Marvel literally give no shits any more…
Once upon a time there was going to be a stand alone Marvel movie, unencumbered by the clunky mythology of the MCU. This movie would be an big screen debut for minor Marvel character Ant-Man. When Edgar Wright came on board to write and direct the internet lost its shit. The addition of Joe Cornish as co-writer only added to the intrigue. After seeing what Wright could do with a comic book adaptation with the instant classic Scott Pilgrim vs The World, it was an incredibly exciting prospect to see him tackle a bona fide superhero movie.
Sadly Wright and Marvel differed over their direction for the film and they parted ways. We may never know how much of Wrights’ script made it into the final version but it surely wouldn’t have been as Marvel by numbers as Ant-Man turned out to be. All the usual elements of a Marvel film are here; an origin story, comedy sidekick, cute sidekick, love interest, a training montage, forgettable villain, end. To quote the great Jarvis Cocker ‘We have seen this storyline play out so many times before.’
Unbelievably though, like almost anything Marvel touches, it still ended up being a box office smash and popular with both fans and critics alike. After tackling the batshit crazy concept of Guardians of the Galaxy and turning it into one of the biggest films of 2014, Marvel currently looks like it can take on any old project and make it work.
A story about a man shrinking himself and commanding an army of ants should be shit. The fact that it isn’t is partly down to the brilliance of Paul Rudd, who fits into his biggest ever role effortlessly. His supporting cast are not quite as good with Michael Douglas playing the same fatherly mentor character we have seen in every Marvel movie, Corey Stoll creating perhaps their worst villain ever and Evangeline Lilly also forgettable. Faring slightly better are Bobby Cannavale who squeezes everything he can out of a two dimensional character and Michael Pena who has a great comedic chemistry with Rudd.
Ant-Man wont win Marvel any new fans like it potentially could have had Edgar Wright stayed on board, but it is yet another very solid addition into a universe that expands and improves seemingly every year. Roll on Captain America: Civil War.