Ant-Man-Comic-Con_612x380It is popular now to say that Guardians of the Galaxy was a risky movie and everyone thought it would suck until it turned out to be the biggest movie of the year but…from the first time they showed the footage at San Diego, it looked like EXACTLY what it was. A big SF actioner with heart, a quirky sensibility and actual humor. It was still risky because no one know who Starlord was, but the movie always looked like a fun ride.

And now we have the distant drumming of Ant-Man’s july debut coming from over the hill, with all sorts of promo pieces landing yesterday. The pig with the apple in its mouth of this particular banquet was the trailer.  If you’ve been following the Ant-Man saga at all you know this is probably the most troubled MCU movie, with the project starting under director Edgar Wright, who developed it for eight years or so before parting ways with Marvel a few months into production over creative difficulties. It seemed that for eight years, no one had noticed that Wright wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie, while Kevin Feige wanted to make a Marvel movie. Even with new director Peyton Reed, some vestiges of the Wright version remain—funny man Paul Rudd is in the title role, and the movie is still about a guy who gets very tiny, which is funny.

But the trailer delivered was…well, I thought it was awful.  All the generic trappings that are the worst part of the MCU—gotta be a hero talk from an older white man, in this case Michael Douglas, a winsome child to motivate the hero, and the hero himself looking anxiously into a darkening sky. And then, to show that it is silly after all, Rudd delivering what is sort of a funny line but with a listless demeanor.

This was no GotG trailer, sorry. And a lot of people have been saying the first trailer is always dark and brooding, and that’s so. I’m sure the humor will be saved for later trailers, because, as Guardians showed, no one wants to see a humorous Marvel movie starring a hilarious actor as a hero with weird powers.

Like I said, I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong, and I retain an open mind.

Luckily, even if the trailer lacked the humor I required, people on twitter were there to supply what I craved!

 

Plus it seems Paul Rudd got mad fit for the role.

 

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Speaking of mad fit…Agent Carter. I forgot to DVR his so only saw the last hour and only paid half attention while I tried to knock off a few levels of Bubble Witch Saga 2. But Hayley Atwell is both super fit and super can do, and it was nice to see a heroine who is just as dedicated and driven as a Marvel guy hero. I liked her banter with Jarvis. I did not like it when occasional beat contributor James Urbaniak, assaying his usual “creepy doctor guy in a lab coat” role, was smacked repeatedly in the face, but I guess he’s a bad guy and that’s what happens. Anyway, Hannah Lodge will be around with more pertinent thoughts in a bit.

7 COMMENTS

  1. With you, as sadly that teaser kind of reminded me of Green Lantern. I have no doubt that the full theatrical trailer will look better and less rushed, but this thing being littered with some rough digital shots doesn’t bode well (in the whole Edgar Wright fiasco, they lost Bill Pope as their DP and transitioned over from film to digital, and it really shows).

  2. Like many others, I don’t know the background of this movie, but I also thought the teaser was pretty bad. I’ve read that it’s a heist movie, but the teaser didn’t have that feel at all. Seemed kind of run-of-the-mill. My 12-year-old son, who loves all of these movies, didn’t seem too impressed either…and by contrast, he could not stop playing “Hooked on a Feeling” on Spotify after watching the GotG teaser.

  3. I expected it to be funnier – how can you have a serious movie about a guy called Ant-Man? (I mean, I guess it worked with Batman, but that feels different. Maybe because he doesn’t shrink.)

    Like Green Lantern, casting a guy well known for his comic chops in a movie like this and then not giving him anything funny seems like a bad choice… but maybe the movie is hiding funny stuff that they left out of the trailer……?

  4. Count me among those holding out hope we’ll see a better trailer in a few months, perhaps featuring the “size-fu” that made Wright’s original teaser so awesome. On balance, though, I’d agree that the kickoff trailer didn’t live up the usual Marvel hype.

    Going deeper, I’m very curious about the budgeting, marketing, and positioning of Ant-Man as a franchise.

    Marvel typically spends between $140 million and $170 million to produce a franchise opener to leave room for upside in the event of a hit. That strategy worked incredibly well with Iron Man, and more recently, GotG. Ant-Man may not have that luxury. Rudd and Adam McKay are credited as screenwriters but there have been at least two more we know of — Wright and writing partner Joe Cornish — and likely at least a dozen others involved in various rewrites over the years. Add in rush fees for production and the natural inflation that comes with being Hollywood’s “it” studio — every agent is going to ask for more, because Disney is flat-out loaded right now — and it’s reasonable to expect that Marvel is spending $180 million or more to make this film, which would put box office break-even at north of $500 million worldwide.

    And where does this film fit? Originally, Ant-Man was to kick off Phase 3. Now, he wraps Phase 2 with Civil War as the new marker for the third installment of MCU films. I wonder if all the hullaballoo has left this film as the cinematic equivalent of a one-shot that exists only on the perimeter of continuity.

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