In just over a couple of weeks, the Ant-Man movie will hit cinema screens around the world. Specifically, July the 17th is the date that the miniature hero will officially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe - with Anchorman actor Paul Rudd in the lead role as Scott Lang - and, although it's undoubtedly going to be a lot of fun, it's probably fair to say that the anticipation for the movie isn't quite as tangible as most of the previous offerings in the franchise.
Early reviews from those critics who have seen press screenings are fantastic, but fans are still finding it harder to get excited about it than they did for the likes of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Iron Man movies - and even for equally obscure movies in the franchise like last year's Guardians of the Galaxy.
However, it's going to blow you away - make no mistake about that - and it's going to do so in a number of different ways. You're going to love it. This article will list the various ways you are going to be surprised and impressed by Marvel Studios' latest offering. Here are ten ways Ant-Man is going to blow your mind.
11 The Concept Itself
To those people who might not be overly familiar with Ant-Man from the comic books, the idea of a man who can shrink might not stand out as particularly useful - especially in a universe with thunder gods, high-tech armoured heroes, super soldiers and giant green forces of nature. However, those people might be surprised.
Ant-Man is very formidable - particularly in his shrunken form, as his strength increases disproportionately with his size. He becomes super-strong in his smaller form and is therefore a major threat to opponents and his control over ants is surprisingly useful in a super-powered world. Moreover, it will likely lead to the introduction of Scott Lang as Giant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (perhaps in Captain America: Civil War), as Hank Pym's particles can be used to make characters grow in size as well.
10 The Supporting Cast
If the supporting cast of Ant-Man hasn't already blown you away on paper (it really should have, because it's extremely impressive), it's bound to do so upon actually watching the movie itself.
Ten years ago, could anyone imagine landing Michael Douglas for a supporting role in a comic book movie? The answer is probably no, but such is the profile of the genre now that it's happened and he, along with several other top actors, will make this movie great. Douglas is, of course, playing an older version of Hank Pym, while the likes of Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, Hurt Locker), Michael Peña (Tower Heist, Gangster Squad, American Hustle), Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Law & Order: LA, Midnight in Paris) and Judy Greer (Arrested Development, Archer, Jurassic World) will be playing Hope van Dyne, Lang's cellmate Luis, Darren Cross AKA Yellowjacket and Lang's ex-wife Maggie, respectively.
9 The Villain
As popular as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, if there's one aspect of the franchise that has been heavily criticised it's the standard of the villains. Only Loki and, to a slightly lesser extent, Ultron have come away from their respective movies with any real credit, as other villains (like Ronan, Malekith, Aldrich Killian/The Mandarin and Whiplash, for example) have been deemed fairly non-threatening and poorly developed.
Darren Cross' Yellowjacket should be great, however. Not only is his suit vastly superior to Scott Lang's Ant-Man suit (it's essentially an advanced version of the same stolen technology), he is also a business threat to Hank Pym and, potentially, the likes of Tony Stark, so he is a threat on a number of levels and that will make him more interesting than most who came before him.
8 The Hero
Who have been the two most popular heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date? Well, obviously, one of them has to be Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark AKA Iron Man but, more surprisingly, the other is probably Chris Pratt's Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord. Consider that Paul Rudd's Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man is essentially going to be a cross between both of them and you begin to realise just how awesome he is going to be.
He has the advanced technology of Tony Stark and the care-free attitude of Peter Quill, as well as the charisma, wit and humour to rival them both. In addition to the aforementioned fact that his shtick is far more formidable than some people might imagine and we undoubtedly have a new fan-favourite in the making.
7 The Special Effects
One thing that has already been shown in some detail - via trailers and television spots and so forth - is that the special effects for this movie are going to be outstanding. Obviously, what has been shown so far is only a sample of what's to come, so there's no doubt that there will be even more impressive visual effects in the final movie.
The shrinking of the titular hero could have easily ended up looking silly, but Marvel Studios appear to have nailed it and the scenes in which Scott Lang is working alongside his mind-controlled ant buddies look to be rather spectacular. The final fight with Darren Cross's Yellowjacket looks like it could be one of the most awesome in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
6 The Mid/Post Credits Scene(s)
Given that Marvel Studios know this movie is a risk and given which movies are coming in the future - particularly the one that directly follows it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - they will surely use the opportunity to make the mid/post-credits scenes as spectacular as possible. That way, if the movie does underwhelm (which it won't), they have something to fall back on.
Press screening reviews would suggest there will be both a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene, so expect something awesome to happen. Perhaps there will be a scene triggering the Civil War, perhaps Spider-Man or Doctor Strange will get their first MCU screen-time, or perhaps even Thanos will get his hands on his first Infinity Stone to put in his gauntlet. Either way, what happens during and after the Ant-Man credits will blow your mind.
5 The Humour
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its humour - the likes of the Iron Man movies and Guardians of the Galaxy being particularly good examples, thanks to characters like Tony Stark, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon - and Ant-Man will be no different. In fact, given the somewhat bizarre concept of the movie, you can expect it to be one of the funniest yet.
The fact that a notably comedic actor - Paul Rudd - is in the lead role should speak volumes. The trailers have clearly conveyed the use of comedy in the movie and, of course, Edgar Wright is responsible for the script's foundations. It's going to make you laugh. A lot.
4 The Connections To The Wider MCU
Ant-Man seems like a very isolated movie and, unlike Guardians of the Galaxy - which was also very standalone - it doesn't necessarily appear on the surface to have an awful lot going on to make up for that fact. While Guardians had a human interacting with a green assassin, an equally green rampaging murderer, a talking raccoon and a humanoid tree - as well as the unique appeal of the cosmos - Ant-Man seems as though it could be somewhat boring in comparison.
That won't actually be the case but, even if it was, expect it to be livened up by some major connections to the existing MCU. There's absolutely no way this movie is going to be as standalone as you probably expect it to be.
3 The Screenplay
While the acclaimed writer of the likes of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Paul and The World's End left the Ant-Man project a long time ago, the movie will keep the heart of Edgar Wright’s original screenplay - and that's a good thing. This was his project.
With tweaking by the brilliant Paul Rudd (the star of the movie who has also co-written movies like Role Models) and Adam McKay (who has written for movies like Anchorman, Step Brothers and The Campaign), the screenplay will be awesome. Expect humour, action and an emotional and heartwarming rollercoaster all rolled into one. The dialogue will be gripping and the story will be superb. Just you wait and see.
2 The Amount It Grosses Worldwide
Ant-Man probably won't break any records - and it probably won't open with spectacular box office returns either - but, once it gets some traction and word gets out about how good it is, expect it to make some serious money.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grossed crazy money to date - around $8.5 billion and counting worldwide - making it the most successful movie franchise of all time. The highest-grossing offering is The Avengers, which grossed $1.5 billion, and the lowest is The Incredible Hulk, which grossed $263 million. Expect Ant-Man to surprise a few people and gross a figure much nearer in size to the former.
1 The Surprises
As already specified, this movie isn't generally expected to overwhelm audiences (although it actually will) and Marvel Studios know that. In order to ensure it does, however, they're going to have to pull out all the stops - and that will include putting a few surprises in the movie to give audiences the thrills they're looking for (and unexpected thrills are undoubtedly the best).
Don't be surprised to see some cameos from existing MCU characters or to find out that it was actually Hank Pym who established the Ultron program way back when. Essentially, whatever you go into this movie expecting, don't rule out being hugely surprised by what you actually end up seeing - because that's definitely going to happen.
Sources: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki.