Reason for the Rating: Sci-fi action violence.
Plot Summary: Given the ability to shrink down to the size of an ant, ex-con Scott Lang begins fighting crime instead of causing it.
PopFam Recommends: Although this story about an insect-sized superhero, Ant-Man is big in heart and entertainment value.
I have to admit it. When I first saw the trailers for Ant-Man, I was a bit skeptical. Really? A superhero the size of an ant? What kind of impact could this guy have on any bad guy? Then again, Marvel has made superheroes out of tree roots, raccoons, and aliens, so why not a tiny man?
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) wasn't born small. He's an average sized adult male who's run into some trouble with the law. Recently released from San Quentin, he's unable to find a job, which means he can't provide child support to his ex-wife, Maggie (Judy Greer) or see his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). It's during this emotionally trying time that he's introduced to Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). "Introduced" might not be the correct word, as they meet after Scott robs Dr. Pym's home.
Dr. Pym is going through his own trials, as it turns out. His protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has attempted to re-create technology Pym invented back in the day, and while he attempts to work out the kinks, he's also working on selling said technology to the government, or any other interested party. Dr. Pym recognizes how dangerous this could be, as his discovery turns a regular sized human into the size of an ant. As we all know, ants are incredibly strong with a bite that stings, which is the same for the person who uses Dr. Pym's serum. Small, but dangerous.
In an effort to destroy Cross's invention, Pym recruits Scott to become the next Ant-Man, teaching him the ways of the ants, the art of changing sizes quickly, as well as the ability to strike a man without killing. Pym's daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), isn't exactly thrilled with Scott (wanting to be the Ant-Woman, herself), but she reluctantly helps train Scott and plan a heist that will protect the world from Cross's evil plan.
Now, if you're not a comic book fan, you may be thinking, "Why should I see this superhero movie? Isn't it like all the rest?" The same could be said for Mission Impossible and it's various sequels, or numerous novels that follow a particular protagonist. What makes each unique isn't just the superhero and their particular "power," but the surrounding story.
Ant-Man tells a story about redemption and second-chances. It's about honesty and forgiveness. Pretty good themes and lessons for an "action" movie. Really, the action takes backseat to the story of Scott and Dr. Pym, as it comes at the end of the movie, and isn't what we've become used to in these kinds of movies. No cities are destroyed. There are no alien invasions or supernatural events. Like Ant-Man himself, the action is on a smaller scale, which fits the feel of the story, although, parents should also be aware that there is some mild profanity featured throughout the movie.
Overall, Ant-Man is a movie full of heart and big on messages of character and redemption. What more could you want?
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• In learning how to be Ant-Man, Scott must go through rigorous training, which includes a lot of pain and failing. Tell about a time you went through something difficult, and what you learned in the end.
• As a kid, and even as an adult, it's easy to feel small. Like you don't matter or have anything of worth to contribute. What would Ant-Man say to those kinds of feelings?
• Dr. Pym lied to his daughter for years out of fear. As a result, she didn't trust him and they had a rocky relationship. What are the benefits of always telling the truth to others? To God?
Tags: Marvel,Ant-Man,Paul Rudd,Evangeline Lilly,Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne,Hope Van Dyne,Sam Wilson,Michael Douglas,Falcon,Avengers
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