WARNING! This article will include SPOILERS!
The most recent big superhero blockbuster to hit our screens, Ant-man has had a rocky journey to the box-office. Having been in development since 2006, the last 9 years have seen various writers input to the project, and the story now is for sure very different from when it was first conceived. The original writer of the story Edgar Wright, known for his very funny and creative Shaun of the Dead series of films even walked from the project midway through production because of creative differences he had with others working on the show. Despite this, he still received a writing credit for the film, and much of what we see in the final film is sure to have been developed in his original drafts.
Certainly when watching the film, I could see parts of it that were very typical of Edgar Wright’s style. The scenes which involved long stories being told in flashback form by one character using slang really felt like they had the same cinematography and humour to some of his other films. On the topic of the humour in the film, it was certainly a key element in making this film enjoyable, and while it might not have had the same quality of serious action sequences as some of the other marvel films of this generation, the comedy of the piece managed to keep it at a very high standard.
On top of this, what surprised me was the emotional aspect of the film. I was expecting a more humorous take on this story because of the selection of Paul Rudd for the lead part and of course, the almost laughable superhero alias ‘Ant-man’, but there was also a bigger focus on the people behind the masks too, which was interesting. Marvel’s cinematic universe has always been better than others at showing the heroes as ‘real people’, even back in the first film in the series ‘Iron Man’, which focussed on Tony Stark’s life as a billionaire icon as much as anything else. In Ant-man we get to know Hank Pym’s backstory and gradually find out about the tragic events that caused a rift between him and his daughter Hope, which reflects on the main character Scott Lang’s troubles trying to connect with his own daughter.
Also an interesting inclusion in the film was a scene featuring the Avengers new base which was seen for the first time at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In this scene Ant-man comes face to face with Falcon, one of the latest additions to the Avengers team, and due to uncertainties over Ant-man’s loyalties, they proceed to fight it out. This scene may have been put into the film in order to connect it better with the existing Marvel franchise, meaning that Ant-Man can easily be fitted into later joint Marvel films such as next year’s Captain America: Civil War. It may also have been to get interest from those members of the audience who are less aware of the original comics and who wanted to see the same heroes they already knew and loved.
Finally, with a hero whose main power is shrinking, you wouldn’t expect the special effects in the film to be particularly impressive, however I was blown away by the realism with which the tiny hero was shown flying through the now massive space, and how the miniature world looked so real. Also impressive were the scenes where small things were made bigger, such as a toy Thomas the Tank Engine!
I’m sure that when this character joins others in films such as Avengers: Infinity War in a couple of years, he’ll soon become one of the most loved characters in the series and this film certainly did manage to pull together a serious and fun storyline from a tough and seemingly absurd concept. The biggest problem facing this feature will be people’s preconceptions. My final verdict here is this. Ant-man is certainly not the best film Marvel has ever released, but that’s a very high standard to live up to. On the other hand, it’s still a very enjoyable 120 minutes and it does make a welcome addition to the Marvel universe.
Image from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/75/Ant-Man_poster.jpg