I walked out of Ant-Man and the Wasp. I've never walked out of a film before. I'm so surprised at myself I had to write an article to process what I experienced and why I had to leave. The following factors made up the foundation of the film and they grated on me constantly to the extent that I decided to leave.
All the family relationships in the film are disturbingly unhealthy.
Shitty dads will probably love this film. It serves as propaganda for dads who are unreliable and selfish, excusing their self-indulgent habits as things they have no choice about.
Scott Lang is a convicted criminal on house arrest. He chooses to break the law again and again. He is unreliable and selfish. But to his daughter, he is the best daddy in the world. Bullshit. Hank is the dad who disappears for a month leaving her mother to look after her then swoops in for an afternoon with ice cream and toys and all the fun bits. Then he drops the daughter off with mum again because 'duty calls' then fucks off to enjoy himself. Beyond that, his daughter doesn’t respect the FBI because of how they treat her (criminal) father and even lies to them to protect her daddy. You may think Aww how brave of her.' But she just committed a crime to protect her father. Any father who allows their child to endanger themselves to protect him is a piece of shit.
Hope Van Dyne can fight for herself but she is tied by the hip to her father. Instead of leading her own life, she follows her father everywhere. Hank, her father, is an irresponsible jackass and has allowed his daughter to view him as her responsibility. The fact she chooses to follow him is a further sign of his failure as a father to encourage her to lead her own life like an adult. Instead, she follows his lead like a child (that can fight). It is a parent’s duty to protect their child, not the other way around. No matter how many baddies she can beat up, Hope Van Dyne is doomed to follow her father’s lead forever. I hope he died at the end so The Wasp can explore her own story that isn’t completely dictated by a man, whether it's Hank or Scott.
Addicted to Heroing
Both Scott and Hank fit the profile of an addict.
They always get involved with heroic scheming because they feel they have no choice. But invariably they have a choice between protecting their family by doing nothing or soothing their selfish egos and being heroic. Addicts are normally compelling because they are trapped in a behaviour pattern which negatively impacts their life. They have to choose between their family and their addiction. The point being that you cannot indulge your addiction and have the life you want. An alcoholic doesn’t get to have a stable family life while drinking themselves insensible.
This movie makes everything fine no matter what Hank and Scott do. Scott gets to indulge his addiction and still be the best dad in the world, which is insultingly ridiculous. Hank continues his irresponsible and arrogant behaviour but Hope still stays and follows him. A similar hero to Hank and Scott in terms of addiction is Daredevil. The key difference is that when Daredevil indulges his addiction to heroing, it eventually pushes away everyone he who cares about. That is how addiction works. Hank and Scott are both irritating man-children and standard shitty dads.
This film should be subtitled "Because Science." The movie is the most staggeringly embarrassing example of a plot that is driven almost exclusively by fake science masquerading as legitimate plot motivation. I'll take you through some examples.
- Hank and Janet Pym have to disarm a rocket but they can’t cut through the shell casing BECAUSE SCIENCE.
- The only way to disable the bomb is to use SCIENCE.
- But Janet gets lost forever in the quantum realm BECAUSE SCIENCE.
- Scott has a dream where he is Janet BECAUSE SCIENCE.
- He went to the quantum realm in the previous film but was able to return BECAUSE SCIENCE.
- Hank has a machine that can go to the quantum realm but they can’t do it without one more compliment BECAUSE SCIENCE.
- Then, a mystery figure steals the component. They want to track the component but they can’t do it without Hank's old suit BECAUSE SCIENCE.
Are you bored yet? I was. It is painful and disappointing to see this in a Marvel movie, particularly after the ludicrously awesome slew of Marvel successes recently.
I hope this film serves as an instructional video for filmmakers who seem to think that an excellent cast is all you need to make a good film. Undoubtedly, the cast is excellent. However, they are criminally underused by writers who traffic exclusively in boring tropes and irritating, unrealistic characters. I genuinely hope Hank and Scott died at the end so Hope could do her own thing. Now that would be a story worth telling.