Day Twelve: 12/19 down!
End of Phase Two!
Antonio: There are a lot of great moments utilizing Ant Mans unique abilities but my favorite sequence is the Quantum Realm scene hands down. The sheer ambition of the psychedelic imagery used is awesome and really works, in addition to Guardians, to push the MCU closer to the bombastic nature of comic books. Also love the little Wasp tease...
Luis (Portrayed by Michael Pena): "Baskin Robbins always finds out."
Dave (Portrayed by T.I.): "Baskin Robbins don't play."
Where every other MCU film was boasting multiple villains, Ant Man focussed one only one for his first outing, let's see if that added screen time really made a difference...
Darren Cross AKA Yellow Jacket
Antonio: The problem with Darren Cross is...he's just not a very interesting villain. He's got the same drive of many of the Iron Man villains, hes basically a discount Obadiah Stane. Sure the roles are reversed, where it's his mentor holding out on him, but ultimately he starts evil and ends evil. Meh. He is salvaged however, by quite possibly the best Marvel costume design in the entire MCU.
Final Ranking: TBD
Antman was a bit different than the previous MCU films as it established the first legacy character. A legacy character is when someone new picks up the mantle after the original holder of that title relinquishes it, in this case Scott Lang taking over as Ant Man. It was an precedented move and ended up being a rich vein for Easter eggs and lore as we now had these super heroes who had existed for years without ever actually being mentioned.
It's probably also worth noting that behind the scenes, this film was originally going to be directed by Edgar Wright. Wright had been attached to the project since before The Avengers released in 2012 and had shown test footage of his concept at SDCC years prior. He left the production before filming due to creative differences and Payton Reed took over. Reed is now returning to direct Ant Man and the Wasp (2018)
Alright lets go...
1. The film opens in 1989 at the newly under construction Triskellion, SHIELD's headquarters as seen (and destroyed) in Winter Soldier.
2. A retired Hank Pym goes to meet with the board of directors at SHIELD at the time, comprised of Howard Stark (Portrayed by John Slattery, reprising his role for Iron Man 2), Peggy Carter (once again played by Hayley Atwell) and Mitchell Donovan, an Ant Man villain from the comics.
3. Scott Lang is the main character of this film, he was introduced as the second Ant Man in the 80's during a now famous arc titled "To Steal an Ant Man". This film takes major cues from that comic storyline.
4. This is the first MCU film set in San Francisco, which is where Pym Technologies is located in the MCU, this is also our first direct mention of Pym.
5. Hank Pym is a retired Ant Man, having served as a superhero along side his wife Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp during The Cold War.
6. Janet gave her life to stop a soviet missile in a scene very reminiscent of Captain America's original frozen end in the comics.
7. Janet stops the missile by shrinking between the molecules, entering The Quantum Realm, which in the comics is known as The Microverse.
8. Scott later is forced to also enter The Quantum Realm in order to stop Yellow Jacket. He survives the trip, prompting Hank to consider the possibility of Janet's survival, something we now know to be confirmed as true.
9. While in The Quantum Realm, the audience is able to see a silhouette watching over Scott. This is most likely Janet.
10. Hope Van Dyne, Hank's daughter is a new character introduced for the film, though she has since seen her debut in the comics. She will become the new Wasp in Ant Man and the Wasp later this year.
11. The original Wasp costume is based on her red/black color scheem from the 60's complete with her slightly pin headed helmet.
12. The new Wasp costume is inspired by her Mighty Avengers costume which was black with a yellow print down the belly, likening her more to a...wasp.
13. Yellow Jacket in the comics is actually an alter ego of Hank Pym's, a brutal anti-hero persona he took on during a psychotic episode.
14. The film's Yellow Jacket is designed to emulate the costume's iconic shoulder fins through the mechanical back arms.
15. Darren Cross is also a major antagonist of Scott Lang in the comics, having kidnapped his daughter Cassie multiple times.
16. Scott Lang's daughter Cassie also grows up to be a size changing superhero, she joins the Young Avengers under the name Stature.
17. Mitchell Donovan has revealed that he was a HYDRA sleeper in SHIELD who managed to slip through the shut-down.
18. Scott Lang is given discs containing Pym Particles, the same chemical used to shrink the suit. Pym Particles is a term taken straight from the comics, it's among the likes of Unstable Molecules and Vibranium as Marvel Comics mainstays in weird-science.
19. When Hank lays his plan out to Scott, Scott's first reaction is to insist they "Call the Avengers", to which Hank replies "They're probably too busy dropping buildings out of the sky." This is a direct reference to the events in Sokovia.
20. In order to carry out the heist, Scott must break into an old Stark facility to steal a piece of technology, unbeknownst to them, the facility has been re-purposed into the New Avengers Compound we saw debut at the end of Age of Ultron.
21. Naturally, the compound is not unguarded and resident New Avenger: Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon arrives. He is in his new costume given to him at the end of Age of Ultron. The costume has a red and gold color scheme, both referencing that it is most likely Stark Tech and also a throw back to his costume's colors in the comics.
22. While it's not established in the MCU, it is novel that the man who can communicate with ants is fighting the man who can communicate with birds.
23. Ant Man sneaks into Falcon's wing pack in order to short-circuit his flight controls, something we see return in later MCU films.
24. The discs Scott are given are color coded, red for shrinking, blue for growing. The growing particles are a reference to Hank's time as Giant Man in the comics.
25. After the events of the film, Scott is informed that Sam Wilson is now looking for him, trying to recruit him for some Avengers related business, something we see come full-circle in the next MCU installment.
Ant Man is a welcome addition to the MCU, him and the Wasp's absence from The Avengers world has been possibly the most glaring of any Marvel character so to see him introduced in such an earnest fashion is very fulfilling. I think the humor shines through, but I do feel the film falls into some incredibly unfortunate sexist tropes, relegating it's one major female character to the sidelines simply so that the male cast can receive more to do. Hopefully this is rectified in the sequel.
Final Score: TBD
After the Credits:
Ant Man started a trend that I am personally not a fan off, while there is a proper mid-credit scene, the ACS is actually just a scene from the next MCU release: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
While the scene itself isn't bad, it just isn't a proper ACS, it wasn't made for the purpose of being after the credits, it is removed from context and just feels lazy, so we will not be discussing it and instead will focus on the mid-credit scene which is very fun.
Antonio: This is a bittersweet scene. Like I said above, I'm not a fan of this movies use of Hope Van Dyne and how she is basically benched the entire film. While her suit looks great and the trailers so far have been fun, It still feels like too little too late.
Final Score: TBD
These are basically just going to go up whenever I have time at this point, sorry about the confusion but all of them should still be up in time before Infinity War! Up next we have a personal favorite of ours, and the beginning of what has shaped to be a legendary Phase 3: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
See you all tomorrow!