Ant-Man (2015)
July 16, 2015 7:07 PM - Subscribe

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (105 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dude! Dudette! Here's a few spoiler-free impressions!

This was decidedly and unexpectedly fun, go see it! Paul Rudd works as the wise cracking hero, a sort of Tony Stark lite, while Michael Douglas does the aging mentor very well and Evangeline Lilly does the perfect 'smart daughter who's still angry with dad very good reasons'. Corey Stoll is a bit rote as the insane bad guy, but it's a solid performance that gives others something to bounce off.

The shrinking effects are well done and believable.

There's a lot connections to other Marvel movies, but unlike the Avengers, it's works much better here, probably because most of the scenes are lighter and make more sense, instead of going grim and dark. Rather than being crammed in, you feel like there's a larger world filled with other super beings and groups.

There was a lot anger among fans about the lack of Janet Van Dyke, aka the Wasp. It was announced that she was dead before the movie began, which was off-putting. But she does put in an appearance in a flashback and her death is thankfully not related to some sort of violence on Hank's part. Suffice to say it's handled very well, though. But yes, another larger role for a female in the movie would have nice. In my opinion, Marvel is working with the original male dominated teams and heroes and slowly growing into more progressive times.

Yes, it's not an Edgar Wright film and I'm guessing that the various connections to the larger Marvel Universe were off-putting to him, hence his leaving. There's no question many would have loved to have seen his version, but Paul Reed does a fine job. He's not Wright, but again, it's solidly enjoyable.

Swarma: There's a scene right after initial credits and one at the very end of the credits that clearly is a part of Captain America: Civil War.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 PM on July 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Peyton Reed, not Paul!
posted by infinitewindow at 7:49 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just got home from seeing it - it really was a lot of fun. (I never got around to seeing Age of Ultron, was so put off by everything I heard about it, just couldn't bring myself to go. I wasn't planning on seeing Antman until I heard the buzz, but, my brother is here from out of town and really wanted to see it opening night.) It's still annoying that the Wasp is relegated to an after-credit "maybe she'll be a secondary character in a future movie" sequence, but overall I think it had less dude-bro misogyny than Guardians of the Galaxy at least.

I loved all of the effects, but how great was the combination of Michael Douglas CGI-de-agification plus Hayley Atwell old-age make-up in Pym's "I quit!" scene?
posted by oh yeah! at 8:11 PM on July 16, 2015


Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if the original wasp and yellowjacket show up eventually. Maybe in Dr. Strange? But they've clearly left that option open.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 PM on July 16, 2015


Janet Van Dyne isn't dead! She's stuck in the Microverse for the sequel! I love you, Marvel, all is forgiven!
posted by nicebookrack at 9:05 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


And Hank Pym definitely mentions the Microverse making reality/time all wonky while you're inside, so Wasp Janet could emerge in the sequel without having aged a day, which will make things entertainingly awkward with her and Hope for the sequel. Michael Douglas proclaimed in an interview that he'd like his wife Catherine Zeta Jones to play Janet, which would...actually not be bad casting, now I think on it.

I took my parents with me to this one, lured by the presence of Michael Douglas, and they enjoyed it more than any of the other MCU films I've dragged them to. The ugly rabbit doll and Scott apologetically beating the snot out of Falcon were among the highlights.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:17 PM on July 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


This movie had a unique structure for an MU movie. There was very little action early on, but it promised a big and fun climax in the third act. I thought it delivered. Most other MU movies get really bogged down in a boring actionfest in the third act, but there was a lot of humor and whimsy in the fight between Lang and Yellowjacket. Simple cuts to what the battle would look like to a normal-sized human were always entertaining.

It was a good movie, but there's still plenty to criticize. All the press for this movie is about how it's refreshing to have a low stakes Marvel movie. I think this reflects that they're worried about how the movie will be received. In the movie, the stakes are actually high: the characters literally talk about saving the world, as they're trying to keep powerful weapons out of the hands of Hydra. Is the movie big scale or small scale? It doesn't know and it isn't consistent. The motivations of the characters and the themes of the movie are all a bit of a mess. (Any movie where people say that they're after "redemption" is clueless and directionless.) Fortunately, I don't think it matters too much.

I wish there were more scenes of Lang just taking in what it's like to be so small. He never really explored his environment. I would have liked some Spielbergian shots of Lang expressing wonder at a new and awesome landscape. There was none of that, and it was sorely lacking. (But maybe the third act was only successful because the film teased the audience and held off on showing too much of the microworld.)

The villain was really hammy. He reminded me a lot of Will Ferrell's character from Zoolander.
posted by painquale at 10:19 PM on July 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed Cross's cheesy ham even while I was annoyed by his villainous lack of perspective. You're obsessed with making expensive shrinking soldier supersuits for military groups when you already have a small handheld weapon that can reduce your living target to a bloody smear on the tile in SECONDS? How are you this stupid?!

BONUS
Cross: "Our tiny Yellowjacket soldiers will be invisible to detection!!!"
Falcon: *has never seen a mini-person; immediately spots tiny Scott anyway*

Overall I loved the movie though.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:38 PM on July 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Any movie where people say that they're after "redemption" is clueless and directionless.

