Friday, August 7, 2015

Three perspectives on Ant-Man

How you react to this movie will depend a lot on how seriously you want to take it.  Consider these options.

1) Ant-Man as fun ride

With a brisk pace, a good sense of humor about itself, a competent cast, and a ton of action, the movie will entertain you and leave you happy you've given it a couple of hours of your life.

2) Ant-Man as an exercise in scientific stupidity

Nothing about this movie makes any sense.  The physics involved is laughable at every stage, and when the hero faces his greatest trap, he escapes with an obvious bit of scientific magic.  If you let your brain engage at all, you'll be enraged.

3) Ant-Man as purveyor of a trope we should kill

The movie's name and existence are predicated on a trope that does no one any good and that is actively insulting to women:  the qualified and competent woman trains the unqualified and incompetent man to do a job she should have had all along.  Evangeline Lilly should have starred in a Wasp film.

Which reaction was mine?

All three.

I had a genuinely good time watching it.  I enjoyed it a lot and came out happy.

I also had to never let myself think about the science or the fact that the movie should have starred Evangeline Lilly.  Afterward, I could not help but consider these flaws.  Sadly, they appear in so many movies that I find myself routinely accepting them, something which is also disturbing.

On balance, I recommend Ant-Man as a way to have a fun two hours, provided you're willing to put up with these huge flaws.


Mark P said...

Mark, your comment on science in films unfortunately applied to almost all TV. Even programs such as the CSI franchise have plausibility gaps throughout. It may be 25 years since I worked in a lab but some of the 'kit' they use is not possible, and the timescales used are ridiculous.

pjz said...

#3 is almost rationalized as the result of an overprotective father. And at least it changes in the end. If the storyline had been "Pym gives daughter his wife's suit" what place would there be for the creation of Ant-man? Presuming a desire to capitalize on existing Marvel characters, a way for Ant-man to exist must be found. I admit it would have been cooler if she'd been given/stolen the suit in order to save Scott Lang from YellowJacket, though.

Rosanne said...

I really enjoy your movie reviews. Re: comment three, you might want to check out a video, which was either from Saturday night live or elsewhere, that shows what it would be like in video games if the male warriors had to dress to fight in the way female warriors are often dressed in these games; overly sexy, scantily and with little actual armor. Says a lot there. Maybe one day...

re: comment two. Yes! Or that will take away from the book or movie as you think about the errors. I also have a bad habit when I read anything - books, online news stories, and so forth, to notice errors. I am not saying that I am error free in writing, but some errors are glaring. My issue. Lol

Mark said...

Very true, Mark. I've listened to real crime-scene techs talk about those shows, and they are uniformly annoyed at the TV renderings of their profession.

Mark said...

I agree, PJZ, that the film tries to rationalize the trope, but it doesn't quite reach that goal.

Mark said...

Rosanne, those challenges in films are indeed very real.

Mark p said...

There is one film where the men are scantily dressed for fighting. 300.
This is a film where my wife and I both watch, but perhaps for different reasons.


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