So I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I rewatched Ant-Man this week, and decided it was about time I made a post about it. I only actually saw Ant-Man for the first time about a month ago, around the time it appeared on Netflix. For those of you who know me in real life, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t see a Marvel movie on opening night (wait until you hear about how much I haven’t watched the new X-Men movies, possibly in an upcoming post). I didn’t see Ant-Man until recently, because I have been vehemently against the idea since it was first announced that they were making it.
First let’s set the scene: it’s the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, and I am pumped. Marvel reveals their Phase Two line-up (Phase One being Iron Man, Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, culminating in The Avengers). They reveal Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy (ask anyone who was around me that day, when they revealed GOTG I may have wept tears of ecstatic joy). But amongst the amazingness, they also reveal Ant-Man. Ant-Man?! ANT-MAN?!
Even before 2012, there had been rumours of a Captain Marvel film, as her reboot comic book Captain Marvel #1, written by the amazing Kelly Sue DeConnick, was met with enthusiastic love from fans and critics alike. Many fans, myself included, were looking for a female lead figurehead as it seemed more and more unlikely that a Black Widow solo film would ever be attempted, despite many placating press releases (for more bitterness, please see my previous post about Marvel and Black Widow here). Captain Marvel, formerly Ms Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, had resurfaced with a new suit and seemed in prime condition for a film adaptation where she would be punching bad guys with the other heavy-hitting Avengers like Hulk and Thor.
So imagine my disappointment when they announce a stand alone film for Ant-Man.
While his tech is pretty cool (he and Tony Stark and Reed Richards are the arrogant-but-nerdy scientist triumvirate of the Marvel universe), and his role in the Marvel universe is as one of the original members of the Avengers, the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, is not a favourite of mine. In the comics he once hit his wife Janet, aka The Wasp, and ever since I discovered that, I have never really warmed to him at all. The only reason I tolerated him in comics and animated tv shows is because whenever he was there, The Wasp wasn’t far away, and I love Janet.
So when it was announced that Janet would not be in the film, a film that was being made in the middle of the “we want more female characters in our superhero movies” discourse, I was livid. You’re making an Ant-Man film without Janet? Not only that but you are having her die in a tragic accident before the events of the film? Janet, aka The Wasp, who literally named The Avengers in the comics? An original Avenger, killed off for man-pain? The more I heard about it the more upset I was. Until they announced that the main character of the film was actually going to be Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man in the comics) with Hank Pym acting as mentor. This made me a little happier. But still…
So I resisted for as long as I could. Fast forward a bit, and we get to Captain America: Civil War. Scott Lang, played by the ever charming Paul Rudd, turns up and steals the show, and suddenly I’m thinking about watching Ant-Man. In a film that was, at times, pretty underwhelming, he entertained me endlessly. So then Ant-Man turned up on Netflix, and here we are.
Ant-Man is hilarious. Its really, really funny. I had a smile on my face for most of the film, and was resolute in my conclusion that Paul Rudd was the perfect choice for the role. And Lang’s heist friends, Luis, Dave and Kurt, provided extra comic relief in an already comedic film. There was also a great cameo from Falcon, aka Sam Wilson, Cap’s other BFF. I still had some problems with the film – I was loving Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Pym until she called Lang a princess while teaching him to punch. Why do writers continue to have their ‘strong female characters’ use gendered insults? “You fight like a girl” “Don’t be a little bitch about it” “Grow some balls” blah blah blah. Two steps forward, one step back.
The film did give me some hope for the future of the Ant-Man films. The film briefly explains what happened to Janet – she sacrificed herself to save the world and shrunk herself into a sub-atomic realm, never to return. HOWEVER, Scott also shrinks into the sub-atomic realm, and manages to come back, so if he can, surely, Janet can too? Or is it too late?? Should I let this go already?? The after credits scene is Hope Pym being given a Wasp suit, so maybe we will actually have a Wasp in the MCU before I die of bitterness. Maybe.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film. It’s endearingly charming and witty dialogue soothed my hate enough for me to write this post. What did you guys think of Ant-Man?