Max and Furiosa would disagree with that line thought.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:19 AM on July 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Redemption was mostly incidental in Mad Max; Furiosa's quote about redemption was overly pithy and movie-dumb and against the otherwise cool and smart vibe of the film. Max was a cipher and his past and need for redemption hardly played a role in the movie. If they had played it up any more and paid anything other than lip service to that theme, it would have been detrimental to the movie as a whole.

But anyway. Ant-Man!
posted by painquale at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2015


Well, now we know how the rules of film work and will never make that mistake again.
posted by maxsparber at 7:00 AM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The interesting thing about Ant-Man's supposed redemption is that he really doesn't need it. His daughter already adores him. His crime was stealing back money from other other people and returning it to them. Sure, his ex-wife and her husband don't think much of him, but that's not a big deal.

In fact, the only reason he takes up the theft of Pym's house is to have money to send child support so he can see his daughter. Hank is the one searching for redemption and using Scott to get it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 AM on July 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it was quite interesting that the main emotional arc of change is between Hank and Hope, with Scott mostly there as an emotional springboard for them to bounce off. Scott's ostensibly the protagonist, but story-wise Hank and Hope each have enough weight to make them tritagonists.

Scott doesn't do that pre-climax crisis-of-faith thing of wavering in his commitment. Once Hank presents the chance to stop Cross as a potential threat to Cassie's future (and the rest of the world, but who cares?), Scott is 100% on board and driven.

The most fascinating aspect to me is that Scott recognizes immediately, and points out to Hope, that her father put Scott in the suit instead of her because Scott is expendable. And Scott is completely fine with this. From his POV, of course a father is going to put his daughter first: Hank in putting another person at risk to protect Hope, and Scott in taking that risk to protect Cassie. Scott goes into the heist expecting to succeed or die trying, with no middle ground.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:46 AM on July 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


The interesting thing about Ant-Man's supposed redemption is that he really doesn't need it. His daughter already adores him.

Yeah, that's perceptive. I think the problem with "redemption" as a movie theme is that it's something that screenwriters use to pitch movies to execs. There are certain basic questions every screenwriter needs to answer in order to get a movie greenlit, one of which is "What's the hero's motivation?" "Redemption" is usually a dumb stock answer that passes as acceptable. It's not that no good movie can have redemption as a theme. It's that pretty much no one would say outside of a Hollywood movie would say that they are motivated by redemption, yet this been codified into an acceptable type of motivation by the industry apparatus, so it pops up everywhere where motivations would otherwise be murky and unclear.

But it's fine for motivations to be murky and unclear, despite what Save the Cat and other paint-by-numbers screenwriting guides say. Why does Scott Lang wear the Ant-Man suit? I think his motivations are unclear to himself: it's probably just that he's swept up in the whole thing, he likes the people who are his allies, he doesn't have many other options, he thinks it's cool, and he wants to do something bigger than working for Baskin Robbins. But it's okay that he doesn't have a one-word answer! His actions are consistent and realistic. Most of us don't have motivations that are crystal clear to ourselves and can be answered in one word.

Although Lang says he's fighting for redemption, as you point out, he's really not. It's a line put in for industry purposes in order to get the picture made.
posted by painquale at 9:12 AM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's a question about the plot. Why were the undercover police going to arrest Hank Pym? I must have missed something because I didn't understand what was going on there.
posted by painquale at 9:20 AM on July 17, 2015


They recognized him as Scott's "Lawyers" and since Scott disappeared, they really wanted to question him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:25 AM on July 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, that's right! Mystery solved.
posted by painquale at 9:45 AM on July 17, 2015


Scott's motivation: VENGEANCE FOR ANTONY
posted by nicebookrack at 10:19 AM on July 17, 2015 [20 favorites]


The interesting thing about Ant-Man's supposed redemption is that he really doesn't need it. His daughter already adores him.

Not seen the film, but...

Some people don't think much of me, some people seem to think quite highly of me. I'd tend to agree with the former group, but to me "redemption" would be to be the person the people who think the best of me imagine I am.

Looking forward to the film. It sounds like fun.
posted by Grangousier at 4:39 PM on July 17, 2015


I enjoyed it. I thought it was a nice palate cleanser after Age of Ultron, which I found kind of ponderous. I hope Marvel can find room now and again for films like this that are a little lighter--they don't all have to be Winter Soldier, you know?

I really like what they did with Hank Pym and I hope they're able to bring back Michael Douglas for a few more films. I think he'd be an interesting addition to the MCU as a sort of "elder statesman" type.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:00 PM on July 17, 2015


Just got back and really enjoyed it, in a laid back kind of way. Not a ton of edge of your seat thrills but it was exciting and funny. I found the lighter touch appealing, especially coming after Ultron, which was so big and lurching and made me tired and also made me wonder if that was going to be it with me and MCU movies. I liked so many people in the movie, it was great. The shrinking/growing effects were a lot of fun (best Thomas the Tank Engine cameo ever?) and Paul Rudd is super appealing (and, you know, can get it.)
posted by PussKillian at 9:23 PM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I liked this one much more than I expected to. Ultron was kind of a frantic mess; I liked the focus and humor of Ant-Man much more. Paul Rudd was funny and relatable.

