Ant-Man Review

“Because he’s the hero Marvel deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll mock him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a tiny guardian. A watchful protector.”

For years Marvel talked about making an Ant-Man movie, and the most exciting aspect of that notion was that Edgar Wright was set to direct the film. Very few film makers possess the craft and skill that Wright seems to exuberate. Although Ant-man isn’t the most exciting superhero it seemed that no matter what, a film adaptation would be ok as long as Wright directed the film.

But then Wright left the film. Many have speculated that Marvel had tried to stiffen Wright’s artistic input by making his work conform and tie in to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Regardless of Wright’s reason for leaving the film it seemed like the film adaptation of Ant-Man was in trouble.How could any other directer make “Ant-man” enjoyable the way that Wright would have? Despite my apprehension I found “Ant-man” to be a rather entertaining film.

Comic Controversy

Some people complained that Hank Pym wasn’t going to be the featured Ant-man in the film adaptation, and it was yet another slight against the character. For those not familar, the most controversial aspect of Hank Pym’s character is that he once be beat his wife, Janet van Dyne. This defining moment has been debated by comic books fans endlessly, so its not hard to understand why the movie studio decided to go with a less controversial Ant-Man. Scott Lang was the second Ant-Man in the comics and like the film, he also had a criminal history. I agree with Marvel’s choice to with Scott over Hank. Hank Pym could have been a great addition to the MCU if he had been introduced in Phase I or Phase II. If handled correctly Hank could have been one of the most fascinating in all of the Marvel films.

In the comics Hank created the robot Ultron. In the latest Avengers film Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are attributed this genesis. The last thing “Avengers: Age of Ultron” needed was more characters so this choice makes a lot of sense. However, imagine an established Hank Pym creating Ultron, and bearing all of the responsibility for his creation’s mayhem. In the comics Hank Pym has often characterized by his personal insecurities, which is understandable. Although Hank Pym was a founding member of the Avengers, he  was never a popular character like Captain America or Iron Man.

Hank’s jealousy and insecurity around his fellow Avengers really helped give him depth as a character. He was extremely flawed and thus more human then his teammates. If Hank had been this same type of character in the MCU he would really stand out in the “Avengers” films.

Why Marvel?

The two weakest aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were on display in this film. Once again Marvel lacked a female character that possessed any true depth, and the villain of the movie was largely forgettable and had the same power-set as the main character.

Some people will say that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow has depth, but even if I concede that point, there are a lot of Marvel movies where the female lead is there just to be saved. Evangeline Lilly’s character is given slightly more to do than Pepper Pots in the Iron Man films, but still Marvel really needs to improve this aspect of their films, hopefully the female led, “Captain Marvel” will be the first true push to correcting this error.

I felt really jaded watching “Avengers: Age of Ultron”  earlier this summer, because when I was younger I would have loved that film. Had I truly become a film snob when I wanted more than superheroes fighting things?  Despite its flaws, “Ant-man” preserved my fascination with the MCU. However, I really hope that future Marvel films can avoid being origin stories, it feels painfully redundant.

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