Ant-Man

MV5BMTc3NzgxNTM0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTMwMDI5MzE@._V1__SX1859_SY847_Saturday was a day of two movies. Hooray! The second one was, finally, Ant-Man. To get it out of the way: it was a) definitely relevant to the overall story progression of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and b) good enough in its own right. Also, to get the other thing out of the way, it’s about a guy who can shrink to the size of about a flea or a bit smaller, and also he can talk to ants, and he uses these powers to be highly stealthy, mobile, and also to be unexpectedly strong[1], and then he has to deal with a supervillain tailor-made for said powers. Like you do.

There. Now to the meat of it. See, in comics, there are two people who have been Ant-Man. (Well, that I know of.) The first of them, Hank Pym, is one of Marvel’s first characters. The second, Scott Lang, I have not actually gotten to yet. The movie is about, well, technically both of them, but the point here is that it’s mostly about the one I don’t know. Which means, virtually no preconceptions! Paul Rudd was damaged and charming, and the character was entirely likeable. The plot was heisty and heroic and if it was often predictable, it made up for it by never being boring.

My complaints about Hank Pym are spoilers, but the fact that I have complaints can be put down to the fact that he’s a known jerk of a character. (Unlike Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, who is objectively as much of a jerk on paper, but people always seem to like him anyway. This has nothing to do with anything, I’m just complaining about it.)

Anyway, pretty good movie. Worth seeing, especially if you’ve been watching the other ones. Spoiler thing about Hank Pym in the comments.

[1] Something something physics: space between atoms is reduced, increasing density and therefore retaining the same strength in a much smaller package; you know, comic book science.

One thought on “Ant-Man

  1. Chris Post author

    Hank Pym, right? His daughter, Hope, spends most of the movie complaining about how Scott Lang is going through this training montage to become Ant-Man, and why is that worthwhile when she already knows how to use the equipment and control the ants. It’s a valid damn question, and it seemed like Marvel was asking it of itself. The answer eventually became apparent, that Hank did not want to put his daughter in danger, and didn’t mind putting a stranger there. Which, yes, Scott has thief skills, but they came a lot less into play than you’d think; ultimately, Hope van Dyne could have done the job.

    And so, I went from “what the hell, Marvel, maybe listen to your characters!” to “oh, I see, it’s about character development and the understandable if flawed choices of a frightened old man.” to “Okay, yes, but just because the characters would have acted that way in the comics, well, who cares about that? They’re all new in this context, and you could have written them any way you wanted to, dammit.” I don’t know. It’s cool that they pulled back the curtain at the end and said, “okay, sure, but we’re not doing that to her anymore,” but it’s not cool enough. Two reasons.

    1) It’s not like later there will be a movie whose main character / title is The Wasp.
    2) It doesn’t fix that she should have been the hero of this movie in the first place. Maybe I could make my peace with it if it hadn’t been a major point of contention throughout the entire middle section of the film. But you shouldn’t raise that kind of question if you’re planning on going full steam ahead with the wrong answer.

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