I hope someday Judy Greer gets the big role she deserves, though. She keeps showing up in blockbusters as a mom who is almost incidental to the plot (see also: Jurassic World) and I'd love to see her get something meaty.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:15 PM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just read an EW article that says there appears to be another body floating around in that sub atomic dimension. Not surprising, but neat. Might have to go see again!

Also, the final scene with Cap and the gang was pulled from Civil War dailies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 AM on July 18, 2015


That final scene has taken over parts of my Tumblr feed. If I see another weepy post about Bucky being a sweet cinnamon roll, too good too pure for this world, I'm going to hork on my keyboard.
posted by PussKillian at 9:01 AM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


*hastily deletes weepy Bucky comment*
posted by nicebookrack at 11:15 AM on July 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well here, I will relent. If you don't call him your son, I'll refrain from any and all horking.
posted by PussKillian at 11:22 AM on July 18, 2015


*hastily creates a new post just about Bucky*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:47 AM on July 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Enjoyable fanservice: the camera POV shot of Hope's long lingering gaze at shirtless Scott wiping off his flawless abs.

Audience & Hope: oh noooo, the useless ex-con is a hotass
posted by nicebookrack at 3:04 PM on July 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


You and I are on the same wavelength, nicebookrack. I have not yet found a gif. But I will. Oh, I will.

I really did like the moment in the car when Scott was like, "Your dad is cool with me being in the suit because I'm expendable" because you could understand Pym's motivation, but then it made the Wasp suit reveal and Hope's reaction extra satisfying. I also think that Janet has clearly been set up to come back. People have said that her silhouette is visible as Scott is falling through that quantum level but I missed it.
posted by PussKillian at 3:52 PM on July 18, 2015


That was a lot of fun, I probably enjoyed it more than than any recent MCU films because it mostly had such a light tone.
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 PM on July 18, 2015


That was de-frigging-lightful.

Also, best use of The Cure in a movie EVER.
posted by Kitteh at 7:12 PM on July 18, 2015 [7 favorites]




You're just the best, nicebookrack.
posted by PussKillian at 7:43 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bucky is nice and all, but the true pure sweet cinnamon roll around here is teeny gap-toothed Cassie Lang, who is clearly already plotting her future superhero career in the Young Avengers. Give it up, Scott, it's a family business now.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:57 PM on July 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's still annoying that the Wasp is relegated to an after-credit "maybe she'll be a secondary character in a future movie" sequence

Yeah, that was a huge disappointment - the biggest in the film. How much better would this movie have been if, instead of teasing a super-heroine in the next movie, the filmmakers had actually provided a super-heroine in the current one? Say, by having the Wasp's sharp daughter put on the new suit and rescue Ant-Man from the microverse and maybe see her mother trapped or something?

Much. It would have been much better. That kiss would have actually meant something.

I mean, I liked it (as a scrawny kid the shrinky & speedy heroes were always my faves so I'm predisposed) and enjoyed the small but important stakes, but (as a scrawny adult who's seen way too many of these movies) at times it felt sloppily underwritten and, as painquale noted above, didn't give us enough of Scott's experiences at the micro-level, which is what I really wanted to see. That fight in the briefcase was a too-rapid mess, e.g., but the scenes with the ants were great and I wanted more.

I think a good chunk of the problem was the odd structure of the plot; the hero gets handed the suit and powers from someone else who's pulling his strings all the way, which makes the story resonate much less than others where the hero's investment in his or her power is more direct. A story where Scott stole the suit on his own, used it badly for a while like Eric O'Grady in Robert Kirman's great Irredeemable Ant-Man mini-series, and then grew into the hero role to save his family or friends, would have been much more interesting, I think.

But it was fun, and Paul Rudd is cute, and the fight with the Falcon was a perfect "find an excuse for the heroes to battle each other" moment. So, a good dumb supermovie.
posted by mediareport at 10:56 PM on July 18, 2015


The rumor was that Edgar Wright had his falling out because of Disney meddling and ... wait for it ... product placement.

And indeed, this movie has some of the most blatant product placements we've seen in the MCU -- Baskin-Robbins and Thomas the Tank Engine. There's plenty else, of course, and they're in every movie, but these two really stood out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:14 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Thomas the Tank Engine product placement, if it was indeed product placement and not something a screenwriter came up with and thought was worth pursuing, is funny and I organic and not at all aggressively forced. I liked it a lot. The movie would be worse without the Thomas the Tank Engine scene.

Same with the Siri cameo. Did Apple have to pay for that, or did the screenwriters know that they needed Siri for that joke and so they just asked Apple for permission? I'm not sure whether every obviously branded product in a movie is a paid-for advertisement. But maybe I'm just naive. Maybe Apple paid for a Siri-based joke and only then did Disney write the briefcase scene.
posted by painquale at 5:09 AM on July 19, 2015


The rumor was that Edgar Wright had his falling out because of Disney meddling and ... wait for it ... product placement.

