Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Review: Ant-Man (third-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Ant-Man Poster

Ant-Man (2D / third-pass / THEMATIC-SPOILERS)
Cert: 12A / 117 mins / Dir. Peyton Reed / Trailer
WoB Rating: 6/7

So after watching Marvel's Ant-Man a couple of times (first here, second here) followed by the customary cooling-off period, I gave it another whirl last night to see how it stands up to 'familiar' scrutiny. And as much as I enjoyed it (again), the one question it raises is:
Does Ant-Man need to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

As I'd previously noted, the film has obvious issues regarding its connection with the larger MCU, not least because it does nothing to advance the larger story-arc of the Infinity Stones. If anything, the film's main purpose seems to be to introduce more characters for future use, rather than give them anything strenuous to do, initially. Then it occurred to me that the two aren't necessarily linked, and the former is probably the reason the film works so well.

We haven't had an MCU-movie that's not centered around one of the sparkly MacGuffins since 2013's Iron Man 3, and even that was a respite from the Cosmic Cube and the Loki-Pokey Stick shenanigans. And (as I've also previously noted), the formula regarding the stones was already repetitive-by-necessity at the point of Guardians. While the various TV-offshoots fill in their own gaps, they're also pre-occupied with telling their own sprawling stories (as well they should be), so can't really introduce a new recurring character with the same level of zest that a two-hour movie can.

It's quite nice to have a bit of a 'continuity comfort-break' in Ant-Man, knowing that it's still part of a larger tapestry, but is more self-contained than the MCU movies have been for a long while. Sure, the Avengers references are a little tacked on, and sure, I do still think the plot structure is derivative of The First Avenger, and sure, I'm still irked by Marvel's unwillingness to commit to killing off characters. But Ant-Man is still a hugely enjoyable super-hero flick.

Does Ant-Man need to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

But Does the Marvel cinematic Universe need Ant-Man?
More than it'd like to admit, yes.

Oh, and a question for people who know about these things: How come when Scott gets out of prison we see the Golden Gate Bridge and it's red (like it usually is), but in the two later exterior scenes featuring it, it's painted grey? Is that a different bridge, or is it painted grey on the other side, or am I just imagining things?

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
Well, yeah.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
Buy it so you can watch all the lovely extras.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
(( not particularly ))

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Given that its overall aims are actually fairly low, yes it does.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not as much as you'd imagine I would.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There ain't. BAH.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Paul Rudd starred in Anchorman 2, a film which had an appearance from Harrison 'Solo' Ford.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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