Watch the Trailer Here!
Marvel is on a hot streak right now. I liked their phase one sets of movies (Iron Man-Avengers) but I never felt they were as good as some people were claiming them to be. Films like “Iron Man 2” left a sour taste in my mouth and “Captain America: The First Avenger” was okay at best. However Marvel’s phase two (Iron Man 3-Avengers: Age of Ultron), has changed my tune. Putting aside “Iron Man 3” for a second (which wasn’t all that bad) every film that has come out in this next of entries have been great. “Thor: The Dark World” easily blew the first one away, “Captain America: The Winter Solider” was a masterful piece of work, “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a rip roaring fun time, and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” look unbelievably good. Now I’m greatly anticipating what Marvel does next.
Well now Marvel has released the trailer for their newest superhero film that will lead the company into their third phase. No it’s not “Iron Man 4”, it’s “Ant-Man”! Haven’t heard of “Ant-Man”? Don’t worry you’re not alone on that. The long in development superhero project is finally getting released despite all the development problems, and now has its first teaser. How was it? The “Ant-Man” teaser was certainly solid and has a great parts about it but it is a bit underwhelming and some things that need to be addressed.
Now it’s fair to keep in mind this is just a teaser trailer. Teasers aren’t suppose to reveal much about the film instead (as the name suggests) just tease us, and get us talking about the film. In some of that regard “Ant-Man’s” teaser did its job. For a while there seem to be a lot of people that didn’t know about the project and now the public is far more aware of it then they were. However I believe they should have premiered this trailer in front of the BCS football game on the 12th as oppose to the “Agent Carter” TV premiere.
I say this because Marvel plans on releasing a new “Avengers” trailer during that game and the BCS football game will reach a large audience. So wouldn’t it make more sense to premiere your trailer for a more unknown property on a venue with a much bigger audience? Everyone knows about the “Avengers” but how many people know about “Ant-Man’? In the long run, I doubt it matters, Marvel’s name on the big screen only carries a lot of weight and recognition. “Guardians of the Galaxy” alone is proof of that.
But enough about that, let’s talk about the actual trailer. The trailer itself starts off really good. Great narration by Michael Douglass and a really sharp focus on the character of Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd). What this tells me, is the actual script will really be more character building then action oriented. The suit looks pretty slick, and the special effects on making him smaller are really well done The last thing you want is for this to come off as some lame “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” rip off. Yet, Marvel seems to have found away to make Ant-Man’s shrinking ability, almost badass. Aside from that it doesn’t look like Marvel was trying to be gimmicky by throwing tie-ins with the rest of their superhero lineup, instead tries to make Ant-Man stand alone on his own; which I greatly admired.
One of the troubles with the trailer though is it’s tone. I remarked on twitter the other day that this looks and feels more like a DC film rather than a Marvel one. The colors are more muted and a bit darker, the narration by Michael Douglass felt like Russell Crowe or Kevin Costner narrating the “Man of Steel” trailer, and stylistically it looks far apart from its other Marvel counterparts. The two jokes in the trailer feels oddly out of place and don’t hit the same way other jokes do in the Marvel Universe (which is something Marvel is really good at). Then again at first glance I couldn’t understand how “Guardians of the Galaxy” fit in with the rest of the Marvel universe and when I saw the film my concerns were whilst away. So all this conjecture could be completely wrong but as of this moment this is really the main concern with the trailer.
I think the reason why the trailer does feel somewhat underwhelming is there is no great tease or wow factor. Think of other recent trailers that got you excited. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” blew everyone away with its spectacle, big action sequences and emotional tone. Now obviously “Ant-Man” isn’t on the same level as an “Avengers” but it feels like it holds back the spectacle and experience. When I started to see some of the effects when Ant-Man grows smaller, I started to get more and more excited but then Marvel seems to hold back; not delivering upon the moment to give us something that gets us really excited for. Of course this is a teaser so perhaps I shouldn’t expect that, but as a teaser it doesn’t give us a good tease either.
I was going to use “Dark Knight” as an example but instead I’ll use the more recent “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” teaser. Watch that first teaser, there isn’t much in it. Yet the music and everything builds up throughout until you get to that uncut shot of Caesar in the rain holding his arm up, with a bunch of other apes standing around him. Caesar looks very angry and ready to attack anything, and then he swings his arm down and the other apes jump up like they are about to attack someone, then it cuts to the title and we are left wondering about the teaser. What made Caesar angry? What are they attacking? Is this the war between Apes and Man? We are left with burning questions and excitement. Here, there isn’t that great tease. Nothing we are left that makes us sit here with burning questions and anticipation. I brought up “Avengers” before because “Ant-Man” feels like a full length trailer trapped within the confines of a teaser and doesn’t succeed at either. It doesn’t tease us well enough to get excited and doesn’t drive home the spectacle of what a full length trailer could. Instead it’s sort of stuck in a strange middle ground between them.
Even though it seems like I am being negative about this teaser, I did actually really did enjoy it. I thought it was solid and did the job of getting the word out about the upcoming July film and it’s character. I just had some negative cogitations that I felt needed to be addressed. I imagine the next trailer will be much better. I still remain very optimistic about the movie and am excited to see a more obscure comic book character on the big screen.