Well, my cousin's sister friend has a husband who works on movie and he said it was because Wright wanted the story to be about an ant that turns into a man.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 AM on July 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even the Mighty Mouse bows to the pressures of Big Thomas. Does Toby have to cut a fool?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:11 AM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Big Thomas makes a literal appearance.
posted by painquale at 6:20 AM on July 19, 2015


I liked this more than any Edgar Wright movie other than Scott Pilgrim so I'm not sure how he would have done it better.
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 AM on July 19, 2015


I'm not sure whether every obviously branded product in a movie is a paid-for advertisement.

Yes, every obviously branded product is paid for. Baskin-Robbins paid. Thomas the Tank Engine paid. The hacker guy's laptop was a Dell (I think); they paid.

Ford likely paid to have the Crown Victoria name-checked, and they don't even make that car anymore.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:28 AM on July 19, 2015


I'm pretty sure that anytime you see a product in a movie or on TV, it's there because someone paid for it to be there. Otherwise, you'd just see some generic fake product label. They actually put different products in for different countries sometimes. The references to Taco Bell in Demolition Man were changed to Pizza Hut outside of the US.
posted by octothorpe at 10:06 AM on July 19, 2015


There's a big difference to me between a product being in a movie because a company was the highest bidder and a product being in a movie because it was just too-perfect for the scene and was probably there in the original script (even if the company behind the brand later paid for its inclusion). Baskin Robbins could have been any company. The Siri and the Thomas the Tank Engine cameos were almost necessary for those scenes to work as well as they do. I bet that a screenwriter wrote in Thomas because the image of a battle on a Thomas engine delighted him or her, but he or she didn't specifically have Baskin Robbins in mind at all.
posted by painquale at 11:38 AM on July 19, 2015


the best part of my viewing was being told reproachfully by a small child in the seat next to me, as i was laughing at the first time of that whole conceit of how Luis (Michael Pena) would tell his stories, that "that was not funny."

that was good dumb fun, overall! Peyton Reed is fairly workmanlike, but compared to the atrocious handling of the action direction (among other execution problems) in Age of Ultron, he's practically an auteur. Same comment applies to the script as well.

And finally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe: we even save the henchmen. Was anyone else struck by, thanks to the cumulative effect of all the movies, how conscious MCU has become of collateral damage? Heck, even the final explosion of PymTech/Cross Technologies was an implosion - politest destruction of private property ever.
posted by cendawanita at 1:26 PM on July 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Loved it on the whole, but have Nerd Problems with the inconsistent application of Pym Particle physics... if the whole deal with Ant-Man and the suit is that size changes but not mass (punches like a "bullet", etc.), how does Hank have a shrunken tank that doesn't weigh two tons? How come the giant Thomas doesn't have the structural integrity of styrofoam? Etc.
posted by Shepherd at 5:11 PM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shrunken human movies never make any physics sense, you can't think too hard about it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:17 PM on July 19, 2015


Pym Particles are basically Marvel's Speedforce. They both run on plot power, and they make sizechangers / speedsters ridiculously overpowered once you think about them at all critically. Marvel has the Ant-Family, DC has the Flash Family, Marvel has Quicksilver, who is not actually that speedy...etc., etc.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:37 PM on July 19, 2015


Pym Particles are basically Marvel's Speedforce.

Yep, and in both cases the power is essentially limited by the possibility that if it's used to the fullest extent, the user may end up vanishing a puff of vague physics. Merging with the fabric of spacetime, or the quantum foam, or the probability matrix, or some damn thing.

Just saw this this afternoon and I liked it. I liked it a bit more than "Age of Ultron", although I will say that I'm bemused by the number of reviews I've read describing this as a return to form for Marvel, like they've been in a slump or something. AoU wasn't as good as the first "Avengers" film, no argument there, but right before that was "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Winter Soldier". Which were not that long ago, and both of which the general consensus held to be awesome.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:58 PM on July 19, 2015


Am I the only one who liked Age of Ultron?
It would've been a lot better with an extra half hour of breathing room to explain Thor's vision quest, help spell out Ultron's rapidly shifting motivations at different points in the plot (exactly when he gave up on humans), build tension etc, but as the middle piece in a trilogy (quatrology?) showing the high point of a band of heroes who can only be even slightly threatened by their own hubris, it works pretty well. The next Avengers movie is about a guy who can go back in time and punch their parents through the earth's core and into the next star over. In the comics there's a scene where he literally snaps and one half of the universe disappears. People are gonna die. It'll be sweet.

Anyway, Ant Man. Heavily integrated into the MCU, but every reference served the plot and/or built up the characters. Even the falcon sequence was an enjoyable breather that showed the main trio working as a team before the true test. This integration is the future of superhero movies, both marvel and DC, and I for one am stoked.

