Leave it to Marvel to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Ant-Man is not an important character. Hell, I have never even heard of the guy until the first movie. And even then I didn’t see it until later. Paul Rudd? C’mon now, he is no super hero.
Anyway, the first one did so well despite being based on such a tertiary character, they made Ant-Man into a significant player in the Marvel Universe, appearing him in Captain America Civil War and probably playing a big role in the the Avengers finale. Heck, they even gave Paul Rudd a second movie!
But guess what? It is good. Very good.
I recently saw the first one to prep for the second, and thought it was a hoot. It was funny, very good characters, and had purpose. And the second one didn’t disappoint.
Equally as funny, the main characters were as strong (even though the villain had zero charisma and is very forgettable), and will be interwoven into the fabric of the MCU easily.
So how does Marvel/Disney do it? Lord knows how Disney has been flailing with the Star Wars series; sure they all make a lot of money, but the fan interest is waning and the canon is being highly compromised. Yet with Marvel, Disney is hitting it out of the park.
Sure, it is hard to know how much ‘Disney’ is really doing with Star Wars, or Marvel for that matter. I am sure Disney (whatever we define Disney as) is very much hands-off on each of these projects. So it is hard to know what is really going on behind the scenes. But it is clear that the people doing the MCU know their audience, know how to build an overarching plot line that captures all moviegoers, and make a ton of successful films. The Star Wars folks….not so much.
I mean Marvel made Ant-Man a star; Star Wars can’t even make a movie about one of the most beloved movie characters ever in Han Solo without getting huge push back.
There are many reasons for this dichotomy that probably go beyond writing talent, but for now, let’s just enjoy this wonderful MCU and try to not to cringe too much when Episode 9 comes out.