“Okay. I just have one question… Who are you, who is she, what the hell is going on here, and can I go back to jail now?”

[originally written 15/09/2015]

So the other day I finally got around to seeing Ant-Man at the cinema and its being the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is enough of a reason for it to be on my Reading List, so voila – the return of the Reading List post!
Strangely, considering the geek I am, I came to the MCU fandom only really recently. In fact, I think I only properly got into it via the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.TV series which, while probably not unique (there are a lot of people out there), has to be pretty unusual/weird.
The great thing about going to the cinema to see a film that really suits you and what you enjoy is that you should be shown trailers for all the films you’re most excited about. So while all the adverts in front of a film are often tedious I got to see trailers for Star Wars, James Bond and Maze Runner with a cinema size & quality screen and sound which, to be honest, was almost as good as seeing the film!
Even if it wasn’t on purpose, one of the advantages of leaving seeing it in the cinema until the last moment was that we practically had the entire cinema to ourselves. Seriously, the only other people there were a mother and son who came in a bit late, disappeared for a while partway through and left as soon as the credits began to roll, it’s probably the closest I will ever get to having my own cinema room. Speaking of credits I love the bit where you’re watching a Marvel film in the cinema, the film ends and some people immediately get up and leave as the credits start but there are also all these geeks not making a single move to go anywhere because they know there will be a post-credits scene and there’s no question to them about whether it’s worth staying to see it.
Anyway, on to the actual film: When I heard there was going to be an Ant-Man movie I was unsure thinking “Really Marvel, I love you but really ANT-Man??” But when I saw the trailer my doubts were assuaged and I really started to look forward to the film. I think the key point were the lines “One question, is it too late to change the name?” and “I’m Ant-Man – I know, wasn’t my idea!” that showed that they knew people like me would be like, “Ant-Man, really??” and they weren’t taking it too seriously. In fact, I’d say not taking it too seriously was key to the film’s success and resulted in a funny film worthy of its place in the great MCU franchise.

More specific plot stuff that will contain SPOILERS:

So something I probably should have thought of before I went to see this film is that I have a light phobia of ants stemming from a stronger one I experienced when I was little when I saw a documentary of the biggest and most dangerous ants in the world (apparently it’s called myrmecophobia, thank you Google). When there started being lots of ants crawling about I had a sudden thought of “Ah, why didn’t I think of this?!” but I soon got over it because a) there were too many ants to freak out a little over all of them, b) they weren’t real and c) ants are cool! Even being a slight myrmecophobe has never got in my way of appreciating the skill, organisation and strength of ants. Actually, I randomly got emotional in one scene when I realised they would probably kill Anthony the Ant even though they hadn’t done anything of the sort yet (yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with me either).
One particular thing about this film that I thought was good was a small, not really main plot-related detail. I feel that Hollywood overall does not really go far from classic 2 (heterosexual) married parents and child(ren) family model. The number of divorced parents in films that get back together must be really not statistically representative and the guy the mother is romantically involved with at the start of the film is invariably portrayed as an idiot/unpleasant being while the father secretly pines over his ex-wife etc. etc. Ant-Man may have started off pretty much in this pattern without the secret pining but by the end Scott Lang’s ex-wife’s fiancé was shown as a hero too even if it was in a more everyday way. Key scene being where the fiancé (Jim Paxton) goes to rescue his (soon-to-be) step-daughter and shield her from super-evil-guy, Darren Cross. Also, at the end of the film, the dinner with the daughter and allthree parents. While it wasn’t huge it does seem to be step in the right direction for more recognition of families of all shapes and sizes and non-biological parents who love children as if they were their own (makes a change from the evil stepmothers, eh?).
Always good to see an Agent Peggy Carter cameo. Having one actress play the same character at such a range of ages in several films (and a TV series) must be pretty unique.
I always quibble (not seriously) in individual superhero films that if the world really was in so much imminent danger and the odds of changing that were so low, surely that’s a time when you would call in your superhero friends so it made me smile that Scott Lang’s first response to hearing about all the stuff he was expected to go up against alone was “I think our first move should be calling the Avengers” even if there was a reason they couldn’t.
From the middle of the credits scene it looks like we’re going to get a new female superhero in Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) as the reincarnated Wasp. Woo for the female part of that! Woo simply for the new superhero regardless of gender part of that!
Excited for how this sets us up for Captain America: Civil War! With so many characters having been announced as appearing it seems like it’s going to be as close to an Avengers movie as you can be without being an Avengers movie.