Friday, July 31, 2015

Random Thoughts on "Ant-Man" and Marvel through Phase Two

I was worried about “Ant-Man” with all of the turn-over in production. The loss of Edgar Wright was a big blow and concern. However, I heard a lot of positive buzz once the film came out, and, seeing it, I was happy with the end result. I have thought for some time now that Marvel would do well to branch out and tackle multiple genres within its universe. Not everything has to be a paint-by-numbers superhero story. Especially if you want to release two films a year for the foreseeable future. Audiences will tire of that quickly. So, a comedic heist film is a breath of fresh air. And, Edgar Wright still has his fingerprints all over this thing.

I did wonder about a few things during the film. For instance:

I get the internal logic that says a shrunken man will still have the mass and strength of his full size self. He is still all there, the distance between his molecules has merely been reduced. However does that logic not work in reverse? When the Thomas the Train Engine gets “blown up” does it not still have the mass of its tiny self? How could it crush a car? And for that matter, how is Michael Douglas carrying a tank around in his pocket?

Also, Falcon did not fare well in this story. I venture to predict that any other of the new Avengers could have stopped Ant-Man in this film. Falcon was exposed as the normal man in a rather limited suit that he is.

I love the introduction of the Quantum Space concept going into phase three. If they are going to introduce the magic side of Marvel, they need something so advanced that it appears magical yet grounded.

So, having seen all 12 movies in the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here are my rankings and ratings:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) 9.4

The only or mostly non-superhero film.

2. The Avengers (2012) 9.1

The fact that the pulled this one off will earn it bonus points and historical significance.

3. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014) 9.05

This is the most adult, serious, and message-y movie of the bunch.

4. Ant-Man (2015) 8.9

Fun and fresh.

5. Iron Man (2008) 8.9

This film was great enough to kick this whole mess off. I must say it diminishes in my estimation with each rewatch, and the end is poo. (But that is a common Marvel weakness.)

6. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 8.75

A whole lot of fun, but it is so overloaded with characters I am truly concerned I will hate “Civil War.”

7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 8.15

The Adventure film.

8. Iron Man 3 (2013) 7.8

Quirky and 1980s action.

9. Thor: The Dark World (2013) 7.35

Almost works as a fantasy film.

10. Iron Man 2 (2010) 7.15

This one is a mess. Marvel was just learning how to do the whole series of interconnected films thing.

11. Thor (2011) 7

This one borders on boring.

12. The Incredible Hulk (2008) 6.7

I have no memory of this film and no real desire to revisit it. But I probably will do a marathon of the whole lot with my boys someday.

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