Marvel’s “Ant-Man” screened for junket press in Los Angeles last night, and the first reactions hit the Internet as soon as the lights came up. Naturally, these have to be taken with a grain of salt, since junketeers rarely forget on which side their bread is buttered and the studios are experts at tailoring invitations to people who are going to like the movie (or, failing that, embargoing reactions when they suspect they won’t). But for what it’s worth, initial reactions to “Ant-Man” are largely positive, with critics calling it a welcome change of pace that feels as much like a heist movie as a Marvel extravaganza. A few claim to feel the presence of departed writer-director Edgar Wright, who was replaced by the more “collaborative” writer Adam McKay and director Peyton Reed, but the reactions tend to focus on more on the movie’s overall tone — and Paul Rudd’s abs — than questions of directorial style. (Wright’s name remains in the screenplay and story by credits, and he’s an executive producer as well.) Marvel’s Kevin Feige recently confirmed that “Ant-Man” marks the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase II, and many of the reactions single out “Ant-Man’s” two credits stingers — one midway, one all the way at the end — as particularly significant, presumably because they set the scene for Phase III. What the fact that initial viewers seem more excited about what comes after the movie than what happens during it means for the film itself, we’ll have to wait until reactions spread beyond 140 characters to see.
“Ant-Man” opens July 17.
“Ant-Man” is hugely entertaining, and a truly significant puzzle piece in the Marvel Universe. This one’s got a big sweet heart.
— ImperatorHitFixDrew (@DrewAtHitFix) June 26, 2015
Guys, don’t worry. #AntMan is good. Like, goooooood. Also, it’s the weirdest Marvel movie yet. Weirder than “Guardians of the Galaxy” even.
— John Boone (@jtyboone) June 26, 2015
It takes ANT-MAN a moment to get cranked up, but once it does, it’s sensational. My favorite third-act of any Marvel movie.
— Jeremy Smith (@mrbeaks) June 26, 2015
So I saw ANT-MAN & I dug it! Most inventive action scenes yet & tons of heart. A softer, more intimate #Marvel movie and a great family film
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) June 26, 2015
ANT-MAN is a TON of fun! It’s Marvel’s version of Ocean’s 11. Great cast, slick score and two wonderful post-credits scenes #StayTillTheEnd
— Brian Gallagher (@GallagherMW) June 26, 2015
Ant-Man is more methodical than most Marvel movies but it’s hilarious & a totally great ride. So many fun MCU links too. Another winner.
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) June 26, 2015
Ant-Man isn’t just great entertainment, it’s also a great movie. Marvel’s most human film to date. Fantastic.
— Jack Giroux (@JackGi) June 26, 2015
ANT-MAN is fantastic fun with heart, wildly clever set-pieces, and a scene-stealing Michael Pena. It’s a movie I want to be friends with.
— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) June 26, 2015
Just saw #AntMan & loved it. Sharp, easy to follow & very funny. My kind of superhero movie. Paul Rudd is terrific & Michael Peña steals it.
— Dave Karger (@davekarger) June 26, 2015
Ant Man is great. Way better than Age of Ultron. @edgarwright deserves co-director credit. Feels like his movie.
— gregoryellwood (@HitFixGregory) June 26, 2015
I liked Ant-Man more than I did Avengers: Age of Ultron, mainly because Marvel’s doing something different and it works as a stand-alone
— Edward Douglas (@EDouglasWW) June 26, 2015
Recent Marvel credit scenes have been kind of minor, but ANT-MAN has two (mid-credits and at the very end) that, unlike its hero, are huge.
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) June 26, 2015
ANT-MAN is good. Not a disaster like some expected but also not a homerun. Has a *must see* after the end credits scene.
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) June 26, 2015
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) June 26, 2015
Sadly ‘Ant-Man’ falls flat in almost every way. Doesn’t seem like it’s sure of what it wants to be. Not so much bad as it is blah.
— Mike Sampson (@mjsamps) June 26, 2015