Ant Man – a movie review

It’s my second movie review in as many weeks! Don’t get excited, now!

Today, I went to see the new MCU offering, Ant Man. I went into this blind, knowing very little about the character, but purposefully having not paid attention to any trailers or hype for it. I must admit, I was really pleased with how much I enjoyed it as a result, and I think I’m going to try my hardest to continue this – unless the words “Star Wars” appear in the title.

here be spoilers!

Of course, Ant Man is the Marvel superhero who can shrink to the size of – spoiler alert – an ant. Rather than being some mutation, it’s caused by that other stalwart of comic book storylines, some advanced tech. We don’t really get much of an explanation of the mysterious Pym Particle, other than it was discovered by Dr Hank Pym as a way to move through molecules or something. He has vials of the stuff that somehow power a suit that shrinks its wearer to insect-size, and that’s really all we need to know to enjoy the ride.

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) used the suit during the Cold War until his wife, Janet, died. He was forged out of his company by his protege Darren Cross (Corey Stall) and estranged daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) – though what the company does is a mystery, as the Particle is strictly off-limits while Hank is at its head. At any rate, Cross has been working on molecule manipulation ever since, and as the film begins, he’s ready to show off his own version of the suit, the Yellowjacket.

It sounds a little like Iron Man, with the massive corporation and the like, but into this mix is thrown the ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his ex-inmates. Lang is manoeuvered into contact with Hank in an attempt to steal the Yellowjacket prototype before it can be sold to HYDRA. The majority of the second act is taken up with Lang learning how to use the suit, being trained by both Hank and Hope. See, it turns out Hope is sort of playing the middle ground here, and I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure why. The film seems to want us to believe she’s working herself into Cross’ confidence as Hank’s mole, but I kinda ended with the impression that she has her own agenda, and the mid-credits sequence basically seems to affirm that.

The heist goes off wonderfully badly, and involves a massive chase sequence where Darren Cross dons the Yellowjacket, leading to some really excellent action scenes. It all ends happily, anyway, and the end result is something akin to the first Iron Man, though perhaps with more whimsy. It’s a pretty great origin movie, and takes its place well in the MCU.

Ant Man movie

Two things are worth mentioning. First, we have some great anchorage to previous Avengers stuff through the inclusion of Howard Stark and Peggy Carson in the introductory scene that shows Hank leaving SHIELD. We also get what turns out to be a very cool cameo from Anthony Mackie’s Falcon – having kept myself free from the spoilers, I was not expecting that one bit, so that was really great to see. The actual end-credits scene with Falcon and Cap, which I take to be setting up the Civil War movie, fell a little flat, I felt.

The mid-credits scene, however, more than makes up for that. We basically see Hank introduce his daughter to a prototype of the Wasp suit used by her mother, and her reaction has got me so damn well intrigued as to what will happen next! In case you don’t know, Hope van Dyne is a relatively new creation in Marvel comics, from the late 90s. She actually turns out to be an Avengers villain, going by the name of Red Queen, and at one point attempts to destroy the Avengers Mansion. That her brother isn’t introduced in this film – indeed, she appears to be an only child – leads me to think they probably won’t stick to the established storyline, but the possibilities are really pretty exciting here. Evangeline Lilly played the character wonderfully grey, and all those subtle flashes could be construed to be misplaced anger at her father for shutting her out of his life, or they could just be explained by her place at the company as a corporate-bitch-type, or they could actually be setting her up to become a villain. That would be something worth watching…

Anyway, I thought I’d present you all with some garbled thoughts on this movie, though I’m sure manofyesterday will have a much better review up in the next couple of days, so make sure you keep an eye on his blog!

Age of Sigmar, week 2

Hey everybody!

Here we are with week two of the releases for the new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar!

Age of Sigmar

Just two kits have been released this weekend, the new Lord-Celestant – a standing variant for the chap on the big beastie that comes in the starter set – and a kit of five new Liberators, a multi-part extravaganza that has so many new weapon options! Perhaps expectedly, it also comes in a mass of parts, confirming that the models in the starter set are indeed much simpler versions. However, I expect the poses you can get from these guys should be really good. I resisted buying more than one kit, but I have the distinct feeling that I’m going to want at least a couple more, for all the different weapon options!

I haven’t had a chance to read the book properly yet, but in leafing through it looks magnificent. Lots of gorgeous artwork, as well as providing the background to this new world. Something that struck me was just how many of the Old Races have survived, given that the Old World itself has been said to have been destroyed. Of course, the marketing move to create new races from the old, with copyright-able names, is well discussed at this point. But anyway. Of all the races to have survived, I’m intrigued the most about the Wood Elf tree spirits, now called Sylvaneth. Might even find myself buying some Dryads before too long!

We also have warscrolls for all the expected kits, and the Judicators are the only really new models that we haven’t really seen anything else about yet – though rumour has them being up for pre-order next weekend in another multi-part kit that allows for longbow or crossbow builds, so releasing on 1 August.

This week’s pre-orders are all about the terrain, with two interesting new pieces coming out, alongside a Lord-Castellant and his pet bird-cat thing. Not particularly impressed by that, but the Ophidian Archway looks amazing, so while I had initially not intended to get any of that stuff, I’m thinking I might actually get one. The painting guide in this week’s White Dwarf has certainly helped my decision there, anyway!

Ophidian Archway Age of Sigmar

I remain really excited for these things. Fantasy was enjoyable, but put me off far too easily from getting into that game. Even though I don’t know if/when I’d get to play a game with AoS, I still feel more excited for this than I ever have for Warhammer.

My painting is slowly coming along, too. Last week, I built up four Liberators, including the Liberator-Prime, and last night started the task of painting them.

The new Retributor Armour golden paint is really quite bright, especially in contrast with the Balthasar Gold used on the main body of the miniatures, but it looks really nice in making something really stand out and stuff. I’ve only gotten so far as the base coats on these guys, but I’m taking my time in the hopes that I can get some really great results!

Age of Sigmar