Apparently the Falcon sequence was thrown in by the screenwriters after Wright departed, not by the marvel heads, and had nothing to do with his exit from the film. They just thought it'd be a fun fight to watch.

P.S. this is the best commercial
posted by sandswipe at 10:53 PM on July 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


best commercial

go home, Ant-Men, you're drunk
posted by nicebookrack at 4:16 AM on July 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who liked Age of Ultron?

It was good, but in light of Ant-Man, it clearly suffered it how it handled connections to the larger MCU. Hell, AM even managed to slip in a Spider-Man reference amongst others and it all felt very natural and smooth. AOE, especially Thor's arc, was extremely hamfisted.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 AM on July 20, 2015


My favorite part was that his ex-wife was not stupid or spiteful. When she laid out reasonable boundaries about getting a job and an apartment. Also new boyfriend/husband wasn't a monster that the hero needed to "save" her from. No lingering romance.

For whatever reason I loved those details.

Also, that's not a key-chain being an obscure comic reference to Wasp's origin story that involved borrowing a tank.
posted by French Fry at 6:34 AM on July 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I came away from Age of Ultron liking bits of it, but with none of the cheerful high I had when leaving Avengers. And although I'm not trying to, I find myself forgetting it exists.

French Fry, I liked that too - no demonization of the ex or her new fiancee.
posted by PussKillian at 6:40 AM on July 20, 2015


I liked Age of Ultron but it was so overstuffed trying to get moments for all the characters and throw in bits of fan service that it lost a lot of narrative focus. Ant-Man is nicely scaled with tight little story.
posted by octothorpe at 6:59 AM on July 20, 2015


I appreciated the larger MCU references, but was a bit confused about the end-of-credits tag with Cap/Falcon/Bucky. That really belonged in the next Cap movie, not the end of this one. It felt like something was missing there, in spite of the "I know a guy" callback. It also kind of shortchanged Cap's reconciliation with Bucky, since he apparently just kinda shows up at Avengers HQ without any buildup.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:04 AM on July 20, 2015


That really belonged in the next Cap movie, not the end of this one.

Heh, that scene was taken from the dailies of the next Cap movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Strange Interlude, IIRC, I read somewhere that that end cap scene was something they put in last minute from upcoming Cap movie. It was like a daily or something.
posted by Kitteh at 7:08 AM on July 20, 2015


Kitteh, I don't know about all that, but it was directed by the Russo brothers, who are shooting the Cap film right now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 AM on July 20, 2015


Again, it's why I can't recall where I read it because while it was neat to see it, it felt very unfinished and shoehorned in.
posted by Kitteh at 7:39 AM on July 20, 2015


I liked the in media res feeling of the post-credits scene. The dialogue is open to dissection, but there's clearly Stuff Going Down with this scene in the middle. By connecting this movie with the Cap/Falcon scene, when Scott shows up mid-Civil War, it'll feel less abrupt "And then Ant-Man appeared out of nowhere!"

It's interesting that Falcon's involvement probably puts Ant-Man on the Captain America side of the Tony/Steve Civil War split, since various sketchy rumors had claimed Ant-Man would be on the pro-reg side. But Scott is likely siding with Falcon ("I fought an Avenger and didn't die!!"), and Hank Pym made it clear he will not belong to a club with a Stark as a member. [ROT13 possible Civil War spoiler] V jbaqre vs Unax jvyy zrrg Fgrir naq/be Gbal ng Crttl Pnegre'f shareny?
posted by nicebookrack at 7:47 AM on July 20, 2015


Again, it's why I can't recall where I read it because while it was neat to see it, it felt very unfinished and shoehorned in

Yeah, I think it was post on the blue that mentioned something about filming a movie in Atlanta, but not sure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:51 AM on July 20, 2015


Here's Peyton Reed talking about how the AM credits scene came from the Civil War dailies.

Both Ant-Man and Civil War were mostly filmed in and around Atlanta for tax reasons, which has made me bitterly jealous of all my friends still in the city. (Reason #3284 to find ATL job: stalking Marvel productions) It would be nice to someday have such a movie actually SET in Atlanta, instead of pretending that those flat sprawling suburbs are totally part of San Francisco, uh-huh.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:58 AM on July 20, 2015


When I saw the Atlanta and Georgia stuff in the credits, I was like, HEY HOMETOWN WHAT WHAT. I think I might have some film production friends that had done some work; I know they have for The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries.
posted by Kitteh at 8:33 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


all that just reminds me to be amazed again at how well-integrated the larger MCU references were in this one, compared to AOU... it's like... the scriptwriters actually... cared to make it all hang together. imagine that!

