Now’s our chance to root for the little guy.
Marvel Studios has released the first full trailer of July 17’s Ant-Man, giving fans a taste of what to expect from Paul Rudd as the incredible shrinking man.
The video is above. Let’s watch it a few times and then break out the microscope.
First off, those who are new to the world of Ant-Man need to know there are a couple different Ant-Men. The original was a scientist named Hank Pym, a brilliant but volatile man who designed the suit that allows a man to miniaturize himself while retaining his same strength and mass.
The second was a thief named Scott Lang, who stole the suit so he could sneak into a corporate compound and rescue a doctor who was being held hostage — a doctor whose help he needed to treat his ailing daughter.
The movie, directed by Peyton Reed, has both: Michael Douglas plays Pym, now in his later years and resentful that he is no longer in full control of all the technology he helped to create. Rudd stars as Lang, the small-time hood Pym recruits to get his revenge. (Revenge isn’t bad if it’s against bad guys, right?)
Lang’s criminal past is revealed right away in the trailer as he raises his arms in the air against a backdrop of flashing police lights.
By the way, his outfit in that shot definitely doesn’t say, “Don’t mind me, I’m not a burglar or anything!”
We get flashes of the classic Scott Lang origin story, but at least in this trailer they are not arranged in the same order as when writer David Michelinie and artist John Byrne first introduced him in 1979.
Lang spent time in prison for his petty thefts, and we get a shot of him marching into what looks like a maximum security facility behind some heavy duty barbed wire. So that part appears to stick to the original story. Lang is an ex-con — not just some nice guy who gets into a pinch of trouble.
I like the idea of a good guy who’s not always such a good guy. It’s what makes Tony Stark so compelling. You get the sense that he could tip over into super-villainy very easily.
The film also gives him a daughter, although in the trailer there is no mention of her being ill. Right now, she’s just used to show that even though he may have a checkered past, Lang’s not all bad. If that cute little girl loves him, there must be something worthwhile in him.
The narration by Douglas states this outright: “This is your chance to earn that look in your daughter’s eyes, to become the hero … that she already thinks you are.”
By the way, the whole style of this introduction echoes similar Marvel trailers like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3, with ominous, halting narration by the villains. It’s vaguely creepy and makes me wonder if there’s something manipulative going on with Pym’s character. I already don’t trust him.
Then there’s this …
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