Ant-Man ★★★

I'm torn on Ant-Man. I guess mild spoilers below, but do you really care about Ant-Man spoilers...I mean, really? Is this where you are in your life?

Visually it is one of the most interesting Marvel films, the fight scenes, something I feel Marvel has struggled with, are really great here, and the Michael Pena flashbacks are brilliant and hilarious. But there's no story here. The narrative is good tech guy vs. bad tech guy, which is a well Marvel has returned to far too many times at this point. Worse, there's no character arc. Lang starts out as a good guy who breaks the law for vigilante reasons, and he ends the guy as a basically good vigilante. There is no growth or really a need for growth here.

I also think they wrote themselves into a corner with the Hope rewrites. Apparently expanding her character was part of the Cornish rewrites. Now, I'm all for that, but it creates a weird problem where you're constantly asking "Why isn't Pym sending her instead of Lang again?" They explain it away by saying he doesn't want to lose his daughter, but that's not a satisfying answer. How great would this film have been if it was a Wasp origin? If the arc is Pym turning away from the betrayal of the "son he never had" to trusting the daughter he does to be a hero. I mean, they do that in the stinger, but honestly that should have been the narrative arc, with Lang just there for the ride.

And that is far more than I ever thought I'd have to say on Ant-Man. It's still not bad (actually it's better than Age of Ultron I'd say), but you can tell it never decides on what it is going to be, so they settle on not really being anything.