/still bitter but mostly facepalmy
posted by cendawanita at 9:24 AM on July 20, 2015


Whedon didn't want some of the MCU references included in Ultron, but was forced to include them, especially the Thor one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:28 AM on July 20, 2015


I know, and after watching AOU the resentment of having to put them in was extremely apparent to me.
posted by cendawanita at 9:29 AM on July 20, 2015


and I personally find it a bit rich that a man whose prior contracts included writing for long-established comic titles and episodic television find it so offputting to actually do the team player part of writing for a larger franchise.
posted by cendawanita at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2015


This piece at HitFix sheds a bit more light on the final post-credits stinger with Cap, Bucky, and Falcon. I'd honestly forgotten about a particular reveal that happens in The Winter Soldier, and I'm willing to bet that practically everybody in the audience forgot about it too, so I'm hoping that Civil War comes with a short refresher.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:59 AM on July 20, 2015


I am still irrationally cranky that Joss based AoU Hawkeye on Ultimate Hawkeye, thereby A)cheating Scott Lang of his uniqueness as the first MCU Avenger who's also a father and B)drawing inspiration from an AU Bullseye-hybrid version of Hawkeye that nobody likes instead of the regular 616 character with his own recent critically-acclaimed title series.

Because I am contrary, I actually quite liked Laura Barton and the Barton Farm adventures, so most of my crankiness is meta-crankiness, especially about A.

I still want Scott and Clint swapping "my kid is cuter than your kid" stories to annoy the other Avengers, though.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:10 AM on July 20, 2015


I'd honestly forgotten about a particular reveal that happens in The Winter Soldier, and I'm willing to bet that practically everybody in the audience forgot about it too

Dude, Bucky killed Tony's parents, how could anyone forget thaOHHHH right, not everyone has spent their free time since 2014 mainlining sad brainwashed Bucky fanfic, I forget that sometimes. Yes, regular people who have not obsessively dissected tiny references on Tumblr probably missed that throwaway line in the movie.

Anyway, yeah, if that conflict is not a focal point of the Tony/Bucky/Steve drama in Civil War, they're leaving money on the table.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:21 AM on July 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oooh, did Cold War fighters Ant-Man Hank and Wasp Janet ever run up against the Winter Soldier?
posted by nicebookrack at 10:24 AM on July 20, 2015


Surely they worked with Peggy Carter!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2015


We saw this last night. I went in knowing nothing more than what was in the trailers. It was fun for an evening, but for me, the whole thing fell apart when Hope is clearly better for the job than Scott, and isn't allowed to do it because PATERNALISM. She's a grown-ass woman, she can make her own life decisions, and it feels really weird in 2015 that the movie sets her up to be so much more skilled than Scott, but keeps her out of the action for no better reason than her dad says so.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:26 PM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Hope being sidelined by Trinity was hugely frustrating. Scott's "I'm more expandable than you" explanation was actually great in-story logic (Hank Pym is a secretive stubborn manipulative control freak? QUELLE SURPRISE), but on a metatextual level it's obnoxious handwaving.

The end of Ant-Man suggests both that Hope will be stepping up with her own Wasp suit and that Janet is probably still alive ...and yet director Peyton Reed has already confirmed that Hope won't be in Civil War, so the earliest we can probably hope to see Hope or (definitely) Janet is years from now in the Ant-Man sequel...if there is one.

So once again I'm expected to hope that a movie (which I loved!) about a white male superhero (whom I nonetheless love!) is successful enough to warrant a sequel that may give more emphasis to the white female superhero/es (whom I also love!)—when in reality any real Ant-Man success will be chalked up in Hollywood as "white male superhero succeeds again, keep 'em coming!" YOU ARE WHY I DRINK, SUPERHERO MOVIES.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:58 PM on July 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am also meanly glad in retrospect that director Edgar Wright departed Ant-Man despite most then proclaiming the project DOOOOOOMED, since apparently Wright's version of the script had barely any women at ALL: no Hope and little if any Janet. And it's been entertaining to watch many doom-predictors who turned out to like the movie trip over themselves to give Wright all the credit.
"oh this scene was so funny and great, I can definitely see Wright's influence on the script there"
"actually here's an article describing how Peyton Reed & Co. added that entire sequence by themselves"
"LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU"
posted by nicebookrack at 5:07 PM on July 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


*Hope sidelined by Trinity Syndrome
**more expendable; Scott and Hope are equally expandable
posted by nicebookrack at 6:00 PM on July 22, 2015


We saw this last night. I went in knowing nothing more than what was in the trailers. It was fun for an evening, but for me, the whole thing fell apart when Hope is clearly better for the job than Scott, and isn't allowed to do it because PATERNALISM.

How awesome would it have been if when Darren traps Scott and pulls the gun on Hank, Hope, instead of pulling out a gun, hits a button behind her ear or something and we find out she's wearing the prototype, which doesn't need a helmet.

That would have been bad ass.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heh, got into an "argument" with a friend who insisted that the helmet would be needed to protect the user. But Hank and Darren was only messed up after years of use, so a few times of use by Hope wouldn't do much damage. Plus it adds an emotional element of just how far Hope was willing to go to prevent Darren from getting the suit.

