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Movie Review: Ant-Man - Marvel Embraces Comedy While Ignoring Science

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avatar GrayRemnant
Level 56 : Grandmaster Senpai
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Hello there, ladies and gentlemen!  Today, I'm reviewing Ant-Man.  Please feel free to watch the provided spoiler-free video review.  If you're reading the blog, please be wary of the spoiler boxes.  Don't click them if you haven't seen the film and don't want to be spoiled.




Introduction (Spoiler-Free)

Ant-Man is not your typical Marvel film.  Most Marvel movies exist in a universe where the bounds of science are pushed, while comedic elements are incorporated sparsely throughout the film.  Ant-Man is different in that science is completely disregarded, while comedy runs rampant throughout the film.  This, as it turns out, was actually a really good idea.

Who needs all that science crap, when we can just watch hilarity unfold and laugh ourselves silly?  Most of the time I would ask that sarcastically, but after seeing Ant-Man I suddenly understand the appeal.

*Major Spoilers* ===Plot Analysis=== *Major Spoilers*
So, basically, we’ve got this scientist by the name of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who has invented a formula that shrinks matter.  It supposedly does this by decreasing the distance between atoms, thus condensing molecules.  Pym and his wife use this formula (in conjunction with high-tech suits) to carry out secret operations for the United States during the Cold War.

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At some point, Russia launches a nuclear warhead at the U.S. and Pym’s wife sacrifices herself to destroy it by disabling her suit’s stabilizer and shrinking to subatomic size (thus passing through the shell of the missile and destroying the core).

Two years later (in 1989), Pym is approached by Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Howard Stark (John Slattery), and Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan) to help in replicating the serum and suit for military purposes.  Pym, recognizing the danger of the shrinking technology falling into the wrong hands, refuses and subsequently resigns from his position at S.H.I.E.L.D.  He then starts his own private company and recruits a young protege by the name of Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).

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At some point, Pym and Cross have a falling-out, and Cross takes control of the private company.  In 2015, Cross creates an imitation serum and suit that he calls the ‘yellow jacket’.  Pym gets wind of this, and decides that he has to destroy it before Cross can sell it to the military and cause world-wide chaos.

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It’s at this point that we find out that Cross is actually a total psychopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  At some point in the presentation of the ‘yellow jacket’ project, there’s a dude in attendance who’s concerned that it might fall into the wrong hands.  How does Cross react to this?  He follows the dude into the bathroom where he brutally murders the crap out of him.  Yeah.

Which brings us to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an ex-convict who uses stealth skills to steal money from millionaires (kind of like a modern rendition of Robin Hood).  Pym selects Lang to wear the Ant-Man suit and help him stop Cross from completing his cheap knock-off.  So Pym, with the help of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), train Lang to use the suit, and to control ants with some kind of electro-radio-thingamajig.

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Thus begins an near-hour-long training montage that includes, but is not limited to hand to hand combat, ant symbiosis, using disk-like weapons that shrink/enlarge objects, and the art of brewing tea.  At some point, Lang attempts to modify the suit’s stabilizer, but Pym warns him that if he deactivates it he would shrink to subatomic size and enter a world beyond the laws of physics, where he would remain trapped for all eternity.  Yikes.

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Anyway, before they can set out on their plot to foil Cross’ evil plans, they need some vague piece of technology that (apparently) can only be acquired from the Avengers.  So Lang infiltrates the Avengers’ warehouse where he gets into (I swear I’m not making this up) a brawl with Falcon (Anthony Mackie).  Ant-Man wins, of course, and returns with the gadget.

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Also, since a heist of this magnitude is no easy task, they also recruit Lang’s partners in crime: Luis (Michael Pena), Kurt (David Dastmalchian), and Dave (T.I.).  I just want to point out that these three dudes are the best source of humor throughout the film.  Literally every scene they’re in is hilariously funny.

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So the crew infiltrates Cross’ laboratory.  Lang, along with his army of tech-savvy ants, enter through the water supply system, while Hank and Hope attend as guests in the presentation of the finished yellow jacket suit.  Lang fries all of the computer data, sets explosives, and breaks into the vault to destroy the suit, when he finds that Cross was expecting him.

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Yes, apparently Darren Cross was aware of their plan the whole time, but neglected to stop it because he wanted them to hand deliver the Ant-Man suit to him.  It turns out that Mitchell Carson is actually a high-ranking hydra affiliate, and Cross intends to sell the suit to him.  A fight ensues, and Carson get’s away with a vial of the shrinking serum, while Cross gets away with the suit and boards a helicopter.

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Lang pursues Cross, but Cross dons the yellow jacket suit mid-flight.  They fight, but the built in laser beams on the yellow jacket suit cause the chopper to crash.  Cross ends up incapacitated, while Lang is arrested by police.

