I’ve not been doing much reading lately, I must admit. I’m kind of stuck on A. Merritt’s The Moon Pool, which I can’t read more than a few pages of at a time. I have been watching shows and movies, though, and doing a little bit of gaming.
Yesterday I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp. It was okay. Even the weakest of the current Marvel movies are entertaining and of decent quality in my opinion. Unfortunately, Ant-Man 2 suffers from some of the same problems as Iron Fist (on Netflix) and a number of other modern productions. Namely, the titular heroes aren’t made to look that great. Which is unfortunate, because Ant-Man was probably one of my favorite heroes from the current batch of superhero flicks!
Now don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty to be said for character development and for fleshing out your protagonists with weaknesses. But just as a hero shouldn’t completely eliminate the need for any supporting characters, your protagonist shouldn’t be constantly overshadowed or undermined.
Honestly Ant-Man 2 felt to me like an ensemble movie. He was there and he did some cool stuff, but the movie wasn’t really about him. And it felt like he was just apologizing for half the film because he did the right thing in helping out Captain America.
Now it could have been worse. He wasn’t grossly incompetent, and Paul Rudd is charismatic enough that Scott didn’t come across as a complete wuss.
But the Marvel writers are getting into this habit of making the female love interests just as awesome, if not more so, than their hero counterparts. This isn’t to say that we can’t have kickass women characters; Electra was well done in Daredevil (Netflix), for instance. So was Karen Page (and she’s not even “super”). But they shouldn’t be upstaging the guy whose name is on the movie poster!
Now I guess they wanted to expand Ant-Man into a duo, team thing. So now it’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. This would be fine, except you never really get the feeling that Scott and Hope are complementing one another. Wasp can basically do all the same things Ant-Man can do (except for some reason they didn’t give her an ant-commanding device thingy in this one). Plus she’s kind of sciency, like her dad. So what’s the draw to this pair? Marvel’s gotten good at fight scenes and cool CGI, but that only gets us so far.
Let your heroes be unique, and let them shine.