Then the after credits scene could have been Hank and Hope working together to integrate a helmet with the suit. They bond a bit as Hank realizes that Hope is every bit the awesome hero that Janet was, willing to risk herself with no hesitation to save others. Then Scott wanders in and ruins the moment, as he did earlier, leaving Hank to look at Hope and say "Really? THAT guy?" and Hope quips "Hey, you insisted we needed him and he has great abs.."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:21 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Loved it on the whole, but have Nerd Problems with the inconsistent application of Pym Particle physics... if the whole deal with Ant-Man and the suit is that size changes but not mass (punches like a "bullet", etc.), how does Hank have a shrunken tank that doesn't weigh two tons? How come the giant Thomas doesn't have the structural integrity of styrofoam? Etc.
Shrunken human movies never make any physics sense, you can't think too hard about it.

Sure, but I'm not a huge fan of the MST3K "just relax" response in cases where it's not things that are captured in the broad suspension of disbelief, but contradictions of, like, the one rule that sets the premise for one of two super-powers our hero has.

When the whole movie is based on the premise that a guy has invented a particle that shrinks matter while conserving mass, throwing a bunch of "...except when it doesn't!" exceptions into the mix with no explanation kinda breaks the movie for me.

I'm fine with the macro "yes, the laws of physics are being goofed around with" suspension of disbelief. I'm fine with the "superheroes exist in this universe" broad suspension of disbelief. It's the deliberately drawing a box around this one thing and then just kind of tossing it out the window -- for sight gags -- that bugs me.

I'd have the same problem if Spider-Man suddenly starts flying for no apparent reason in the last 15 minutes of a Spider-Man movie. Saying "yeah, but he's already got preposterous super-powers, so flying is no big deal" isn't the point, it's that we've spent a lot of time defining exactly how we're breaking the world, so suddenly breaking it in other ways for no reason violates the suspension of disbelief you've previously asked me to invest in.

Again, Nerd Problems. I liked the movie, really.
posted by Shepherd at 6:54 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just came back from seeing the movie - I liked it much more than I thought I would.

I was aware of some of the issues going in, but dammit if they did not target a specific demographic I'm part of - Dads.

This whole movie is about dads - being a good dad, being a bad dad, hoping for a better dad, etc. It was like the first few episodes of Daredevil without the horrible violence. I'm aware I come from an EXTREMELY privileged position - I'm a white het dude! It's all for mmmeeeeeeee - but seeing a movie formed around a core of fathership made brought me in.

I am eager for the Hope and Scott team-up. I hope it's like Nick and Nora. Shit, just do The Thin Man (The Small Man?) with people who can shrink.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


but for me, the whole thing fell apart when Hope is clearly better for the job than Scott, and isn't allowed to do it because PATERNALISM.

I certainly see being bothered by it, but I admired just how consistent it all was with Pym's character. The very first time we see him - the very first scene in the movie, even - he's devoted to preventing others from getting to use his invention/discovery. It is possibly one of his most defining characteristics. So that he'd feel perfectly comfortable keeping it from his daughter as well is consistent. He has a history of making bad emotional choices with Hope and is terrified of losing her. He's haunted by HOW his wife is lost to the extent that he can't even bear to tell his daughter the truth about it.

So yeah, stinker to continue on the Marvel "what women?" train. But on a character level I really liked Pym's growth with regards to his trust in general and acceptance of his daughter's desires.
posted by phearlez at 8:53 PM on July 23, 2015


But notice how what you've written is all about Hank? Hope really only exists in this film to give the male characters greater depth. It doesn't matter to me how deep or interesting the subsequent characterization of Hank and Scott is, if that characterization is built off the backs of female characters who aren't given reasons to exist in the narrative beyond propping up the stories of the men.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:12 AM on July 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Ant-Man was a lot of fun, but they could have done so much more Hope in this very movie, rather than a vague promise somewhere down the line. Boo Marvel!

One of my favorite things about the movie was that Luis was hilarious thief into fine wine and art. Plus in a just a few short scenes, the movie showed a wide range of Hispanic lifestyles. So they certainly could have added more to Hope's character without majorly changing the film. It's totally possible to do!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 AM on July 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had exactly the same thought, Brandon.

We know more about the tastes, interests, and social life of Luis than we know about Hope, Cassie, and Maggie combined.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:08 AM on July 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


Damn, that's so true and a total shame. Evangeline Lilly was very likable as Hope, good range of emotions and she's said in interviews she's totally down for anything more Marvel wants to do with the character. I do hope the powers that be at Marvel look at her performance and think "We gotta get her in some of these other movies." Cassie was completely adorable because she thought the ugly bunnie was fantastic and Maggie (and her ex) weren't painted as total assholes, but instead as quite reasonable and loving parents.

Plus it was nice to see Avon Barksdale as a cop. Ha!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on July 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


He had the best line in the film.
posted by maxsparber at 11:59 AM on July 24, 2015


"That's one messed up dog" ?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:22 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's the one.
posted by maxsparber at 12:37 PM on July 24, 2015


Speaking of physics blunders, that messed-up dog would not scale so well.
posted by carsonb at 1:25 PM on July 25, 2015


but for me, the whole thing fell apart when Hope is clearly better for the job than Scott, and isn't allowed to do it because PATERNALISM.

