Ah, Ant Man, the bratty little brother of the MCU. Sandwiched between heavy hitters Age of Ultron and Civil War, it provided the brief respite we all needed before the real drama began. It’s a silly, fun movie with moderate stakes and sciency-science.
Ant Man knows what it is. It knows it’s not anyone’s favourite. It knows it’s an appetizer. It knows it’s the MCU’s way of spinning its wheels. But damned if it doesn’t take that role and do the very best with what it’s given.
The movie opened in 1989 with a cameo by Peggy Carter (♥), Howard Stark, and some other dude begging to get punched in the face, asking Hank Pym to give them his formula for shrinkage. He was all, “naw”, and they were peeved, but basically just shrugged.
In present day, our boy Scott Lang was getting out of prison with an adorable fake-out fight and copious man-hugs.
This fellow is Luis, Scott’s old roommate from the clink, and he is downright delightful. They had a discussion about Scott’s desire to “go straight” and everyone in the audience was like, “suuuuuuuure, bud.”
Because everything about the American class system / economic distribution is horrible, Scott, a man with a degree in electrical engineering, and a non-violent criminal record, couldn’t even keep his job at Baskin Robbins.
Luis and his associates Kurt (tech guy), and Dave (driver), gave Scott an impromptu interview and attempted to hire him for some upcoming criminal activity. But Scott is OUT, nuh-uh, no way Jose, he is going straight and THAT is THAT.
Scratch that. After attempting to go to his daughter’s birthday party and getting roasted by his ex-wife and her new husband about child support, Scott decided to go back to crime JUST THIS ONCE. This lead to a very charming explanation about the job by Luis, and a fun “getting ready to do crime” montage. These criminals are very likable!
Meanwhile, Hank Pym (remember him from the ass whopping he gave SHIELD in the beginning?) was invited to his own company, of which he had been ousted from.
This is Darren Cross, Hank’s old mentee, and general d-bag. He dug up Hank’s Ant Man comic books, and decided he wanted to be the villain of that story. So he invited a bunch of weapons dealers (including Hydra), and gave a fun presentation on how horrible the world would be if this technology was mass produced. It included words like “protective actions” and “peacekeeping”, which we all know is code for “horrible military-state terrifying bullshit.”
Hank begged Darren not to be a straight-up villain, but Darren was like, “you didn’t play enough catch with me!” Apparently Hank didn’t tell Darren about the shrinking technology, and this turned Darren into a wack-job (well, that and his shoddy sciency-science which was changing his brain chemistry into asshole juice).
Hope is Hank’s daughter, and was the deciding vote to push him out of his company (awkwaaaaaaaaard!). But after seeing what a wackadoo Darren was, she started covertly working with her dear old dad to stop him.
This fellow was opposed to the yellowjacket technology for perfectly rational reasons, so naturally Darren plooped him with a shrink-ray that turned him into a tiny puddle of goop, which he then flushed down the toilet. This was horrifying, but also, THE PERFECT CRIME.
Darren took Hope out for a fancy dinner to talk about their collective daddy issues, and you could tell by Hope’s face that this is not the first time this conversation has happened. “Why doesn’t he like me????? I’ll show him!” Is a very adult, sane way to dissect human relationships. *Homer slowly backing away into a bush gif*
Scott was very impressive during his crime-doing. He showed off his burglary skills AND his smarty pants at the same time. He had to recreate Hank’s fingerprint, and use science to blow open the super-special safe. But after all that, there was nothing inside but an old “motorcycle suit.” So he took it and off he went into the night.
BUT WAIT… Hank was watching the whole thing! He set up the job in order to test Scott’s prowess. And the test wasn’t over…
I guess Hank just KNEW somehow that Scott wouldn’t be able to resist taking and subsequently putting on the suit, because as soon as he did, Hank’s voice started to give him sassy, vague instructions on how to go through an obstacle course. There was a bathtub, a drain, a record, a dance floor, a vacuum, a rat and a car roof. This test was pretty funny in that nothing Scott did was particularly impressive, other than not dying. He tried to return the suit but got arrested in the process.
Meanwhile, Darren wasn’t having a lot of luck shrinking organic matter. He plooped a cute little lamb into some goop, then just shrugged at Hope and was all, “next!”
Surefire way to make sure the audience hates your villain? Have them murder an animal.
Anyway, after being guilted by his cop husband-in-law, Scott got a visit from his “lawyer”.
Hank posed as Scott’s lawyer and gave him some more vague instructions/promises, then sent some ants into his cell with the suit for Scott to escape. The best part of this scene was the fact that Scott did not question the ants blocking out the camera. Did he just think the precinct was really behind on their exterminations?
I don’t know why, but this moment was very funny to me. This cop was VERY surprised, and then stuck his head closer, in case Scott was just hiding behind one of the bars.
Anyway, what followed was a fun and daring escape on the back of a flying ant, and then Scott passed out because it had been a very long day, you know?
Hope stood over him while he slept because she didn’t trust the criminal who had broken into her childhood home (how UNREASONABLE). She woke him up all, “wakey wakey eggs and bakey,” and hilariously left him in a room with a bunch of bullet ants (whose sting is hella painful, apparently).
