Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
On paper, Marvel’s twelfth instalment, Ant-Man stands no chance against the other Marvel heavyweights. There’s nothing revolutionary about its bug suits, its advanced technology, or its shrinking powers. Yet, it manages to beat the bad guy on the big screen—by reducing its hero to a speck. Ant-Man, clearly, is no small (ahem) proof that good things come in small packages.
Maybe it’s the appeal of the lead character, just-out-of-jail cat burglar Scott Lange (played by Paul Rudd). His preoccupation with finding a job in order to show that he can support his daughter before he is allowed to see her (a condition laid down by his ex-wife) makes him that much more human and believable. So, when he’s roped into an elaborate scheme by retired scientist and original Ant-man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who promises to reunite him with his daughter if he dons the bug suit and steals Hank’s evil protégé’s shrinking technology—which could potentially destroy the world—you cannot help but root for him.
“I believe everyone deserves a shot at redemption,” Hank tells Scott in a bid to entice him to take up the task. It’s a familiar theme that is all too real to many of us. Regardless of where we are in life, we know what it’s like to be in Scott’s shoes—craving a second chance to make up for the mistakes we’ve made and bad decisions we’ve taken.
Hank himself appears to be looking for redemption for a past episode in his life. For some reason, he refuses to let his own daughter, Hope Van Dyne, wear the ant costume, despite her being the more obvious choice. (I won’t spoil the fun by elaborating further.)
Just like Scott, however, many of us find that we can’t obtain redemption on our own; we need external help. But while Scott’s redemption depends on whether he can carry out Hank’s plan to thwart the baddy, we have a redemption that is a lot more magnanimous—and inconceivable.
Imagine not having to do a single thing, and having all the wrong we’ve done in life erased! That’s exactly what Jesus did for us by taking the punishment for our sins on the cross for us, so that we can be blameless and clean before God. Doesn’t that give us so much assurance and comfort? We could never find true freedom or forgiveness for all the wrong we’ve done.
In Scott’s case, that would be like having his criminal record erased so that he can be reconciled with his daughter immediately, without having to steal the bug suit and the shrinking technology. (But then, there wouldn’t be much of a movie left.)
Perhaps this is something to think about as you munch on your popcorn and let the lessons of this feel-good, humorous, and family-friendly movie tickle your brain. Of course, there’s also other themes like selflessness, revenge, and relationships to chew on too.
One more thing, be sure to stick around for the post-credits scenes (there’s two.) I’m pretty sure you’ll get ants in your pants over what’s coming up ahead.