant-Man. It’s rather weak on the grand scale of Marvel comic superhero movies (i.e. those featuring the various “Avengers” including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc.) but Paul Rudd is still fun to watch as Scott Lang, a smart, sarcastic and kind-hearted master thief looking for redemption.

The movie begins with Scott getting out of prison and trying to walk the straight and narrow so he can pay child support and get visitation with the young daughter who worships the ground he walks on. Scott lands a job at Baskin-Robbins, but gets canned when they find out he has a record. So he goes back to what he knows best – and reluctantly agrees to help his ex-con buddies rob the home of a rich old scientist named Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas – looking good). But instead of finding cash – Scott finds a suit that turns him into an incredible shrinking man. Ant-Man. The smaller he gets, the stronger he gets. It has something to do with atoms and molecules and experiments that in the wrong hands can wreak havoc on the world! And wouldn’t you know it, some of those experiments fall into the wrong hands – and it’s up to Ant-Man to save the day, with the help of Dr. Pym, Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and Scott’s ex-con friends who provide a hefty dose of comic relief (especially Michael Pena). Ant-Man is a fun little heist movie, filled with nods to the larger Avengers universe. It doesn’t have the high stakes, tension or character development that would help it transcend from a nice little superhero movie to something more memorable. But it’s hard to find new ground to cover – especially for a superhero the size of an ant – when there are so many Avengers and Justice Leaguers crowding the box office from year to year! I don’t see Ant-Man working as a stand-alone franchise. But now that he’s been introduced on the big screen, it could be fun to see him fighting, flirting and verbally sparring alongside Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye…

The end credits certainly pave the way for that to happen. So remember to stay through the credits… all the way through to the end… for TWO bonus nuggets. Ant-Man is rated PG-13. The IMAX 3D doesn’t add much – except to the cost of a ticket. Like Ant-Man, it’s all about economy of scale. In other words, Ant-Man in 2D on a big screen will suit most movie-goers just fine.

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