This is a spoiler free review!
Well, I mean, considering that I expected to totally hate this movie, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad that I decided to see it in theaters, instead of waiting for the DVD. But I still definitely wouldn’t say that I loved it for anything, because even if it was an enjoyable two hours or so, it had a massive plot hole. So, basically, I have pretty mixed feelings on this one.
I’m going to rant a little here. But first off, let me say that I absolutely love Marvel. I love the comics, I love the movies, I love the cartoons (except for Agents of SMASH).
But the comics are my favorites, and will be my favorites until the movies start to show some change. Marvel’s comics feature tons of “strong female characters”, and the true meaning of that word, not just the Tauriel who kicks-butt-and-says-little kind of strong female character. Almost all of the women in their comics have diverse views, diverse backgrounds, diverse goals- they’re three dimensional, and have a purpose to their storyline other than being a love interest.
So why are those characters always sidelined in the movies? Natasha Romanoff, a fantastic character, was reduced to a love interest and damsel in distress in Age of Ultron. Shadowcat, the hero of the Days of Future Past storyline in the comics, was relegated to helping Wolverine from a distance, so that he could achieve what was originally one of the biggest opportunities for women in comics. When creating the roster for the movie version of the Avengers, the women were the first to go.
So let me ask again: why are the women of Marvel so often sidelined in the movies?
Unfortunately, Ant Man fell into this trap, and it fell pretty deep.
Before the movie even takes place, Janet van Dyne, AKA The Wasp- a HUGELY notable character who, in the comics, was a founding member of the Avengers and even named the team– was killed off. That alone was frustrating, but there’s more.
Janet and Hank Pym (the original Ant Man, who is still alive when the movie takes place), had a daughter, Hope. She had more skill and more motivation than the hero of the movie, Scott Lang, yet for some reason she was relegated to training Scott instead of putting on the suit and saving the day herself.
Now, the movie does have an excuse for this- that her father, Hank, doesn’t want what happened to her mother to happen to her.
But that seems like a pretty feeble excuse to me. If Hope was really as driven as the viewers are led to believe, then why wouldn’t she just take the suit? She’s a better fighter than Scott, she has more skill, and she knows that.
I don’t know. It didn’t make sense to me. But I digress.
Aside from my… obvious issues with this movie, it was still pretty good. Better than I had expected, at least.
It was different from Marvel’s usual fare- less of an action movie and more of a heist/ spy thing. Most of the plot was spent in preparing for the heist at the end of it. So if you’re not really into super action-y movies, this one might be a good one for you.
It was also more kid friendly than a lot of Marvel movies. There was some bad language (but not nearly as much as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy), and a little bit of action, but other than that, it was pretty family friendly.
And it was funny! Not so much as Guardians of the Galaxy (at least, not in my opinion), but I was laughing most of the way through. There was a pretty memorable fight scene near the end involving Thomas the Tank Engine.
So, long story short, this movie was… okay. But considering that we could have very easily had a Wasp movie instead of an Ant Man movie, I can’t help but feel a little frustrated.
Just by scanning the Wikipedia list of Avenger members, a significant number of the Avengers have been women. Yet, so far, we have no female led Marvel movies, and the only one slated for the future doesn’t come out until 2018. By then, we’ll have eleven movies led by a white man named Chris (Captain America 1, 2, and 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, Thor 1, 2, and 3, and Avengers 1, 2, and 3).
So, considering how many fantastic female characters there are in the Marvel universe… why is it that we don’t have a movie about even one of them?
I dunno. It’s something that really frustrates me- 90% of my favorite characters being constantly sidelined.
So… sorry, but the more I think about this movie, the less I like it.
2 out of 5 stars
Recommended to: casual Marvel fans and/ or people who won’t be as frustrated about this as I am, anyone looking for a fun way to spend an hour or two