‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ moves to August because of the World Cup!?

This is just going to be an extremely short post (it’s basically a rant) based on the news that just angered millions of Brits.

So despite the love that the world has for Marvel right now, following the release of the highly acclaimed Avengers: Infinity War, it seems that the love is not mutual on Marvel’s part, as they just announced that the next film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would be releasing in the UK later than expected, a whole month later. Originally scheduled to be released on the July 6th, the sequel to Ant-Man will now be released here in the UK on August 3rd, whilst for the majority of the world, it remains July 6th.

It’s bad enough that the film has been pushed so far back from the rest of the world, but what makes it frankly insulting is the reason behind this move: the FIFA World Cup. Hosted every four years, the greatest sporting event in history returns, this time in Russia, as 32 national sides compete for the greatest trophy in the entire sport of football. It is so popular that Marvel is afraid that the entire population will be so captivated by the month-long event, that no-one will go out to see their film. Now I love football as much as the next guy but considering Scotland didn’t even qualify, and watching England get humiliated will only last about a week, as they’ll be knocked out in the group stages, I have no personal interest in the tournament. You’d think that Marvel would want to capitalise on the World Cup by advertising it during matches, to grab the attention of fans, who would perhaps go see the film once the match has ended. Apparently not.

Image result for 2018 world cup

There’s also the fact that not every Brit likes or even cares about football. People who would much rather sit down in a cinema, watching their favourite characters on the big screen, are being forced to wait a full month longer than the entire world (except China probably). This also brings up the fact that in today’s society, through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, information is shared instantaneously, meaning that we will have to try to do the imaginable: survive a full month without being spoiled. It’s incredibly likely that fans will be spoiled sometime between the worldwide and UK releases, which could quite possibly kill much anticipation for the film. As a result of it, fewer people will feel the need to part with their hard-earned cash to go see a film which they know every single thing about.

It’s safe to say that the decision to delay Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s UK release by a full month, is not only insulting to UK fans of the MCU but a decision that could greatly backfire on the studio in terms of their financial gain, as well as their reputation here in the UK.

‘Ant-Man’ Throwback Review: The One That Is Overrated

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Originally scheduled to be directed by Edgar Wright, (who had spent ten years developing the film), before he stepped away from the project over good old “creative differences” with Marvel and was subsequently replaced by Peyton Reed. The film seemed to have a lot of issues right from the start with the directorial chang-up pushing production back drastically, giving the crew an undesirable small window to shoot and edit the entire film. This on top of the fact that veteran comedic actor Paul Rudd’s casting as the protagonist had drawn some ire from fans, all pointed to the very real potential that Ant-Man would be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first flop.

Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a middle-aged professional criminal who is recruited by renowned scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to assist in a heist.

It’s not surprising that Rudd’s casting drew so much ire from fans as they just couldn’t picture the Anchorman star with a six-pack. Rudd has made a career through the genre of comedy and the idea of him playing a superhero was (and on some level still is) ridiculous. However, he proves to be a great piece of casting, utilising his traditional comedic talents and buffed up physique to craft a believable and fun hero. He doesn’t feel out-of-place in a cinematic universe filled with stars that were seemingly born to play their roles. Also, Michael Douglas gives an extremely fun performance as the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. The standout performance is arguably Michael Peña as lowlife thief Luis. He is the primary source of comedic relief and steals every scene he is in.

It should come as no surprise that a film based on a character who shrinks down to the size of an ant is heavily reliant on CGI. Many MCU films are criticised for their uneven CGI, however, Ant-Man remains one of the most technically brilliant films within the MCU, as it’s CGI is consistently impressive.

As for the humour, the reception to it really ends up being based on personal definitions of comedy. Although Peña’s Luis is often praised as the highlight of the film, he will also irritate some viewers who simply do not appreciate the style of humour that he represents. For me, however, he is quite possibly the funniest character within the MCU and it’s just a shame he wasn’t in the film more.

Image result for ant man still

Ant-Man is no different from the majority of MCU films in the villains’ department as the antagonist, Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) is pathetically weak. He might just be the most forgettable MCU villain. His portrayal as a psychopath is unbelievable and it doesn’t help the character’s longevity that Stoll’s hammy performance makes Cross come across as embarrassing rather than intimidating. Despite the fact that many fans are frustrated with Marvel’s standard of killing off villains at the end of each film, it’s probably a good thing that Cross bites it at the end of the film.

The film follows the typical Marvel formula making it a predictable, clichéd and rather hollow experience. There’s nothing particularly memorable about the film except the production issues it faced.

Lastly, as a huge fan of LOST, I was disappointed to see Evangeline Lilly’s role as Hope van Dyne is surprisingly restricted. She is the typical female character that helps the male characters but does nothing significant herself. She doesn’t exactly give a strong performance either and her chemistry with Paul Rudd is almost non-existent which makes the relationship that is suddenly revealed at the end of the film that much more frustrating, as it is totally unearned. It is clear from both the title of the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the marketing so far that she will have a more prominent role, and I remain hopeful that she will deliver a performance that is on par with the performances she gave week in and week out on LOST.

Ultimately, Ant-Man is a mixed-bag within the MCU. Paul Rudd proves that the fans are not always right, as he doesn’t feel out-of-place within the blockbuster franchise. It shocks me that the film boasts a solid 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, beating other MCU films such as Captain America: The First Avenger and Avengers: Age of Ultron. For me, Ant-Man is a fun yet vastly overrated piece of popcorn entertainment, which was clearly rushed following a troubled production.

Rating: 6.4/10