New “Ant-Man” trailer surprisingly good

I might have to eat crow when it comes to the “Ant-Man” movie.  Time will tell, I’m still reserving my right to go “meh” when the credits roll.

After a crummy teaser earlier this year the new trailer was released Sunday and, to my pleasant surprise, looked pretty swell.

What bothered me about our first look at the film was how predictable it was.  Dramatic speech by Michael Douglas?  I bet it’ll end with Paul Rudd going, “Huh” or something.  Toss in some action shots?  I’m looking at my watch to see how long it’ll be before the mandatory joke about the name Ant-Man.  Oh there it is.

Now I’m ready to shake that off, here’s why:

Return to the Phase One feel

I’ve only been down on Marvel movies since the so-called Phase Two stage kicked-off after “Avengers.”  In 2013, it felt like the studio was just spiking the football and patting itself on the back after making a mountain of cash the year before.  Things got better in 2014, though.

“Ant-Man” feels different.  It looks like comic book heist film first as opposed to another team-up or generic save the world movie.  Best case scenario, it has the same Phase One DNA as 2008’s “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk,” which I’ll always consider a heavily underrated film.  Have a fair amount of origin story with the only stakes being to take out the bad guy.

They shrank the damn Marvel logo!

Tiny logo

The new studio intro logo, which I want to say debuted with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” was bigger, longer and oh so showy.  It also might end up causing more seizures than 90’s-era anime.  Seeing it cut down to size brings warm, coffee-like feelings to my heart.

Corey Stoll is awesome

Not much elaboration required here.  This guy is one helluva an actor, just watch season one of “House of Cards.”  Can’t wait to see him on screen as the villain Yellowjacket.

Iron Man’s weapon proliferation fears revised

This kinda relates to the Phase One point.  What I liked about “Iron Man” was how Tony Stark said his mission was to combat illegal weapon sales.  It was an excellent motivation that fell off the radar in the sequels.  Damn shame since to me Robert Downey Jr.’s best moment was his, “There is the next mission and nothing else” scene from the first movie.

“Ant-Man” picks up that baton by making this a conflict over stealing back the super shrinking technology so it can’t be militarized.  Right on!  Wish this plot was used years ago.

Vacation from the East Coast

Way too many superheroes work in New York City or a New York City substitute.  I mean, it’s considered the safest major city in the world how many heroes do you need?  “Ant-Man” is going to take place on the West Coast and bully for that.  San Francisco is lovely in the summer.

And finally, Thomas the Tank Engine!

Well done!  Marvel might toss in far too many witticisms but visual gags like having Thomas the Tank Engine smash the bad guy is pure gold.

“Ant-Man” will be released in theater July 17.

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