Friday, July 17, 2015

#Recap - Marvel's Ant-Man

So it was too late to post this yesterday evening, but here comes my blog-recap-review of the Ant-Man film!

Guys and gals... Seriously folk.. Marvel did it again!

In one short sentence - I LOVED IT!
To be frank, I came into the movie not expecting much. I mean compared to another cult fan favorite - Guardians of the Galaxy - back when I went to see Guardians my expectations were HUUUGE. Being both a fan of the 2000s Guardians team and an even bigger fan of James Gunn. I knew that one would be good, and it turned out great and the whole world embraced GotG.

But coming in Ant-Man I had my doubts. And for a good reason, this was going to be an Edgar Wright's Marvel movie! I love Edgar Wright's films! By itself this was a huge deal and part of the reason why it took Marvel so long to bring this original Avenger to the big screen. This passion project of Wright had long been stuck in development hell, pushing Ant-Man's original post Iron Man 1/Incredible Hulk release date back in phase 1 to a now post-Ultron end of phase 2 film.

But director Peyton Reed, screenwriter Adam McKay and comedian Paul Rudd took it like champs and were able to salvage the boat as Edgar Wright left the project shortly before production.

You can still see some of Wright's original DNA in the script - particularly during the heist/crew scenes, but McKay and Paul Rudd did some fantastic rewrites and expanded upon the original basis of the plot to turn this into such a fun and fantastic film!

In my eyes this easily one of the better Marvel films out there. And there haven't been that many great ones during this Phase 2.

I feared another Thor movie (despite kinda enjoying both, people are known to usually dismiss either of those, so pick up your least favorite of the two for this comparison). But it ended up as good as the original Iron man film. Fun. Fast-paced. Funny. And action packed! If not a better film thanks to a much better grasp of the MCU these days.

I mean we even had a seamless Avengers cameo built into the story as well as Hydra in there!!

You can still see clearly what Edgar Wright movie would have been. His main issue was having it more standalone instead of part of this huge universe. And personally I still hope Wright comes back for another film down the line (Captain Britain maybe? Oh, he might be stuck with 20th Century Fox actually..).

Just as well as you can see what made him leave the film. This was meant to come back in phase 1, and now it had to be heavily rewritten to fit sandwiched in between phase 2 and 3!

I thought everyone including director Peyton Reed and the cast did a great work. Reed might have been a comedy director until now (but then again, so was Jon Favreau!) but the man has a great eye for action scenes.

The film looked great. And made such a great huge of Ant-Man's powers!

The crew analyzed real life macro footage during the preproduction of the film to better visualize how to represent Ant-Man's powers. How weird things moved and looked different and odd at that scale. (Btw "macro" means visible to the eye, micro is what's invisible to one's eyes - ants being clearly visible from our perspective if tiny.)

Really stunning visuals during those trippy scenes. While the ants are clearly CGi products, I couldn't imagine it otherwise. Plus I found the red ones looked really stunning in details and trexture more than the other types of ants.

While it kinda annoyed me at first the film wouldn't revolve around Hank Pym, directly, I kinda grew to like the idea. Finally a "legacy" hero on screen!

I admit I was kinda sad to not get a cameo of Bill Foster in there, specially after reading Ant-Man Season 1.

Apparently the director rewatched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids prior to accepting the job. And the film sort of left a huge imprint on Ant-Man. Specially with Scott Lang's interactions with the ants.

Alright. We talked about the general lines. Now it's time for SPOILERS!

So, huh, SPOILER ALERT behind this point!!


You still here? Good.

I really, really enjoyed Falcon surprise appearance in the film! This was such a great little surprise! I really loved how the scene played out. From the introduction of the Avengers compound to the banter and the fight itself. It all builds towards the MCU. Connecting this world like Stan Lee's classic comics back in the days, I just love seeing these faces pop up between films. It's much better than Nick Fury or Coulson in phase one, I think.

Also, did you notice Agent Carter's slowing turning into the new Coulson of phase 2?

I thought this cameo scene worked much better than the similar original appearance of Hawkeye in Thor 1. That one was so random and badly executed back then...

And we finally got to see The Wasp as well, even if she was killed prior to the events of the film. That part made me sad, although they left the door open to bring her back in a later film! (In the "Quantum Realm", time is stopped? And Scott was able to make the trip back intact??) At least it was interesting how her death remained basically the same she went through not long ago in the comics (yeah, I know, she's returned since then.)

Also, minor complaint here, although they hinted at it for a future episode, I would have preferred to see Hope/Evangeline Lilly join the fight as Wasp during the final act (I was kind of expecting her to swoop in with a random costume at the end to save the day.) Like I said, I'm glad they teased the possibility for a sequel in the post-credit scene.

Yellowjacket turned out much better than I feared. Sure, he's yet another "Evil Double" like we saw in Iron Man, Thor, Incredible Hulk, etc. But at least he was a lot more fun than Obadiah Stane!

Yellowjacket's costume kind of reminded me of Eric O'Grady's Ant-Man suit with those big robo-arms, I liked that too. He was a fun villain. And kind of took Hank's famous bi-polar disorder in a way.

Scott Lang might have been my least favorite Ant-Man until now personally (hey, I prefer Hank or O'Grady!), but his story pitch makes for a compelling storyline! He's a great character!

Thanks to the success of Guardians they crew and the director decided to rewrite the film to make him a more relunctant anti-hero. With more heist scenes with his criminal buddies. A prison scene. Etc. It worked nicely in the film's favor!

No surprise there's already talks of a possible sequel - when will Marvel be able to place that in the upcoming schedule!?! But the director seems to be more in favor of a prequel to explore Hank Pym's adventures in the 1960s. Personally? I would see it both ways. And take on a follow-up with Eric O'Grady as this rogue SHIELD agent stealing the Ant-Man's tech (basically, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, I think it would work great as a film, plus it would allow Scott to take upon the Giant-Man persona).

All in all, it was a solid. My favorite superhero film of the year, easily.

RIP Anthony. #ripanthony


  1. Just watched it a while ago today and loved it. Even my brother enjoyed it, and he wasn't very keen on watching it to begin with. That tells ya something.

    Think might prefer Scott over the other two when it comes to Ant-Man based on what I've read (mainly FF and his recent book) and his story works better as a tale to tell (while you got Hank there to provide the suit and technology so no need for giant origin stories there). I did wonder when we were getting us a legacy character, thinking Kamala or Miles would be those, but I'm very cool having it being Scott as our first for now.

    Woulda been nice to see some Wasp, but when you got two guys who shrink and the story staying as simple as it could, it might've made things feel a bit too much, y'know? And Falcon was missed in Avengers 2, so glad to see him get more screentime. It does seem like a smooth and seamless Marvel cameo like in the comics, when you mention it.

    But all in all, great movie, clearly in the top 5 of Marvel movies, after I figure out where to rank them. (1+2 goes to either GotG or CA:WS)

    RIP Anthony.

    1. I like your ranking! Mine would be surely pretty close, although I can say without a doubt I'd darnk GotG as number #1 personally.