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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ant-Man

Here we go again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin, bloggin' about the movies I own.  Today, we get to one of the more recent entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man.  This was originally in my notes at December 12, 2015.

Ant-Man Poster

When Marvel first announced they were starting their own movie studio to develop their own properties into films, they announced their first three films:  Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Ant-Man.  But, with the success of Nick Fury's cameo at the end of Iron Man and everyone getting obsessed with the idea of the The Avengers on the big screen, Ant-Man got pushed aside.  It probably would have been abandoned altogether, if not for the attached director:  Edgar Wright.  Fresh out of the UK with his hit comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Wright seemed like the perfect guy to do a superhero movie.  It was the fan's faith in Edgar Wright that kept the project alive.

Which is why it came as such a shock in 2014 when, a mere two weeks before filming was to finally begin, Wright left the project.  "Creative differences" was the official reason given.  It's been speculated that, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a Thing, Wright was under pressure to deliver something that would be more in-line with the MCU, and not the standalone, continuity-free flick that Wright envisioned. 

After a mad scramble, Peyton Reed was brought in as the new director.  Filming began on time, and the film still made its July 2015 release date.  Doom and gloom was predicted for the film.  "Marvel's first flop," was what everyone predicted, as it was thought the last-minute changes would destroy the film.  But hey, they made the same predictions for Guardians of the Galaxy because it was such an obscure property, and that turned out fine.

When all is said and done, Ant-Man is OK.  It doesn't re-invent the wheel.  It's pretty formulaic as superhero films go.  Right away from the first trailers, I was likening it to the first Iron Man.  But they are able to add some new wrinkles, such as making it a heist film. 

Scott Lang.  Legendary cat burglar.  Finally caught doing a Robin Hood...he was robbing from the rich and giving back to the poor.  Now, out of prison, he's ready to walk the straight and narrow, but it's hard for an ex-con to get a job.  Desperate to earn a living so he can see his daughter again, he returns to his life of crime.  On his first heist, he swipes a mysterious suit.  When he dons it, and pushes the buttons, he discovers he has the power to shrink himself.  The suit's owner -- legendary tech genius Dr. Hank Pym -- soon reveals that the heist was an audition.  It seems that Pym's former protege Darren Cross has finally figured out how to duplicate Pym's miniaturization technology, and wants to use it to create an army of microscopic super-soldiers.  Pym wants to recruit Lang to use the miniaturization technology to break into Cross's company, and destroy all of Cross's research before Cross can sell it to the wrong hands.  Can Scott Lang become the next Ant-Man to save the world?

At least it has a sense of humour to it.  This is probably one of the funniest of Marvel's movies to date.  One of Scott's cohorts Luis has a couple of great montages as he describes how he comes across his information.  And you got to love the climactic final battle, which takes place on a tabletop in a little girl's bedroom among her toys.  We see this gigantic epic battle...the pull out to see it's just a bunch of flashing lights on a tabletop.  It's great. 

Not sure what more I can say.  Marvel's got their formula down pat by now, and this sticks to it.  It's crowdpleasing, but not groundbreaking.

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