Hank told Scott that he’s been interested in him since he Robin Hooded a big corporation. Hope wasn’t as on-board with the plan. She wanted to just do it herself, since she already knew how to do everything they were about to teach Scott to do, and GIRL HAD A POINT. I know they explain this away that Scott is “expendable”, and Hope is Hank’s precious daughter, but damn you guys, Ant Man is hugely unnecessary, I’M SORRY.
Hank showed Scott his secret lab and gave all the dirt on his relationship with Darren and Hope, as well as all the stakes of the movie. Namely that everything will be horrible if the suit is sold to weapons dealers.
Then Hank dropped the dad card. “It’s not about saving our world, it’s about saving theirs.” Scott comments on what a good speech that was, and he ain’t wrong (and that line should be used in every global warming debate ever).
Then it was time for…
Hope wasn’t digging the training montage as much as the boys, because, as she demonstrated by blocking out the lights in the room with ants, she can already do everything Scott can’t (you guys, that room had windows and it was during the day, how many bugs did Hope summon, I’m scared).
She fled to her car and Scott followed so they could pep-talk at each other, and then Scott used the thought of his daughter to focus on the ants. When they came back inside, Hank told them the real story of how her mom died.
They were trying to stop a missile aimed at the USA, but couldn’t get through the casing, so mommy dearest double-shrunk and went subatomic, destroying the missile, and was never seen again *wink*.
So now that everyone liked each other, the montage turned very positive! He could control the ants, he could shrink through a keyhole, and he is an amazing fighter! Yay! And now that Scott was finished his rigorous three-day Ant Man training, he was ready to go on a mission to retrieve a whatsit from an old SHIELD facility.
So many questions. Firstly – their sensors can pick up on bug-sized activity? How often do their sensors go off??? Bugs are EVERYWHERE! Secondly – was Falcon just, like, guarding the facility? Or did he have his own shit to do that day, and just happened to be there at the same time as Scott? If that’s so, why would they send THE FALCON to investigate a bug-sized sensor trip? Do they not have guards? That seems like a day-job-guard type of task. It’s not like Falcon isn’t a busy guy, you know?? He’s a legit Avenger now! He’s on the hunt for the Winter Soldier! Boy doesn’t have time to go checking on sensor trips!
This was still fun, though. I like Falcon. And let’s be honest, if we were going to get a cameo from anyone, it was going to be him.
Anyway, Scott got the thing and off he popped to Hank’s house where they spoke loudly of their plans and revelled in their success, but UH OH…
Darren had invited himself over for a slumber party! Did he hear everything?? Did he know Hope was there??? What a tense pickle! He told Hank that he cracked the serum and that he’s the best for always and forever, then he peaced out after inviting Hank to a party to celebrate the awesomeness of his glorious self.
Then he called Hope and told her that he’s going to triple security. Now… okay, fine. But, later we learn that he DID see Hope there. That he just wasn’t “ready” to kill her then. But… why call her after? Why tell her about the tripled security? You know what, let’s blame it on his broken brain. Boy is cray.
Because they were now tipped off about the increased security, they needed to give Luis, Dave and Kurt bigger roles.
Scott showed the Swarm Squad the suit and what it can do, and their reactions were pretty great. “This is the work of gypsies!” Haha, these criminals are adorable.
Scott was feeling anxious so he went to go visit his daughter in the night, because watching people sleep without their knowledge is a legit theme of this movie.
Then it was heist time! Everyone had a role to play. Luis punched out a dude and turned down the water so Scott could get in through the main, Hope switched out a gadget, Scott rode some ants like a riverboat, and Dave stole a cop car.
Scott’s husband-in-law was there to question Hank about Scott’s magic escape from prison, but immediately forgot that quest in favour of arresting our boys in the van (after Dave accidentally set the horn off), almost turning Scott into tiny waffle fries because he couldn’t reach the button that turns off the lasers. But he did! And it’s a good thing to, because-
oh shoot, nevermind…
Darren was hip to the wise, so he trapped Scott and proceeded to attempt some murder. Of course, Hope being a total badass, she got a hold of a gun and they had a standoff where she informed him that the drug has turned him bonkers. He was all, “nuh uh!” then shot Hank (in the shoulder, don’t worry he’s fine) and skedaddled with the yellowjacket suit.
Scott went after Darren, but first he had to get past some goons, which was a super fun fight, and Luis saved the day, which was crazy adorable, busting in all, “hey Scott, you might actually catch him if you stop fighting in slo-mo!” (I may be paraphrasing)
So Scott hopped on Antony and flew after Darren, who started shooting at him.
Anyway, Scott hopped onto another ant (RIP Antony) caught up with the helicopter and they fought a bunch, and Darren was all, “you’re so dumb,” but Scott was like, “nuh uh, YOU’RE dumb,” then he set off the charges that imploded the entire building, destroying all of Darren’s research and inventions and office equipment, and probably, like, his favourite pen and maybe pictures of his friends and stuff.
Are… all the people from the helicopter… dead now? There were like four dudes! This movie is darker than we think. Anyway, Scott and Darren fought in the helicopter (killing four dudes), and then also in a suitcase that fell into a pool during a family cookout.
