It appears that Alan Taylor will not be returning to the director chair for Thor’s third outing and realitive unknown Taika Waititi, who has only directed episodes for TV in Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows beat out which was no doubt a long line of hopefuls. The filmmaker also wrote upcoming Disney animated movie Moana starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The specifics on whether or not the movie will follow the story from the comics completely is unclear but it’s safe to assume we’ll be getting some more news before long.
I really hope Taika can bring something new to the Thor films. While I really enjoyed Thor and tolerated Thor: The Dark World I still have hope despite the Thor films being the weakest in the MCU. The problem is Captain America has the Russo Brothers, Guardians of the Galaxy has James Gunn, Ant-Man had Peyton Reed but Thor never had directors that seems completely behind on the Norse god. You could tell the Russo Brothers, James Gunn, and Peyton Reed really loved their characters and was doing the best for them. Thor hasn’t had someone who really loves the character just people doing a job.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters July 28th, 2017!
Whenever Marvel first announced their cinematic universe Ant-Man was the one character I was most worried about. I was never really fond of the character, Hank Pym, mainly because of his wife beating tendencies, plus I always found the character silly. So when they announced an Ant-Man movie I was skeptic and I continued to be despite Edger Wright signing on as director, more so when he left and continued on as they found Peyton Reed to take over, all during filming, even as I sat down in the theater to watch it. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t looking at this project wondering if this would be Marvel’s first train wreck.
The film opens in 1989 with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) confronting Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and another head member of S.H.I.E.L.D when he discovers they’ve been trying to replicate his Pym Particle, the serum used so he can shrink and grow and makes him one of the most dangerous men on the planet, something I never realized until now, and also his invented ability to control ants. Something else I found silly until I was able to watch them in action. (Shout-out to my boy Anttony!) Cut to years later and we have our new protagonist, Scott Lang who is fresh out of jail and looking to stay out, fights every urge to return to a life of crime for his daughter. This is somewhat difficult considering that his ex-wife (Judy Greer) is now dating a cop (Bobby Cannavale) and they both demanding he get a job, an apartment, and start paying child support before he can even see his daughter. Since it will take too long the normal way, Scott takes a job based from a tip of an old man who has a safe full of valuables, only to discover the Ant-Man suit. Hank informs Scott that he, and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) needs his help breaking into a company and stealing the research his former assistant Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is close to replicating his Pym Particle.
So with that we have the basic setup for a heist film, one thing Marvel hasn’t done yet, and managed to make another origin film really fun. For a character I thought was silly and was worried they wouldn’t be able to pull off, I am now very attached to the character and can’t wait to see what they do next. The film is funny, has some pretty amazing action scenes, and was amazing creative when Lang shrinks down and has to navigate the much larger world but most importantly it made me care. You’re rooting for Scott because you want him to see his daughter, you’re rooting for Hank because you want him reconcile with his daughter Hope who blames him for her mother’s death. Ant-Man is filled with all of this and more.
The film is littered with cameo’s and nods to other Marvel films, characters, and plot-lines, the film even gets meta and acknowledges that Marvel has recently acquired Spider-Man. There is even a nod to why they don’t call The Avengers in. Even the supporting characters, played by Michael Pena, David Dastmalchian, and T.I., all who I was worried about, have their time to shine and are used just enough without getting aggravating. It is amazing, given the trouble the production has had, just how good and fun this movie is but you can also see seams. While Peyton Reed does amazing job, considering his resume is nowhere near this scale, he isn’t Edger Wright, who does receive story credit for his work. Reed is efficient but I would still like to see Wright’s version with the notes Marvel provided him. You can see where he tried to mimic Edger’s style and it doesn’t quite work. Another problem is the villain, while Corey Stoll is good, and he works well in the parts where he’s supposed to be psychotic and cold but it really doesn’t add up that he suddenly wants to murder everyone because of his daddy issues towards Hank Pym.
Besides the few problems, Ant-Man is extremely fun and opens up a whole new world in which Ant-Man operates, which we’ll getting more of when the character shows up in Captain America: Civil War next summer, and will see more of in the upcoming sequels. Paul Rudd completely owns the character in a role I wasn’t sure he could handle and it will be nice to see what else he can do with the character in future installments and the final confrontation between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, which takes place amongst a young girls toys in her room, makes this one of the most creative endings Marvel has done in years. While nowhere near as good as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, let’s be fair though, what is? It definitely rose up the ranks to one of my favorite Marvel films and I am excited to see where the character goes from here.
Ant-Man director Peyton Reed sat down during a press junket and talked about Paul Rudd’s (Scott Lang) inclusion in the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War. “I had the Russo brothers, who are directing Captain America: Civil War, brought into the cutting room. So, I show them a bunch of footage from Ant-Man because they were gonna be working with Paul,” he said. “I felt very protective about the character. I was like, ‘No he wouldn’t say that, he would say this!’ It was great. It was a great back and forth.”
Peyton Reed continued, “When Paul went to shoot for a couple days on Civil War, I felt really envious. I felt like my girlfriend had left me and gone off with the other guy. But it was great, Paul called up and he was so excited [saying] ‘I know I’m a superhero – we just did an entire movie together – but now I’m in this other movie, and I’m like talking to Captain America, it really is sinking in. I’m a part of the Marvel Universe!’ He was like a kid, it was amazing!”
Paul Rudd has confirmed that he has finished filming Civil War, and talked about his experience on set. “I went to the set of Captain America 3 and all of a sudden I’m standing next to some of the Avengers and I turned into, like a little kid!” he said. “And they’re calling me by my character name!”
I’ve been hearing some pretty good things about Ant-Man and for a character I wasn’t all that interested in seeing, I’m actually excited to check out.
Ant-Man hit theaters July 17!