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Lang finds out via the police radio that Cross has broken into Lang’s ex-wife’s house and taken his daughter hostage and manages to use his shrinking powers to escape the police car and confront Cross.  A long fight sequence ensues that ends with Cross threatening to kill Lang’s daughter.

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In a last-ditch effort, Lang deactivates his suit’s stabilizer and passes through the Cross’s suit, which causes it to implode, killing Cross and sending Lang into a subatomic nightmare realm.  Lang manages to use one of the disks that Pym gave him to replace the stabilizer core and expands to his original size.

The mid credit scene is Pym unveiling a modified suit to his daughter, and the post credit scene is a brief cameo of Captain America and Falcon in a warehouse with the recently apprehended Bucky Barnes.
*Spoiler-Free* ===Pros=== *Spoiler-Free*
-Excellent acting from all parties, especially Corey Stoll who played one of the best Marvel villains to date.

-Great chemistry between the characters.

-Hilariously funny, especially when Luis is present.

-Well paced.  It’s refreshing to see a Marvel film that builds up to one grand finale, rather than just transitioning from one mindless battle sequence to the next.
*Major Spoilers* ===Cons=== *Major Spoilers*
-The science in relation to the shrinking suit is absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever.

-Relatively banal score.

-The lazy deus ex machina at the end that spares Lang from a gruesome subatomic fate is just dumb.

-The fight scene between Ant-Man and Falcon was unnecessary and only served to shoehorn him into Civil War.
*Spoiler-Free* ===Plot Holes=== *Spoiler-Free*
-The Ant-Man suit shrinks the distance between atoms, but also seemingly decreases the mass of the subject.  A change in density should not yield a change in mass.

-The Ant-Man suit has the capacity to shrink the subject to subatomic size.  This shouldn’t be possible, since the size of the atoms remains constant; only the distance between them shrinks.  Even if the nuclei were close enough to touch, the subject still wouldn’t be able to shrink to that size.
*Minor Spoilers* ===Plot Contrivances=== *Minor Spoilers*
-The weaponized shrinking disk somehow works as a suitable replacement for the stabilizer core.  If it’s that simple, why not just program the stabilizer to work in a subatomic environment?


Conclusion (Spoiler-Free)

With Ant-Man, Marvel has made a statement.  Marvel films are based in fantasy, not reality.  The science in Ant-Man is mindbogglingly unrealistic, but on the other hand, it’s one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time.  Marvel has decided that they’re not going to be limited by the laws of physics, and that comedy is more valuable than drama.

Simply put, Marvel has doubled down and embraced its silliness, and that’s a good thing.  It’s better to be cinematically pure, than to try to please everybody.  Rather than worrying about realism, Marvel is more concerned with making smart characters that make rational decisions in an unrealistic world.  The science is all wrong, but the character’s decisions are completely fine.

I can forgo scientific errors, mainly because they exist in the background.  It’s easy to forget about how particles actually work, and just embrace the madness of Ant-Man’s ridiculous shrinking suit.  It’s hard to get over people doing things that they would never realistically do; things that move the plot in the direction the writers want.

Marvel’s good at avoiding that because they keep the plot simple, and just let the ball roll down hill, rather than constantly pulling strings.  The characters don’t need to make ridiculous decisions to move the plot along because the plot moves all by itself.  I can’t tolerate it when a character does something stupid like walking into a cage that houses an incredibly dangerous animal just to inspect some claw marks on the wall (yes, I’m talking to you Jurassic World!).

Ant-Man is a movie about characters.  The suit isn’t the star of the film.  The physics aren’t important.  What is important is that every character stay true to him/herself and provide wit and clever dialogue to keep the audience intrigued.  That’s what Marvel has accomplished here.

This is a new milestone in the MCU, one that incorporates the simplicity of Iron Man, the humor of Guardians of the Galaxy, and the stellar character interactions of The Avengers.  Aside from the scientific inaccuracies, this film is highly entertaining and well worth watching.  I give it the same thing I gave Age of Ultron: 3 stars out of 4.  For all its problems, it more than makes up for it in laughs.

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  • Orbiter
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • January 3, 2016, 6:06 pm
Now that I actually watched it, I can say about 3.5 out of five. The way he survives sub-atomic level: really? -_-
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • October 13, 2015, 4:05 am
The ending really made me mad, How can you shrink smaller than f*cking quarks and leptons? How can you shrink smaller from something you are made up of? also the PYM particles decrease the space between atoms, so the mass remains constant, and if he made that *SPOILER* Ant and the train big, it should not have break something up when it was tossed away,instead it should bounce away. Also the ant should be like a balloon.

