Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just finished serving his prison term, he wants to see his daughter but his estranged ex-wife demands that he first finds a stable job and an apartment, however finding a job is difficult because of his criminal record. So he agrees to do one last job to raise the cash, and on this job Scott finds a suit that allows the wearer to become a tiny version of himself. The suit is owned by a Dr Pym (Michael Douglas) who recruits, trains and prepares Scott to fight against his protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stroll), who also has created a suit with similar powers, and Pym fears that no good will come of this.
When director Edgar Wright left the project back in May 2014 due to 'creative differences' with the studio Marvel, fans of the film were inevitably disappointed. It wasn't an ideal turn of events because Wright's directorial style seemed to be a perfect fit for a Marvel film but that didn't turn out to be the case. So instead Peyton Read and Adam McKay were brought in to be the replacements for the departing Wright and Joe Cornish. Thankfully, the departure of Wright and Cornish didn't affect the film's quality as it contains much of the charm that made many of the previous Marvel films so highly rated.
With his previous experience in comedy Paul Rudd was entirely suitable for a leading role in a Marvel film, Rudd has a likable charisma and naturally nails many of his character's one liners and comedic facial expressions. The departure of Wright and Cornish had the potential to damage the film irreparably but the replacements in the shape of Read and McKay were more than effective enough to make Ant-Man the most enjoyable, and best Marvel film, since 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ant-Man is led by a charming and engaging central performance from Paul Rudd who does an excellent job in making his character a highly likeable one. Ant-Man even works on an emotional level as his relationship with his daughter remains a generally sweet one. Supporting Rudd well is Michael Douglas who gets to show some of his comic chops, but the highlight of the supporting cast was Michael Pena's rambling and very optimistic Luis.
One of the biggest problems with the Marvel films is the rather obvious lack of tension in almost every film of the Marvel cannon. It's hard to create a sense of danger when you know many of the characters aren't going to die or that a certain character will come back from the dead (Iron Man from the first Avengers for example). Ant-Man has a similar problem but it overcomes that by using the shrinking gimmick to allow them to become more inventive in the action sequences by smartly increasing the level of danger faced from everyday things, especially when you're as small as an ant.
Another Marvel movie problem is a lack of a good villain, in recent years the best villain of the Marvel franchise is Tom Hiddlestone's Loki and he isn't even that good. The lack of a good, interesting villain was a flaw in Guardians of the Galaxy and once again Ant-Man falls victim to a rather thinly sketched out villain. Corey Stoll's performance is by no means a bad one, but with a villain that's quite dull and generic he was severely limited in what he could achieve.
Marvel films (Joss Whedon's in particular) have been under attack for their portrayal of women, the majority of complaints come from the Twitter and Tumblr crowd and thus have no real weight in the real world. However, Ant-Man could have done with some better female characters, Hope Pym's character arc is easily predictable and Judy Greer's Maggie (Scott's ex-wife) has nothing more to do than be Scott's ex-wife.