Last night a friend and I went to see Jurassic World in IMAX. This being my second time in 3 days seeing the film, I was still excited for some awesome dino-action on a HUGE screen but I was equally as excited to get a 6 minute preview for Ant-Man.
Since Marvel announced that Ant-Man was on the docket for a film release, I have been skeptic. Can a character with such a niche power and following translate well onto film? Ant-Man does have a significant role in the Marvel comic book universe but the cinematic universe has already demonstrated they aren't interested in the comic book importance of this pint-sized hero. Not going with the most well known character to don the ant suit (Hank Pym) was odd. Not using Ant-Man to introduce Ultron still seems like a missed opportunity. Casting Paul Rudd was the type of inventive, savvy casting that has helped Marvel become the box office powerhouse it is. Add in a respected actor in Michael Douglas and it seemed we were on the right path.
The trailer helped to put some ease to my worries but new scares arose. With Rudd in the lead role, comedy was a sure bet. The trailers have demonstrated Marvel using comedy at its finest, with gems like the train battle featuring Thomas the Tank Engine. But for every golden moment there were signs that Rudd and Marvel studios weren't taking the property seriously. Being self-aware is one thing but re-affirming the fact that Ant-Man is a stupid name seems . . . excessive.
So did the 6 minute IMAX preview add anything to the Ant-Man marketing machine? Or did it tip what has been a conservative advertising run into the show everything philosophy Hollywood has adopted in recent years?
The preview again had comedy front and center, this time introducing Michael Pena. The new footage heavily focuses on Pena and the rest of the supporting cast (which includes rapper turned "actor" T.I.). The rag-tag criminals turned heroes theme is a very familiar one in Hollywood and calls back to Marvel's own Guardians of the Galaxy (released less than a year ago). The preview used a lot of the same footage from the trailers and didn't provide anything new in terms of Michael Douglas or Evangeline Lilly. We get a little more insight into Yellowjacket's incentive but not too much in terms of story beats (which I appreciated).
Overall, the 6 minute IMAX preview didn't do much to sway my opinion either way. The footage introduced a new character but primarily served as a longer version of what we've already seen. Marvel has earned my trust by providing quality films time and again but Ant-Man remains a huge question mark. Marvel is known for their light-hearted tone but will this film put comedy above action, thrills, storytelling and character-development? We only have a month to wait for all of our questions to be answered as Ant-Man opens on July 17th!
Did you see the Ant-Man 6 Minute IMAX preview this weekend? Are you still worried about Ant-Man or have the trailers and marketing put your concerns to rest?