As much as I enjoy superhero movies and Paul Rudd, I could not get past this plot point. The whole convention of a woman who is just as, if not more qualified than a man, but who is kept on the sidelines because she is just too precious to risk, is still a common-enough rationalization for excluding women that I couldn't handwave it away as Hank being Hank. There's enough macho bullshit inherent in the action film genre that I don't need "We must protect our girlfolk" as an overt theme.

I really wanted to like the film, and a lot of it was charming and clever, but I ended up quietly seething for most of it. Anyone in Southern Colorado up for a palate-cleansing trip to Mad Max at the dollar theatre?
posted by bibliowench at 6:01 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The inconsistency that bothered me most was the representation of "I have to shrink between the molecules to get in". There's a big point about that, he does it, and then we see him inside the suit at a scale that is clearly not sub-atomic. When he's trashing the yellowjacket suit, he's about the same size as a wire, which he cuts. Other visible electronic features are present.

which leaves two possibilities, neither one good:
a) He does shrink to subatomic size to get through the metal, but this is not shown and he immediately grows again, before uncontrollably shrinking again.
b) He never needed to be subatomic to get through the metal

And when he is sub-atomic, well. What medium is transmitting the sound? Aren't air molecules larger than his ears at this point? I can imagine a hand-wavy explanation for why he doesn't actually need to breathe, but sound is vibration, and there's nothing to vibrate there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't recall seeing a recent blockbuster that was as visually witty as this one. The Yellowjacket-hit-by-toy-train sight gag is one of the funniest visual jokes I've seen in a while. I had lots of problems with the film, but for its visual wit alone I'm willing to forgive everything else.
posted by Kattullus at 3:57 PM on July 26, 2015




I was holding out till very late in the movie that Scott would be trapped/defeated by Cross and Hope would need to Wasp-Up to save him.

Not just because it IS way past fucking time, but that was also something that happened a LOT in the comics. Ant-Man, especially the hank pym Ant-Man, wasn't very good at or interested in being a superhero, Wasp was often the Calvary in their comics.
posted by French Fry at 7:09 AM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like the scene where the hard-bitten ex-con with a heart of gold gives a stuffed rabbit to his young daughter is probably a Con Air reference -- or, more specifically, it's probably a nod to a repeated Con Air reference in Homestuck. I mean, Edgar Wright is probably aware of Homestuck, having collaborated with major Homestuck fan Bryan Lee O'Malley.
posted by baf at 12:49 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just saw Ant Man! And I liked it for the most part. But...

Shepherd: "Loved it on the whole, but have Nerd Problems with the inconsistent application of Pym Particle physics... if the whole deal with Ant-Man and the suit is that size changes but not mass (punches like a "bullet", etc.), how does Hank have a shrunken tank that doesn't weigh two tons? How come the giant Thomas doesn't have the structural integrity of styrofoam? Etc."


Yes! This was driving me crazy throughout the movie. But to be fair, the comic book Ant Men haven't been any more consistent than the filmed version. There's no way a two-hundred pound man can ride on carpenter ants or jump onto people's shoulders without them noticing.

When it comes to size changing super heroes, I prefer The Atom over at DC comics. (IE: Ray Palmer, currently appearing on TV.) He debuted a few months before Ant Man, and has always had the ability to control both his size and his mass, independently of each other.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:02 AM on July 29, 2015


Once thing I really did like was the stylistic touches, like the Luis character played by Michael Peña. Every time he showed up we learned more about him, making Luis more and more interesting. And his stories were genuinely funny.

And I did really like the special effects sequences showing Ant Man using his powers. They might not have worked logically (given what we were told) but they did work visually and emotionally.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:31 AM on July 29, 2015




Theory: Janet Van Dyke can rescue herself! She's a scientist, and they just sent a lab full of research to the weird place she lives.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:28 PM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Janet van Dyne. No relation to Hollywood actors or carefully groomed male facial hair.

Dunno about the lab, but maybe! It sure looks like we'll see her in a sequel.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:32 PM on August 18, 2015


Gah, that typo makes me wince! I blame autocorrect.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:24 AM on August 20, 2015


Well, finally saw it. I have not been super enthused for this, but I could double feature it today with American Ultra so I figured what the hell.

I was kinda hating it at the start--the Pyms being generally unpleasant--but found it funny in places. It is basically a heist movie for the most part. Paul Rudd appears to be having fun, so good for him. I second the "right, the woman's not allowed to suit up yet" comments.

I think they probably made this one for the lulz, or at least the idea of having a badass fight on a kid's toy train set. (Did enjoy the giant Thomas and giant ant pet.)

And yet, STILL NO BLACK WIDOW MOVIE so we can watch a guy whose super power is shrinking and talking to ants.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would've enjoyed this far more if I'd been watching the Daddy-Issues-Free Cut, and there was zero sense of actual threat. But Peyton Reed did a great job with what he had to work with.

Am overly bothered by the fact that an electric engineering specialist in San Francisco didn't just go and work for a sodding start-up.

And if we can get an Ant-Man movie, we can get a Nightwing movie.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:00 AM on August 30, 2015




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