Marvel really f*cked up science. Thats it marvel, im done.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • October 13, 2015, 10:26 am
Lol, well said.  xD
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • October 13, 2015, 4:06 am
ALSO, SHRINKING TO THAT SIZE WILL MAKE HIM SO DENSE (because the space will decrease so much, which is also impossible because you cannot shrink atoms) THAT HE WOULD CREATE A F*CKING BLACK HOLE!
Ant-Man was great! More fantastic than the four
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • August 28, 2015, 11:56 am
Lol, that's for damn sure!  xD
  • Kyoko Tomato
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Princess
  • July 30, 2015, 1:41 pm
also another thing about why i am correct is that shrinking the distance between molicules, eventually the distance between molecules is bigger than a molecule, so compression basically.
  • Kyoko Tomato
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Princess
  • July 28, 2015, 8:40 am
Another thing is closing the distance between molecules is how he shrunk right? Well he shrunk smaller than molecules so he should basically create a black hole he was complessing the mmolecules infinitely ! ?
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 28, 2015, 12:48 pm
True.  In terms of density, Ant-Man should have the density of a dwarf star when he shrinks.  This would cause a lot of problems, the main one being that he would be unable to move.  xD
  • Kyoko Tomato
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Princess
  • July 29, 2015, 5:19 pm
And he would be bullet proof knife proof... Actually he would be able to shatter ! Yikes, that would suk, unable to move... gotta be careful, that glass ant man is alive ;D But eventually he would be so dense he makes a miniature black hole.. .eventually he would shrink beyond existance.. Well, there is always smaller so never mind :D There is no limit the how small things go. The building blocks of the universe have to have building blocks in them too,
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 30, 2015, 12:52 pm
Yeah, but you have to remember that the shrinking suit doesn't actually shrink atoms or particles.  It only reduces the distance between atoms, so in that sense there are limitations to how small he can shrink.  :P
Untill the distance goes negative and the atoms smush together and he implodes.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • September 14, 2015, 12:56 pm
. . . and becomes a black hole that swallows the entire planet.  xD
  • Pines
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Network
  • July 25, 2015, 6:10 pm
I love those thumbnails
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 25, 2015, 9:19 pm
Thanks, dude.  I'm glad you like them.  ;)
  • mick_5
  • Level 37
  • Artisan Crafter
  • July 22, 2015, 4:40 pm
I will pay one diamond for I know your review will be informative no matter what ,but I am not reading this, I am just going to see it no matter what the score. I know it says spoiler free but I want to know nothing about it,until I see it
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 22, 2015, 6:58 pm
Okeydoke, then.  I won't spoil you, and I hope you enjoy th- OMG PAUL RUDD WAS KEYSER SOZE THE WHOLE TIME!!!  :O
I really appericate your SPOILER FREE ...spoilers :)

i've been wanting to watch this but havent been able to make the time to go to a movie theatre with my wifey :) I look forward to reading your movie review once i actually WATCH the movie.

I dont worry about the not making sense subatomic stuff. i just say... "ITS IN THE SCRIPT SHUT UP!"
:D

like....Gamma rays can somehow make a man turn into a massive green giant? ya.. its all comic theory Fun.
but.. try to make it into reality..? your gonna see holes. Like.. how come spiderman can grab hold of walls so easy cause of his spider skin... hair and all taht.. yet.. he can also gently carass his girlfreind and not RIP her SKIN right off? :D figure that one out. or how can he EVEN GET that freaking suit off of him?
that  makes no sense. The suit should be like velcro on his spider like hairs all over his skin.

ahhh.. Marvel at.. Marvels Science!
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 22, 2015, 1:00 pm
Very true.  I think if Marvel tried to make a scientifically accurate super hero film, it would probably come out quite boring.  That's why I'm usually not as harsh on Marvel films for making scientific errors.  ;)
I watched this movie yesterday and it was great; yes, i know, not enough scientific explanationbut it had a great story and had good morals
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 20, 2015, 11:09 am
Well, I'm glad you found it enjoyable.  :)
I gotta give you props for hand writing these reviews out, and doing the video. But I wish DC would've made The Atom, a much better superhero lol, same power sort of, but he can shrink down and change atomic structure.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 20, 2015, 11:09 am
DC's too busy jumpstarting their DCCU.  I don't think we'll be seeing any obscure super heroes from them for a bit.  :P
Nice review!
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 20, 2015, 11:07 am
Thank you!
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • July 19, 2015, 5:51 am
Yay, finally!
Nice review, I'll be sure to watch it soon!
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 11:48 pm
Thanks, my friend.  ;)
i knew ant man before this Review and movie xD #ComicBooks :D
Huh Didn't Know They Had Comics Of Ant-Man
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 11:40 am
Did you think it was based on real events?  :P
No I Didn't Think It Was Based On Real Life Events XD Just Thought It Was Randomly Made Up By Marvel
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 12:30 pm
Marvel never makes up anything.  All of their movies are based on comics.  ;)
Yeah True
Nooo Why Did You Review It! I seen I Yesterday And I Was Going To Review It! :P

