The realization I had at the packed cinema where I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp explains part of the gargantuan success of Marvel properties on the big screen. The audience was evenly divided between kids and not kids; all of us prey to the siren song of the next superhero hit.
What struck out to me was that whenever a joke was cracked, visual or otherwise, both kids and not kids would laugh. Granted, there are some references and throwaway lines that only adults will get, but these were not as successful as the jokes that made the entire audience laugh.
I think that is my problem with movies of this ilk. It’s not that this movie is bad; it’s a highly enjoyable, very amusing adventure. But it’s that the product is so clearly aimed at pleasing the highest number of people possible, that any nuance gets thrown out the window. There is no room for ambiguity, no space for catharsis. Die hard fans can conjure up myriad theories and deep readings into Easter eggs and throwaways, but it does not change the fact that if a 10 year old can understand and laugh at the same thing you, an esteemed adult can, then that entertainment is probably not more than the sum of its parts.