Let’s be honest, if someone had told you that ‘Ant Man’ would be better than ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ before these movies were released, you probably would have kicked them out of the theater and thrown your popcorn at them for good measure. Any movie with the iconic Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk should easily crush a film with a character hardly anyone knows. Yet, some believe that the film about a guy who can shrink to the size of a bug is better than its bigger budgeted counterpart. Now there is no dispute that both films are excellent; it’s just that one is better than the other. Here are the top five reasons the movie ‘Ant Man’ is better than ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’.
5. The Pacing
‘Age of Ultron’ is just way too slow at times. It runs only twenty four minutes longer than ‘Ant Man’, but it just feels much worse than that. At one point, the Avengers had to run for cover after Ultron (voiced by James Spader) whooped their tails in a fight and ended up at Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) house. Here, we meet his family as he considers retirement. This part of the film was pretty boring to watch and should have been condensed. This lull continues as we listen to Ultron endlessly talk about his master plan, but more on that later. ‘Ant Man’ does not suffer from this slowdown at all. There is constant action and lots of comedy for all to enjoy. The transition the main character Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) goes through from his time in prison, to dealing with his crazy friends, and then having to go back to robbing people was seamless. You will catch yourself looking at the time while watching ‘Age of Ultron’, but you will not do so during ‘Ant Man’.
4. Too Many Characters
The first ‘Avengers’ did a great job of incorporating all of its well known characters into an exciting story. Though instead of going into more detail about each of them, ‘Age of Ultron’ decided to just add a bunch more. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Vision (Paul Bettany) are all added to the already crowded list of heroes in this film. Including these new characters takes away from the time to develop better stories for the main ones. For example, we are lead to believe there is a budding romance between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). This side plot is totally unbelievable and somewhat silly. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and Captain America (Chris Evans) all had individual stories as well that should have been explored far more than they were. ‘Ant Man’ primarily focuses on, well, Ant Man so it is easier to craft an entertaining story that audiences want to see.
3. Low Expectations
To be fair, ‘Ant Man’ didn’t have the same lofty expectations as ‘Age of Ultron’ did primarily because no one knew who he was. Only diehard comic book fans could recite the details of Ant Man’s back story and his rise to power. Walking into a film like this with relatively low expectations allows you to be open to what happens on screen. On the other hand, ‘Age of Ultron’ was expected to be as good as, if not better than, its predecessor. ‘The Avengers’ set unprecedented records in the box office when it was released in 2012 making the anticipation for the sequel skyrocket instantly. This eagerness is part of the reason why very few sequels perform as well as the original films. The expectation is so high that no matter how well the film does, it just won’t be good enough. Also, with a $250 million dollar budget everyone from the studio executives down to moviegoers is counting on ‘Age of Ultron’ to deliver.
2. The Villain
Okay, so this is going to be a serious deal breaker for most because there should be no comparison between a super-powered, extremely intelligent robot in Ultron hell-bent on earth’s destruction and some guy named Darren. Even though Ultron almost destroys the Avengers, the problem is he talks too much. Combine that with the distraction that are his teeth and you will be greatly disappointed in him. Much has been said about why Ultron was given this feature, but it still looks stupid. He seems to spend more time talking about what he is going to do instead of actually doing it. Meanwhile, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) doesn’t look like much of a menace throughout most of the film, but he delivers quite nicely in the end. He is smarter than he leads audiences to believe and his reasons for being evil are more convincing. It is also a great payoff when he finally dons the yellow-jacket suit and does battle with Ant Man.
1. The Comedy
Even though every Marvel film has a lot of comedy, ‘Ant Man’ seems to have even more than the rest. First of all, Michael Pena as Luis is so funny throughout that he will make you laugh out loud every time he is on screen. The best moments are when Luis’ mind wanders while he is telling a story to Scott. He is definitely a scene stealer from the first moment he appears. Then there’s Paul Rudd. He is hilarious to watch because he is either getting punched in the face or running into a door while training. It is even comical to see Ant Man fight against one of the Avengers. Ant Man is surprised by this Avenger’s appearance and the way he beats him is entertaining. Sadly, most of the jokes in ‘Age of Ultron’ were just not funny. Most were either lame or uninspired. In fact, the only decent comedy was the running joke of who could pick up Thor’s hammer. It is pretty cool to see everyone try to pick it up and a surprise to find out who was actually able to. Although ‘Age of Ultron’ had its moments, they paled in comparison to the jokes in ‘Ant Man’.
As promised, those were five good reasons why ‘Ant Man’ is better than ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’. Now that ‘Ant Man’ performed so well in the box office, the sequel will face intense scrutiny to be even better than the original. Let’s hope they get it right this time.
Movie Trailer: ‘Ant Man’
Movie Trailer: ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’
Movie Poster for ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’
‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ vs. ‘Ant-Man’, which one was better? Although ‘Age of Ultron’ includes popular characters like Captain America and Iron, it is the film about the guy who can shrink to the size of an insect that steals the show.