Hunter did, in fact, reach into his own bag of screwed-up emotions for this conversation…but that’s not to say that he thinks this discussion is anything other than a waste of time, an extremely awkward waste of time. And no, I’m not going to slay the dragon in the room, at least not at the moment. (Is it douchey to use one a Hunter Black idiom of my own devising? Am I content to be a little douchey?)
So, #Squirrel and I went to see Ant-Man with some friends last night. It was just fine. A lot of people are lauding the film pretty highly, although I think I detect a certain defensive quality to their praise. The critics have been pretty harsh about the film. Personally, I think my opinion, and #Squirrel’s, is somewhere in the middle. I gave the film a solid B. It was fun and engaging, although there were a few moments where the delivery just wasn’t as natural as I might’ve liked. It was clear to me that this stuff is not necessarily in the wheelhouses of either Paul Rudd or Michael Douglas, and I’m generally quite a fan of both actors. Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly both seemed quite at home, but then again, between The Strain (in which Stoll is the main character), and Lost and The Hobbit trilogy (both of which featured Lilly in major roles), their comfort level with geek genres is probably pretty high.
Michael Peña was the film’s breakout performer, as far as I was concerned, even though there a few slightly problematic overtones with his performance. #Squirrel is Mexican, and she thought his role was “a tiny bit racist.” I mean, it was SUCH a stereotype, but we both know people who are EXACTLY that stereotype, and his performance was spot on. I think we decided to give it pass. The overt sexism of dismissing the obviously more qualified Hope Van Dyne in favor of ex-con Scott Lang was more bothersome to me personally. They tried to explain it away, but it was pretty glaring.
The truth of the matter is, entertainment is always going to have a ways to go. Issues of diversity and representation will always be in my mind when I consume media. This was better than most. There were multiple characters of color, including another superhero.
Ant-Man was more enjoyable to me than either of the Iron Man sequels and the first Thor film, and even Age of Ultron. I think I prefer the rest of the other Marvel Studios films, though. Still, Marvel is like Pixar; even their worst films are pretty watchable (although Pixar’s track record is better overall, I think.)