At this point, we are between two of the more epic MCU movies, being 'Age of Ultron' and the upcoming 'Civil War' - a 'Captain America' movie by name only. Otherwise it's very much 'Avengers' with it's cast. Enter fun-loving Marvel movie 'Ant-Man', partially written by personal hero, Edgar Wright. Unfortunately, he was originally slated to direct this as well, but due to differences in creative opinion, Wright had to stand down and hand it over to Peyton Reed, a guy otherwise known for movies like 'Bring it On' and 'The Break-Up'. So yeah, I went into this originally dreading how bad it might turn out, especially being an overall unfamiliar character. However, to my joy, Wright and Cornish's writing shone through, and it turns out they made a pretty good team.
The film opens in the past (early 80s) as Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. upon learning that they are trying to replicate his shrinking technology. Believing it to be dangerous, Pym vows to hide it from them. This catches up with him in present day (timeline-wise apparently just after the events of 'Age of Ultron') when his estranged daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and old protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stole) show that Cross has been working on his own shrinking suit he calls the "Yellowjacket", and aims to use it as a military weapon... a pretty common theme in these movies, come to think of it.
With the idea to pass the Ant-Man suit down to a new bearer (as Pym was Ant-Man in secret back in WWII), he seeks out Scott Lang - an incredibly gifted burglar who needs one big score so he can get the money he needs to the child support payments to see his daughter. The idea, to use the shrinking technology of the suit and an army of talented ants to break in and steal the Yellowjacket so it never gets to see the light of day.
In some ways, it could be said that the movie drags a little while it keeps so much focus on characters. However, when the action does take off, the movie has this tendency to give you a 180, and throw you into the fun of it all. It's definitely one of the more light-hearted, good times you can have with the MCU, and Paul Rudd actually does a surprisingly good job here when no one ever pegged him as the superhero type. But for a character like Ant-Man, it's not like the dude has to look like Thor or Cap.
Perhaps most impressive is the way the movie plays with size, and delivers a lot of comedy while doing so. For example, one may remember the big dramatic scene from the trailer where Yellowjacket is about to get run down by a toy Thomas the Tank Engine. It looks kinda intense, but then the camera shows you regular perspective and it's just a toy train falling off it's tracks.
What more can be said? 'Ant-Man' is just a fun time sandwiched between two otherwise rather dark and dramatic ensemble cast films. It's like coming up for a breath of air before diving back down again. Nothing truly epic, but it's a damn good time.
MID-CREDIT SCENE: Hank Pym shows Hope the Wasp uniform that he and her mother were perfecting, suggesting that Hope will become The Wasp while teasing 'Ant-Man and The Wasp'
POST-CREDIT SCENE: In what is essentially a tease for 'Civil War', Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers have Bucky Barnes in their custody. Sam mentions "the Accords" making them unable to contact Stark. Sam mentions that despite that, he knows someone who might be able to help, referring to Lang. As far as what it all involves teases to how 'Civil War' may go down.