The fun in destroying part of the suburbs is a scant sheen on what ends up being a brief dialogue on the issues of gender discrimination and working against the juicy allure of recidivism. Ant-Man's size represents the scale of disparity minorities face.
The affable, quippy dialogue over a shoot fast, destroy things faster approach in building out another limb of the Marvel Cinematic universe is the magnet. Lure in the public with a spectacle and when they're in the seats, dazzle them with the two-fisted struggle of women swimming upstream against a sea of men, as well as the lien of convicts trying to make an honest break of things, but falling into old habits.
Ant-Man follows the template of the villain wielding a similar power set and costume mechanics to the hero of the piece that's rife in all these super hero comic book movies. It also riffs once more on the Iron Man formula with the villain being a baldie who works at taking over the company the hero built (or at least the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)) as the hero tries to spirit away the technology or weaponry from evil intent.
And there it is where you can rubber-stamp another male character into creation, give them a new set of clothes and you're well onto another dumpster bin full of cash to belly flop into.
No, this isn't just a heist movie.
It's a look on the world of gender politics and, in part, the falsehood of meritocracy.
One of meritocracy's failing points lies in the notion that only the best are put forward. In reality, those most similar to people already in power and influence are allowed the advantage of preference. If all you see in the mirror is a white male, it's going to look a lot like a vomiting cloning pod when you recruit for your crew and/or workplace.
It's twice spoken out loud as such. First when Hank Pym shoulder bruff's Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), a former protégé, who Pym first highlighted as being like him, and drop kicking him when he saw too much of himself in Cross. And then again with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), looking to redeem himself in the eyes of his own daughter, taking a Pym pattern in familial relationship.
Pym's daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), is more than qualified to take over the Ant-Man suit (and legacy/responsibility of Pym Particles) but is instead sidelined in favour of this convict who struggles with finding life outside of breaking the law (shacking up with other cons doesn't help the environment of walking the straight and narrow). Hope also has to spend her time teaching Lang how to take her position, as Pym continues to take great pains in shielding and sheltering Hope from being allowed anywhere near the scent of danger.
There then we find that inertia is what rules this step in the progression. A woman is passed over when the boss finds someone bearing a self-resonance, credentials be damned, and the only viable prospects for those fresh out of gaol is to end right back where they started from.
It's a fairly heavy hand at work using Ant-Man as the showcase for these two disparate themes, but at least we all know you can't get ahead in life when you're blocked at all the turns.
Reviewed on Sunday, 2 August 2015