No shield. No armor. No problem.
Most my opinions on this movie are already known from when I saw it in theaters and rocked out a Quick Flick piece. Still, opinions can change over time, and there's always a question of how little or large a change can occur. Do the jokes still hold the same charm? Does the effects work still impress? Do the actors have more chemistry than a science bench? Let's go a bit more in depth this time and find out some of the answers you never felt like asking.
Suitably, the plot doesn't really garner too much more from repeat viewings. There is a few things that can benefit from a secondary watch - such as the tank gag that hides in plain sight the entire movie until it becomes relevant - but extra meanings and the likes aren't exactly popping out left and right. You have the strong family ties in the plots - specifically that between father and daughter - in a few different ways, and of course the normal crazy-baddie who just wants power power and more power. One could argue there's a "what's wrong or right" thought line in there, but honestly, if you are thinking that far into it than your doing something wrong and probably aren't enjoying this movie to it's fullest.
Comedy is a nice strong point to this movie, even after coming back to it again. It's good that even knowing the jokes are coming, they still steal a chuckle or laugh when their punchline is delivered. A lot of the comedy comes in a physical kind of way - sometimes that's slapstick like, but sometimes it doesn't quite feel slapstick. A lot of this comes into play with the changing of scales between the main character shrinking down and getting large again. An example of this is the hero falling out a window and hitting a car - the camera stays in close during the fall, giving you that feeling of speed and danger, then cuts back to a wide inside the car to show that tiny little dent that a small falling man would make in the roof of the car. I'm sure some people won't find it as funny, but I'm sure at least one moment will probably get a laugh even if that isn't a person's particular breed of humor.
Characters also play into the humor. Sometimes it's the entire character - such as the main's best buddy, whose penchant for telling long and rambling stories happens frequently. Pretty much everyone that spends a majority of time on screen are all pleasant to watch - likeable, pretty well aligned as far as chemistry - with the exception of the villain whose personality is mostly just kind of "crazed evil person." It feels rather cookie cutter in the midst of some of the more unique characters. The main's kid is cute in that child actor kind of way, but I wouldn't necessarily say the acting is standout or great - especially compared to some of the other examples of child actors we have out there in this day and age.
Effects are still good, although at times not the best. Now, when I say not the best I don't by any means intend to say we are dropping into SyFy original grade quality - just some moments it's slightly less impressive than other moments. A lot of the "small world" stuff looks great, but then a few moments (like the enlarged tank) look a bit more noticeably meh. Still, things work quite well in the effects department, with our hero and the main villain both having some fancy costumes - that of the villain looking particularly menacing. Beyond that, most of the costumes are what you'd call "normal" - common clothing that doesn't really stand out as costumes, but is in fact quite well done since they blend in with normal stuff so often.
Audio is set about the place. There isn't particularly anything that's jumping out into my head outside of the car horn however. Actors line delivery is all pretty well on point, and sound effects work pretty darn well. The ants all have a strange blend of adorable and downright strange sounds that come out of them during their teamwork, but outside of one earlier scene in the small-world you don' t have much a voice change from the characters getting smaller when they get smaller. It's not a big deal, but just something to point out really.
Although there are a bunch of moments that call out to other entries into the "Marvel Universe" they aren't necessarily required watching to enjoy this. This is great, as the longer that Marvel keeps that up, the harder it might end up being to just pick up and go with any non-direct sequel in the chain. That being said, there are little bits that pop up here and there (and in future movies) that all tie together amongst the different films for the people who really do want that sort of thing.
In the end, the movie held up pretty well since it's initial viewing. If I'm surprised most about anything, it's that the comedy is still making me laugh even when I know it's coming - as I would have figured age and knowing would have dulled it some. There are a few spots that the repeat view can make it slightly more interesting, but on average it's mostly just as enjoyable as it was the first time. The camera manages to keep a lot of motion without rapidly assailing us from fifteen different angles during the action scenes - leading to some nice clean action - and the story and flow just work. Punches and punchlines, with a bit of touching family story. Still probably one of my favorite entries into the superhero genre.