It's undeniable that when the trailer for Ant-Man came out there were mixed feelings with a subdued hint of dread. After the release of The Avengers in 2012 it seemed that Marvel thought it had hit gold when it came to it's super heroes and we had films being thrown at us left right a centre that all seemed to build into one big sum of money making, action magic. Ant-Man seemed to be just another dig for gold; and due to it's near comical name implications, a weak one. It had film lovers around the world calling BS.
Paul Rudd (a comedy man by all knowledge) as our new super hero, who was the size of an ant with super strength. I will put my hands up and admit that I thought it looked pretty bad, that it was going to have a weak story line, cheap humour, be over-exaggerated in plot and honestly, the reason I went to go see it was simply so I could see it crash and burn.
Now here I am coming out of the theatre in surrender saying without a doubt. I was wrong. I enjoyed the film. Like, a lot.
Here is a comparison (filled with spoilers btdubz) of what I thought was going to happen in the film, and what the film actually gave me as an audience member.
Expectation: Paul Rudd to play an righteous man who has done naught but good in the world but the world has just never given him a chance to prove himself. Attempts at being funny but overall lame humour.
Reality: A lead character who's done bad things, just come out of jail, wants to do good by his daughter but will turn to crime if need be. He doesn't take himself too seriously and manages to call bullshit on a lot of holier-than-thou super hero stereotypes, including his name.
Expectation: A strong and gooey, twilight type romance between Paul Rudd's character Scott Lang, and Evangeline Lilly's character Hope Pym.
Reality: Apart from the occasional glance at each other's abs here and there, the only love that is emphasised is the love between father and daughter, and it leaves you wanting to hug your dad when you leave the theatre and tell him he's awesome, even without a super suit.
Expectation: A massive super villain, who's evil purely for s*its and gigs.
Reality: It has a powerful villain, yes. Villain is destructive, yes. Villain is evil for kicks, no. Turns out the villain is all evil-juiced because he's not read the warning label on the science he's messing with. The warning label that says over-usage of said science messes with your mind, turning it's structure into custard.
Expectation: Paul Rudd being chosen, he was the ONLY one on the EARTH who could EVER be the Ant-Man.
Reality: He was like, third choice. Not only was there already an Ant-Man before him -Dr. Pym, the creator of the suit - But Dr. Pym's daughter Hope was already and rearing to be Ant-(Wo)man. She had all the skills and straining and was better than Rudd's character in every way. Scott Lange (Rudd) was chosen to be the Ant-Man because he was the NEXT best man for the job, and really good at stealing s*it.
Expectation: Absurd science that is barely explained and leaves you as an audience going 'wait, but, what?'
Reality: They actually explain the science. Of course because it's fiction the science is unlikely in practice to be successful but it's very believable, very. SO very that the creator of the Ant Man suit actually blows off our precious Tony Stark's Iron Man suit as ancient.
WAIT but why not just call the Avengers? They are in the same universe, why not just get them to help??
Paul Rudd's character asks what everyone in the cinema was thinking, to our surprise. And he gets an awesome answer, that connects him to the Avengers but outlines how he will not be joining them. 'They're too busy levitating cities, or something' and 'like I would let Tony Stark get his hands on this technology, this isn't some crappy Iron Man suit' (probably wrongly quoted, but the film isn't out apart from cinemas, you get my drift.)
Though the film doesn't deny fans a run in with the Avengers, an epic fight between The Falcon and Ant-Man. Majorly awesome, and funny as f*ck. Mainly because it's funny seeing a mighty Avenger having the crap beat out of him by something so tiny. Also because it's a chance of another super hero to take the p*ss out of Ant-Man's name, and then suck it for underestimating something small.
The film communicates two messages with Ant-Man; You can be good and bad and still be a hero, and the popular 'Small but Mighty'.
Going in: Watching it for the sake of watching it fail, expecting to be disappointed.
Coming out: Ya know what? I actually really enjoyed that film. It didn’t take itself too seriously, tied in the Avengers enough to keep me interested with its future possible tie-ins, a new perspective of ants (for sure, and that’s coming from a person who hates ants with a passion) and overall, you come out feeling impressed with it’s creativity, good job Marvel.