It was a long time coming, but 2015 brought us Marvel Studios’ long-gestating Ant-Man film. After director Edgar Wright left due to creative differences, Adam McKay stepped in at the last minute and made one heck of a fun superhero heist flick. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
The development shenanigans and making the film fit into the larger narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, left a few seams around the edges. Here are some dumb things in Ant-Man that everyone pretty much ignored.
Why does Pym choose Scott Lang?
This is the big question that pretty much the entire film hinges on, but really, it’s never actually answered. With Darren Cross preparing to debut his own shrinking tech and sell it to the highest bidder, Hank Pym finally comes out of retirement and decides its time to do something about it. So … he recruits an ex-con to take up his mantle as the Ant-Man. Huh? As anyone who has read the comics knows, Scott Lang is the Ant-Man because, well, he’s Ant-Man in the comics. But the character is a bit different across mediums. In the original origin story, Scott stole the Ant-Man suit so he could use it to save his daugther, Cassie. He proves himself along the way, and Pym decides to give him his suit and let him officially take up the mantle.
But it doesn’t work that way in the movie. Here Pym picks Scott out of all the people in the world to wear the suit. We’re told he’s aware of Scott from his career as a cat burglar and agrees with his approach of looking out for the little guy. He also believes Scott deserves a second chance. But, still—with the fate of the world on the line, he recruits a criminal who knows nothing about the superhero world.
What’s even more frustrating is that there’s no good reason Pym’s daughter Hope shouldn’t just wear the suit. She knows the tech, she’s trained, and she’s already an expert at communicating with ants. She also already knows her way around Pym Tech and is by far the most qualified person for the mission. Sure, Hank doesn’t want to risk his daughter’s life, but c’mon—the world’s at stake. Hope is a strong, capable woman. Let her be the hero she’s destined to be in the sequel.
How did Pym know Scott would take the suit? Or put it on?
Then there’s Pym’s "plan" to recruit Scott. Which is about the silliest, Rube Goldberg-iest plan in the history of film. Yes, he plants intel four people deep around Scott about the potential haul at his mansion and then just hopes that Scott takes the bait. Then once Scott breaks into the safe, he just assumes he’ll take the random outfit (which Scott understandably mistakes for a motorcycle suit) rather than just leave. Then Pym has to assume Scott will actually put the thing on and start pushing buttons. Then he assumes Scott will survive his first shrinking experience with no clue of what’s actually happening to him. Then .. you get the idea. Sure, it made for a cool action sequence, but Hank’s plan is positively absurd when you break it down. Why not just directly recruit Scott? He’s an unemployed ex-con. It’s not like he has a lot of prospects in the first place, right?
Yellowjacket’s shrinking murder gun is the perfect weapon
This largely gets shelved after he uses it just once, but the shrinking murder gun Darren Cross uses early in the film to take out the condescending government official is pretty much the perfect weapon, right? Couldn’t Cross just market that thing and make a billion dollars on that alone? Seriously, it’s a gun that makes the victim disappear. That’s a complete game-changer in the murder business. Later in the film, Cross pulls a gun on Pym and is preparing to shoot him. Why not use this magic shrinking murder gun so there’s no evidence? It’s a lot easier to explain away a disappearance, instead of Hank Pym’s body riddled with bullets, right?
Why is there no security at the secret base?
One of the coolest action sequences revolves around Scott’s trip to the new Avengers facility to steal a piece of tech, where he meets up with Falcon and has one heck of a wild fight. Scott trips an alarm, and Falcon pops up to investigate. Which is awesome! Hey, we love a good crossover as much as the next fan, and it helps set up Ant-Man’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War. But is Falcon seriously the only guy protecting this super-secret base that is apparently loaded with dangerous technology? It makes enough sense that Falcon would be hanging around the base, but how does he not have any backup there? And going beyond superhero backup, there aren’t even any soldiers or security guards aoround: Falcon is the only person we see at the entire base. It’s like Xavier’s mansion in Deadpool—is that just the only character they could afford?
Why doesn’t Hank just tell Hope about Janet?
The fate of Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp, doesn’t seem to be that much of a secret–the folks at S.H.I.E.L.D. apparently know, and Hank eventually tells Scott—so why does Hank keep her fate a secret from Hope for her entire life? He says he’s trying to protect her, but how is telling her she died in a car crash any better than the fact that she disappeared into a quantum realm? Hope knows about the Pym particle and shrinking technology, and she understands what happens when you shrink, so as an adult she would’ve obviously understood the science behind it. Plus, wouldn’t it be better to let Hope know her mother died a hero, instead of just in a random car crash? There doesn’t seem to be any reason at all to keep this from her other than to manufacture movie drama.
Wait, Scott isn’t worried about how the suit will affect him?
We’re told Hank Pym stopped rocking the Ant-Man suit because the years of shrinking and growing took a toll on his body, but Scott … doesn’t seem all that worried about it, right? Scott is obviously a brave guy who steps up to save the world when called upon. But doesn’t he have any questions at all about how all this shrinking might affect his mind and body over time? Not even after realizing Hank had to stop using the tech for this very reason? Scott has a family. If he wants to be around to see his little girl grow up, you’d think he’d ask a few questions to make sure his brain and body don’t get too scrambled.
This is seriously world-changing technology
This seems to be a recurring problem within MCU movies, and it’s one Marvel still hasn’t really addressed. In Iron Man 3, it was the Extremis tech that Tony Stark apparently masters at the end, then immediately never mentions again. Here, it’s shrinking technology. Hank Pym mastered it decades ago, and after S.H.I.E.L.D. pissed him off, he took it back home and locked it up. So in all that time, we’re to believe S.H.I.E.L.D (or someone else) never made a play for this technology? Especially considering Hank just had it locked it up in an old safe that Scott takes out in about 15 minutes? This technology could change the world, as we see in the flashback news reels where young Hank goes on missions and takes out entire platoons all by himself. This could solve world hunger by growing larger food, and revolutionize commerce by making it easier to move giant products. It’s earth-shaking, but we never heard anything about it again after Ant-Man faded to black.