Ant-Man: Luis Steals the Show


*Spoiler alert! This post may have some minor spoilers.*

Ant-man is, I think, one of Marvel Cinema’s best movies. It’s in my top five favorites of the movies (up there with Winter Soldier, Iron Man 1, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers). What makes this movie, featuring a C-list hero and following the controversial Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, so popular? So enjoyable?

Humor (arguably too much), great action, quality characters and awesome execution of superpowers are some of the main factors that make this movie so good. But let’s go back to that throwaway mention of quality characters.

In my opinion, the best character in the movie was Luis, although Scott Lang was a good runner-upper. Why Luis?

ant-man-luis-michael-pena
Michael Peña was one of the best things about Marvel Cinema’s Ant-man

Luis, played by Michael Peña, is a fun, humorous character that adds a lightness to the movie. He contrasts well with the more serious characters in the movie: Scott Lang, Hope van Dyne and Hank Pym. While I agree that the overall mood of the movie isn’t serious, the characters tend to be.

He is a likable character with numerous positive qualities, but he also had flaws and quirks. That sentence describes a good character, and a realistic one. One of favorite quirks of his is his interesting way of telling stories. His deviations from the main topic and rapid speech made him feel more like a real person.

Luis’s character doesn’t feel forced, either. Media has had a sudden surge of characters that have non-white ethnicity. These characters often feel forced and deliberate. But instead of being a Latino character, he is a character that happens to be Latino. His role as a non-white character isn’t emphasized to a great degree, and he is a new character (unlike the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four movie or Miles Morales). His role in the movie feels natural.

ant-man-heist-crew-michael-pena-t-i-david-dastmalchian

He also adds to the plot, rather than just being a comic relief. He brings in two other petty criminals (Kurt and Dave) to help Scott with his financial troubles–but they end up helping with the infiltration of PymTech’s headquarters. Luis also adds a lot during the infiltration, too. He doesn’t just sit on the sidelines and crack jokes.

Marvel's Ant-Man L to R: Kurt (David Dastmalchian), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Dave (T.I.) Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal © Marvel 2014
L to R: Kurt (David Dastmalchian), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Dave (T.I.)

Marvel Cinema has does a spectacular job of creating cool, realistic characters. Being a cool character doesn’t mean being dark, powerful and grim (like DC’s recent character revisions are). Scott Lang’s perfect utilization of the Ant-man suit during his fight with Falcon was awesome, but not grim.

Ant-man will be a tough movie to top, but Marvel certainly has the potential to do it.

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