The Ant Man Movie — Sexism and Real Ants

Assuming the MCU is in our universe, every ant we see in the film Ant Man is female. All worker ants are sterile female clones. Male ants are called drones, and are only used for breeding, then discarded. Queens stay in the nest. This is how ant society works, and if you study ants at all, it works well for them — it’s geeky fun science stuff. But to mention this kind of insect reality in the Ant Man movie would be a little uncomfortable.

[pullquote]Scott Lang (Paul Rudd, in a charming role as the Ant Man) names his ant sidekick Antony, a male name.[/pullquote] Not that this matters at all to the insect in question, or to the movie even. But I think it’s still interesting to consider in these films that all the ants are female.

Wasp society is similar — if you’ve ever been stung, it’s by a female. The stinger and the ovipositor (egg layer organ) are the same thing. So putting Hope and Janet in Wasp suits seems more satisfying.

Yellow Jackets, which are a hornet, are also a type of wasp. Again, the ones you see are female. [pullquote position=”right”]So the bad guy is wearing a female suit as well. That character seems like he wouldn’t be up to wearing “insect drag” — but none of this matters to the film or to us as viewers.[/pullquote]

Again, I am not trying to say there are gender or sexism issues here — the real reason Hank would not put Hope in the Ant Man suit was from fear of losing her, like he lost Janet. It wasn’t a case of sexism. (Seemingly he had no problem with his wife in a Wasp suit and they worked together developing the entire project. )

I used to study social insect behavior in Tucson, AZ. For what it’s worth, I’m just adding some neutral perspective. I prefer stories to use actual science and it impresses me when they do. The Bullet Ants, Crazy Ants (controlling electricity?), etc, is made up nonsense. But if they stick to the rules they themselves establish, I’ll be content.

After all, as far as we know there is no Vibranium in the world. No Wakana, which uses the Vibranium tech to incredible heights. But so far, they are consistent in how said tech is presented, and yay to that.🙂

Read the RunPee Rewatch Review of Ant Man

The Quantum Realm In Ant Man 2 Offers Answers for Avengers 4

Movie Rewatch Review – Ant Man

I really used to like the original Ant Man. I thought it was underrated, charming, funny, and a lighter take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that’s how I remembered it until my rewatch last night.

What I forgot: since it came out, a lot more amusing  and enjoyable MCU films came along, ones that made me laugh harder, thrilled me visually, and set up characters I cared for in a visceral, deeper way. [pullquote]Now, having rewatched Ant Man’s 2015 origin story after having viewed top of the line films like Thor: Ragnarok, the Guardians films, Black Panther, Civil War, Spiderman, and Infinity War, I’m suddenly underwhelmed. [/pullquote]Paul Rudd as Scott Lang does what he can, but aside from his sweet little kid, I didn’t feel much of anything for anyone else. I cared more for poor Antony the Ant than the cast of people, which isn’t a good sign.

And the plot. It was just about another set of guys in another set of suits. Really. [pullquote position=”right”]A guy of dubiously good morality in a tech suit, plus a clearly definite bad guy in a meaner suit, exploiting the tech. Am I describing Iron Man or Ant Man?[/pullquote]

We now have normal guys in suits up and down the MCU — Iron Man, War Machine, Falcon, Ant Man. (Batman is the same, but hey, different universe.) I’m not sure we needed to put Wasp in yet another suit, but it’s a gal, so that’s new. Yay?

Some indirect spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follows. 

Who else dons supersuits? Spidey finally has a cool tech version, and so does the Black Panther, but those are also dudes with legitimate innate superpowers.  And lest I forget, Bruce Banner now sports a Hulkbuster Suit, for days when the rage monster refuses to come out and play.

Back to Ant Man. What really sets him apart from the other suit guys are two things: he’s got an ant army, and can move back and forth between many sizes — from normal, to tiny, right up to gigantic (making him “Gi-Ant Man”), and then back down to the subatomic, in the Quantum Realm.

Now, let’s pick this apart. At a normal size, he’s really just a cat burgler with engineering skills wearing in a leather jumper. We didn’t see him do the Gi-Ant thing until the (far superior) Captain America: Civil War. [pullquote]His role in the Quantum Realm was so short that it wasn’t more than a cameo excursion. (Hopefully, in Ant Man and the Wasp we’ll get a lot more quantum goodness.) So, what did he really do in his origin story?[/pullquote]

Well, Scott had a cool fight with Falcon: it was brief, but fun, and he was adorably fan-girly in meeting an actual Avenger. He had cute scenes learning to control the various ants and bonding with Antony. Um. Hmmm. He kissed a girl in an awkward transition. And the bad guy smushed some sweet little lambs, which I forgot happened and never want to see again.

So, what about those ants, anyway? I was able to stop the screen and write it all down. Keep in mind most of this entymological science is totally made up:

  • Crazy Ants (control electricity)
  • Bullet Ants (really painful bites)
  • Carpenter Ants (great for transport and flying)
  • Fire Ants (can get in and out of difficult places)

So when the critters show up in the next movie, you’ll know which ants do what, for what its worth. But what I’m really looking forward to is seeing how the Quantum Realm relates to the larger Avengers storyline. I mean, it HAS to. Because another stand-alone plotline would not be very satisfying after what Thanos just did to the universe.

It’s still a well constructed movie; it’s just not very exciting. I don’t mind a ‘small’ story — I often prefer it — but it has to be good.

Movie Rewatch Grade: B

Read more on RunPee: 

The Ant Man Movie — Sexism and Real Ants

How the Quantum Realm Offers Possible Insights to Avengers 4

 

Movie Review – Sausage Party – An R Rated Animated Film with Surprising Heart and A Real Message

 

Movie Review - Sausage PartyThis may look like a simple movie full of crass humor, but it’s more than that. There is actually a story in there about religion, and prejudices, that gives the story a solid framework on which to hang an abundance of crassness.

There is a never ending supply of sexual innuendo throughout the movie that reaches a…crescendo…that will leave you snorting in laughter. I’m not kidding when I say I can’t wait to watch this movie again, so I can watch the ending frame-by-frame.

By the way, this is a short movie, but if you need to pee, just a little, by the time you get to the one and only Peetime I highly recommend using it…because you don’t want to get to the end and discover you laughed so hard that you…you know. 🙂

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: There’s only one Peetime because this was such a short movie — 81 minutes, not including the credits. The one Peetime I found is pretty good. Most of it is sequences of traveling, with little dialog or humor.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Sausage Party. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray