During a high point of Ant-Man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) tells his foe Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), “It was never just a heist.” In fact, that’s exactly what Ant-Man is, a superhero heist flick. It also borrowed heavily from the Guardians of the Galaxy formula. That meant it had a light mood, plenty of jokes and some great music.
That’s shown in the opening scenes. First, Lang is in San Quentin prison and is getting the exit tradition of trying to knock out his friend who is really big. In the background Borombon by Camila Azuquita is playing with its catchy Salsa beat and chorus. Then he gets released and Shingalin en Panama also by Azuquita comes on. Lang gets picked up by his old cellmate Luis (Michael Pena). Lang asks how is he doing and he says his girlfriend left him, his mom died, and his dad got deported by he got his van. Lang says that with his education with a master’s degree he’s going to get a good job, take care of his daughter and never go back to prison. Luis warns him that life for ex-cons is hard. Next thing you know Lang is working at Baskin Robbins and gets fired when his boss finds out that he’s a convicted criminal. There couldn’t be a better start to Ant-Man.
Luis actually steals almost every scene that he’s in. He gets into a flow when he starts talking going off on wild tangents and speaking a hundred words a minute. He is a great comedic foil for the story. Unexpectedly Michael Douglas also provides a continuous flow of sarcastic one liners mostly aimed at Lang throughout Ant-Man providing a lot of dry humor.
What the actual plot comes down to is Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits Lang and his friends Luis, Dave (T.I.), and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) to help him and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) break into his company now run by Darren Cross and destroy his work on the Pym Particle which allows any object to be shrunk down like the Ant-Man. That’s how the film is in the heist genre because much of it is the planning and training for the break in. Lang for instance has to learn how to use the Ant-Man uniform and work with the ants along with being trained in martial arts. Cross actually goes mad from using the Pym Particle upon himself and becomes the Yellow Jacket. That’s actually a take-off of the Avengers comic where Hank Pym went temporarily insane and took on the Yellow Jacket persona.
There are plenty of other Marvel Easter Eggs in the film like when Darren Cross is first introduced he said that the Ant-Man was tale to astonish. Tales to Astonish was the comic book that first introduced the Ant-Man character in 1959.
Overall, Ant-Man is a great super hero romp. It’s got laughs. It’s got tunes. It’s got thrills. It’s got action. It’s one of the reasons why it’s one of my favorite Marvel releases. C