Scott ping-ponged Darren into a bug-zapper and then was immediately arrested by his husband-in-law.
Were we not supposed to like Paxton? Because I really liked Paxton. Paxton was a good, honourable man, and an awesome step-dad, just trying to do his job and take care of his family. #TeamPaxton.
Then a call came over the radio about some shit going down at their address, so my man Paxton turned the car around and went straight home.
Darren had just finished reading the cliche villain handbook, and decided to follow chapter 6, subsection D; after being defeated, always threaten the hero’s family in order to ‘teach them a lesson’.
I live for puns. Anyway, they had an epic battle in Cassie’s bedroom, fighting on a toy train and enlarging Thomas the tank engine. Just a super fun, delightful romp that will destroy that child’s psyche, no big deal.
It seemed the only way to defeat Darren was to disable his shrink-suit, so Scott double-shrunk and went subatomic, destroying the yellow jacket regulator, making Darren shrink-implode.
Scott was trapped in Sub-World, but then he popped one of the big-em-up disks into his regular, which I guess made it work again, so he was able to ploop himself back into existence. Yay!
Then it was time for the happy ending, where Scott and Cassie hug a bunch, Scott, Hank and Hope discuss his vacay to Subatomic Land, and Scott and Hope smooch. Oh, and Scott is now totally cool with his family and husband-in-law. It was very nice.
Sam was looking for him! Ah Scott, you’re in now! Good for you, buddy. Good for you.
The end credits scene was stolen from Civil War, with Sam and Steve needing help, and Sam saying, “I know a guy.” As far as end-credit scenes go, this one wasn’t awesome. I suppose it teased Ant Man’s presence in that movie, but that had already been teased by the final moments of this movie. I suspect they had a release date coming up, and needed something to put at the end of the credits, and this worked in a pinch.
- Paul Rudd; everyone’s harmless white-boy crush.
- This is the first time since The Avengers (with a movie happening on our planet), that I’ll buy it that the Avengers didn’t get involved. Hank Pym not only isn’t associated with the Avengers, but he’s also very distrustful of SHIELD and the government in general. Plus, this battle wasn’t plastered all over the news, and it didn’t destroy immense amounts of public property.
- This movie is fun and silly, but it also says something about a broken societal system that essentially forces ex-cons to go back to crime. TOPICAL!
- I have never related to anyone more than when Paxton screamed at the giant ant running towards him.
- So Carson (Hydra guy who Hank punched in the face that one time) made off with the Pym Particle. Does that mean we’ll see him again as a villain? Ant Man 3 anyone?
- Hope and Hank are very bad spies.
- Can ants really get into a car that easily, because that shit is UNSETTLING. This movie gave me nightmares, you guys, legitimately.
- Bechdale Test: Could go either way. The site fails this movie, but some say it squeaks by with a short exchange between Cassie and Maggie Lang.
- We really had to suspend the shit out of our disbelief with this movie;
- Shouldn’t the baby-tank have had the same mass as the big-boy tank?
- If so, how did Hank carry it around?
- If Scott has the same mass as when he’s a big boy, then how does he ride a flying ant? Or run atop a toy train? Or on guns?
- Tanks are durable, but wouldn’t falling from a building in a tank still hurt a lot? Hank was SHOT, right? He and Hope should be more injured.
- Scott was an electrical engineer, right? That’s how he was Robin Hooding with those companies? So why is he a master of parkour?
- Why can the team only communicate with ants? Why did ants become their main deal? Isn’t Scott the size of most bugs? I know he’s not called Bug-Man, but wouldn’t they want to utilize the technology of insect-communication to its fullest?
- For that matter, HOW does their insect-communication device only zero in on ants? Why aren’t there other creepy crawlies barging in all, “I got your message, what’s up?”
- Where’d that faulty shrinking-gun go? THAT’s the most dangerous weapon in the whole movie! It’s the perfect crime!
- Hank’s plan to test Scott by having his cleaner spread rumours was very dumb. What if Scott didn’t do it? What if OTHER criminals heard about it instead? What if they tried to rob Hank on a different day, and caught him unawares in his underoos?
- What if Scott never tried on the suit after the robbery was a bust? What if he didn’t take it? Or threw it out?
- What happens to their atoms when they go subatomic? Shrinking only pulls them closer together, right? It doesn’t make them go away. There has to be a limit to how small they can go, right?
- And how can they complete their tasks after going subatomic? If he’s so small that he gets lost in floating molecules, then how did he disable Darren’s suit? How did Mama Pym disable the missile?
- If Scott was INSIDE Darren’s suit when HE went subatomic, then was Scott sub-sub-atomic?
- K but seriously, Falcon ain’t got no time to be investigating bug-related sensor trips! And who was he talking to on his earpiece? Why didn’t THEY come help?
- K but REALLY seriously, Scott was superfluous – Hope should have been- you know what? Screw it. We’re done here. *shuts off brain*
- Shouldn’t the baby-tank have had the same mass as the big-boy tank?
- Was this anyone’s favourite MCU movie? Show yourselves. This is a safe space.