We are now at the end of phase two! There’s not exactly going to be a gigantic blockbuster this time, but there will be a lot of fun. Ant-Man is one of those films that you enjoy when you see it. Then you forget about it for a bit, but whenever you re-watch, you probably say “I forgot how much I like Ant-Man.” I don’t really mind this being the end of phase two as it actually allows it to end on a high note of sorts. I’m sure if Ultron was the very last film some people would have felt meh about phase two. From this point on however Marvel would begin to expand the Roster of heroes and introduce some really fun ones.
Originally Ant-Man was going to be directed by Edgar Wright. You can probably guess how amazing that would have been as well. But in the end it was handed over to Peyton Reed. From my understanding, Wright was working on the project part-time for a long time. He was never really invested in it the same way he would be with his own movies. Because of this he made the decision to leave and focus on something he could actively be a part of. I still believe there are some touches of his script in the final movie. Some of the first Act cuts and has the pacing of an Edgar Wright movie. If he had continued I believe the movie would have certainly been more re-watchable, but the comedy is still great as it is.
After the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it feels like Marvel began to have more faith in their humour. There are a lot of people online that criticise Marvel for their overuse of humour. Some of these points are pretty valid for certain movies, Age of Ultron for example. However they at least know when to done it down or elevate it higher. The Captain America movies feel especially darker in tone, even Civil War which contains the Avengers in it. Ant-Man turns it up to give us a more light hearted character in this especially miserable universe. Having Ant-Man introduced in the end of phase two would mean he could tone down future MCU movies to keep a more relaxed audience interested.
I know some people who purposely ignore certain characters/movies for their tone. Some people thought that Thor was “The serious one” and wouldn’t want to watch his movies. But then you present a team like the Guardians and they’ll be happy to see them a million times over. While having a film like Ant-Man would be more risky and bring in less box office money, it would still play a larger role in the MCU. Having a comedic film to this degree keeps that kind of audience invested in the character. A lot of people probably saw Ant-Man pop up in the Civil War trailer and would go see it just for him. Think about Black Panther and how successful that has been, now that gigantic audience is going to see Wakanda and the team in the Infinity War trailer and go see it just for that.
I think the point I’m really trying to hammer down here is that this movie isn’t a gigantic blockbuster for a reason. It’s almost like an advertisement for the character. It’s a great advertisement as well. While there’s nothing hugely impact-full going on the movies first half is a non stop joy ride. There’s some great jokes and scenes that lets a casual viewer and MCU fanatic enjoy the movie. However I feel like it does drop off slightly during the second half and climax. The film feels slightly detached from everything going on but that’s because of Ultron just happening I feel. There’s a fun scene with Falcon, which is simply just a bit of fun and connecting.
Because nothing feels huge or impacting compared to the MCU, the film feels more average than it actually is. There’s not many that would say it’s the best Marvel movie but it’s also not going to be at the very bottom. Which puts it in a weird sort of void where you’re not exactly sure where it ranks compared to the rest of the series. You like it, but not much. You might be disappointed, but not as much as you have been before. It’s also not as re-watchable as some others. I feel like this is because none of the jokes particularly stand out and make you laugh just as much each time. My favourite aspect is when Scott’s friend Luis is recalling a story his friend told him. This scene especially feels Edgar Wrighty and is a lot of fun.
I think it’s at least worthwhile watching this movie once more, see how you feel about it. You might be in that weird void where you liked it but you have no idea how much. I’m glad I saw this in the cinema still as it was really just a fun summer movie in the MCU. Not every film directly has to effect the MCU I suppose but this one did well for the time period. It honestly feels like it was when I was like 10 years old but it was only 3 years ago. We’re onto phase three now as well, which is my favourite of all of them. In fact we’re kicking it off with one of my favourite MCU movies! I’ll see you next time for Captain America: Civil War!