Nice Review Though ;)
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 11:40 am
Lol, thanks.  You're still welcome to do a review, you know.  xD
Ok ;)
  • AnimeFanFTW
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 5:15 am
Review it anyway. xD
Yeah I Probably Will
  • Jaytience
  • Level 30
  • Artisan Demolitionist
  • July 18, 2015, 1:17 am
Lol, I still need to see it. How dare I not see it in the first week it's out.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 18, 2015, 1:22 am
Well, to be fair, it just came out yesterday.  You're not that late to the party.  :P
  • Jaytience
  • Level 30
  • Artisan Demolitionist
  • July 18, 2015, 2:57 am
Lel
  • Foxy
  • Super Moderator
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Fox
  • July 17, 2015, 9:31 pm
Seeing a movie that had the avengers in it that wasn't focused on the avengers was somehow really satisfying. Idk i liked the fact that the only major part they played in it was that 5 minute fight scene with Falcon.

Also for plot holes you can put down how the electic conducting ants (forgot species name) were all somehow able to get into the building without having to go through the water system like Ant Man. If they were able to get in so easily through some other method, why did he have to go through all the pipe crap? The only ones he brought with him during that were the bullet ants and the red ants.
Crazy ants
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 11:29 pm
Really?  I thought I saw the conductive ants on the 'raft' they were riding through the pipe.  I'll check out the IMDb forums and see if there's anybody talking about that.  They're usually really good at spotting plot holes.

Oh, and as for the Falcon fight scene, I was really hoping that the Avengers would be left out of this movie entirely.  I think the reference to the 'falling city' that Pym mentioned was enough.  Part of what I really liked about the Phase 1 Marvel films (particularly Iron Man) was that we got to see the heroes operating completely independently and of their own accord.  I like the idea of a superhero having a film entirely his/her own before being bundled into the rest of the Avengers.  But, I suppose Marvel wanted to create some explicit link between Lang and the Avengers before Civil War so they could involve him without focusing on a long, drawn-out introduction.
those were red ants. Crazy ants conduct, bullet ants fight, red ants create shapes.
Lol can't even read it haven't seen the movie
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 9:24 pm
The Intro, Pros, Plot Hole, and Conclusion sections are all spoiler-free.  Just avoid the boxes that have 'Spoiler' warnings on them.  ;)
  • Spectre
  • Level 49
  • Master Mage
  • July 17, 2015, 6:28 pm
*Sighs* Not many of these movie's your interveiwing seem to go that well
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 9:24 pm
3/4 isn't bad.  I just haven't found anything particularly awesome yet.  Give it time.  ;)
  • Spectre
  • Level 49
  • Master Mage
  • July 17, 2015, 9:49 pm
Ok xD The lego movie was a 5/5 classic comedy action movie though!
The lego movie was kinda pathetic
  • Spectre
  • Level 49
  • Master Mage
  • July 20, 2015, 5:35 am
Lol xD Are you serious? OK then, go watch some 'Lost' on TV :P
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 11:12 pm
Well, to be fair, I wasn't doing reviews back when that came out.  :P
  • Spectre
  • Level 49
  • Master Mage
  • July 17, 2015, 11:41 pm
I know, but im just saying... yeah :P
Cool, I doubted this movie at first...  I mean, such a fearing name for a super hero: "Antman" ;p
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 5:18 pm
I had a sneaking suspicion it was going to be good as soon as I saw the trailer.  It seemed to have the same feel as Iron Man, which is my favorite Marvel film to date.  ;)
Yeah, iron man is epic!   I love his sarcastic humor
  • Orbiter
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • July 17, 2015, 2:48 pm
suprisingly 3 stars.. must be not be too bad :P
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 5:19 pm
It's not bad at all.  It's actually good, as long as you view it more as a comedy than a comic book movie.
  • Orbiter
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • July 17, 2015, 6:23 pm
mkay, seems good. But is it something I should share with mah family?
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 9:23 pm
It's fine.  I don't think there's anything in there anybody would find objectionable.
  • Orbiter
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • July 18, 2015, 7:17 am
mkay. Finally a Marvel movie that I can watch too XD
  • tobbestark
  • Level 40
  • Master Architect
  • July 17, 2015, 2:40 pm
First comment yo ;)
But seriously, nice one, man!
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 2:45 pm
Thanks, dude!

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