For Father’s Day this year my wife, signed me up for the Marvel Collectors Corp Box, since I have been and will continue to be a mega comic-book movie fan. What was so very cool about the past month’s box is that it promoted the movie Ant-Man. I was super excited because it came with a shirt and I knew that I was going to be rocking that T-Shirt at the screening in the next week or so. I was literally counting down the days to the screening. Finally the day arrived and I was excited to be attending this screening with my wife. I turned to her and said “Marvel, does everything right on the money, this is going to be awesome!” So 117 minutes pass and I headed out the theater very deflated. Marvel, a company that has produced so many great films had finally slipped a little. Ant-Man is an average movie at best and is without question lacking in stature. Let me explain to you why that is the case.
This is a movie about Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and how he recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a thief who was just let out of prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym, is fitted for a suit that allows him to shrink in size, have superpowers, and control an army of ants. Lang uses his suit to help defeat his nemesis Darren Cross (who becomes the Yellow Jacket).
Paul Rudd was a very good choice to take on the role of the Ant-Man, however, the director didn’t use him in the right way. Paul Rudd is a funny and talented actor who has that same kind of quick wit that Chris Pratt demonstrated in Guardians of the Galaxy. Much to my surprise, it seems as if the director Peyton Reed worked to temper his wit rather than use it to the movie’s advantage. When he was allowed to use his wit to his advantage, what you had was some of the very best scenes that were in the movie. However, these were few and what we did see was a very stiff adaptation of the Ant-Man.
Ant-Man seemed to be less about setting forth a story line involving one of the lesser known super heroes in the Marvel universe and more about it being a building block for future Marvel movies. It was Marvel’s decision to do this that took away greatly from the overall impact of the film. Guardians of the Galaxy still built towards future movies but not at the expense of the story line in the film. If you are going to do a stand-alone film then allow it to be a stand-alone film and not use one character to build towards an array of others. If Marvel is going to continue to do this why would I pay to see Black Panther or Dr. Strange when I know that I can get what I want out of the Avergers: Infinity War movie?
Ant-Man should have been an enjoyable experience for all theater goers. Instead, I found myself asking myself, “Did they just make a reference to another Marvel Character?” If the little inside dialogue is going over my head, I can’t imagine how it’s going to play to your average non Ant-Man shirt wearing crowd.
I’m not going to tell you that Ant-Man is a terrible movie. It’s not. Ant-Man is a very average movie but for Marvel that’s not high praise. Marvel, over the last 7 years, has produced movie after movie that was quality and had the audiences buzzing afterwards. Leaving the theater this time I had the sense of “whatever”. That’s not the type of stature I am accustomed to from Marvel.