Feb 25, 2019

MCU Roundtable: Ant-Man and the Wasp

With Captain Marvel coming out in less than two weeks, for the sake of completion, here's the Cube Roundtable on Ant-Man and the Wasp!

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp was released on July 6, 2018, and made $68 million on its opening weekend. As of this writing, it earned $216 million domestic and over $622 million worldwide.

LAMAR: I think releasing this between Infinity War and Endgame was a great idea. The laughs were something I needed before they pulled the rug out in the last credits scene.

DUY: I loved the cop.

LaMAR: I enjoyed the first Ant-Man and I liked this one a lot as well. Quiet as kept these probably have the best supporting cast in the Marvel films, in regard to chemistry.

DUY: Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer playing the parents of an adult character kinda just makes me feel ancient. Not as ancient as them, mind you...

BEN: Skeet Ulrich and Luke Perry already did that for me.

KAT: She still looks fabulous. And that de-aging technology keeps getting better.

LIZZY: Also, does anyone else find the whole de-aging technology just incredibly creepy? It looked more natural on Michelle Pffeifer for some reason... Michael Douglas just looked... distorted.

Quiet as kept these probably have the best supporting cast in the Marvel films, in regard to chemistry. -LaMar

BEN: What was the credits scene?

LaMAR: Ant-Man goes into the Quantum Realm again to get more energy to help repair Ghost, and once he gets it and asks the Pyms to beam him out, they get Thanosnapped.

DUY: Meaning he starts the next movie in the Quantum Realm. Which probably means it's gonna be a thing they use in the next movie.

KAT: I did notice Janet said something about staying away from the time vortexes right before he went in.

DUY: I've seen talk that Dr. Strange has actually visited the Quantum Realm. In his movie?

KAT: I think he did visit the Quantum Realm when The Ancient One sent him on that crazy head trip. It looked very similar in its trippiness. Now this might be a dumb question... but what exactly is the Quantum Realm? I get that it’s subatomic so spooky weird shit happens there that seems to defy “regular” physics (I took a theoretical physics class in college but immediately forgot everything afterwards), but how does it get defined and used in the comics world? Is it a place where time and space cease to exist so time travel becomes possible?  Also, if time doesn’t exist, why did Janet still age in there? What was she eating?

DUY: As I understood it, time and space existed, just differently.

KAT: Ahhh interesting interview with a quantum physicist who actually consulted on the movies. This interview is from 2015 so it's not even actually about the new movie, but definitely has some interesting ideas:
"Michalakis contends that the physical laws we see the universe operating under are trends in these quantum mechanical probabilities and that if you zoom all the way down, it all disappears. Gravity, relativity, time…everything.
If Ant-Man can shrink down to the smallest of the small, he will enter this nothing, this non-reality. All of time and space will be open to him. He could literally change the universe around him Dr. Manhattan-style. And he could traverse time at will."
DUY: There is no Quantum Realm in the comics. There's a Microverse, which... Ben is the expert on that one.

BEN: Microverse is just a really small universe.

A series set in the ‘60s ala Tales to Astonish could be interesting. -Ben

MAX: What's Ant-Man and the Wasp?

BEN: I think it’s a movie.

MAX: That’s what they want you to think.

BEN: I heard it’s good!

JD: I haven't even seen the first one.

DUY: My question is, would Hank Pym have been a better choice for the lead?

BEN: Yes.

DUY: I would kinda of want to see him more on Netflix, I think. I don't know how much mutliple personality disorder Hank would be interesting in a two-hour time frame.

BEN: A series set in the ‘60s ala Tales to Astonish could be interesting. Rudd is fine in his own movies, well, acceptable at least. But when he crosses over it bothers me. I like Rudd, I just never ever stop thinking of him as Paul Rudd.

DUY: He's only ever Paul Rudd.

KAT: I love Paul Rudd!! I’m so happy to have a character like him in the MCU. Wouldn’t Hank be a lot like Tony Stark and Dr. Strange? Scott feels like a refreshing different kind of superhero that adds some nice variety and levity to the line up.

DUY: Comics Hank has multiple personality disorder, and one personality is.... well, I don't wanna say evil, but yeah, he's basically evil.

KAT: I feel like there was a controversy before... didn’t he also beat his wife in the comics? Maybe not the right choice for the current cultural climate.

DUY: He lost his mind and turned irrational to the point that he built a robot to attack the Avengers so he could save them from it. In the process Janet tried to stop him and he hit her. The entirety of his character arc since then has been informed by his guilt over that one incident as well as the fear that he's going to have a breakdown again that will lead to Yellowjacket coming back out. It's interesting and psychologically fascinating, because comics Hank isn't even arrogant or overconfident like Tony. If anything, he's the inventor with the chip on his shoulder, always trying to prove himself, and on top of that he's always got to be on the lookout so he doesn't snap and turn evil. It's interesting on Janet's end too, because she married him knowing full well he was Yellowjacket and not in his right mind, because she just really wanted to be married to him.  Oh wait, I wrote a whole thing about this once.

KAT: Sounds more like a reformable villain backstory then — a little like Bucky who was always a bit afraid he might snap and revert back. And Steve who stood by his side and married him anyway — oh wait that part hasn’t happened yet.

DUY: I think the real interesting thing is just that it was written as a throwaway mental breakdown in the 60s, but the more we found out about psychology and mental illness, the more the characters (Hank and Jan) ended up writing themselves.  And also I think it's psosible that it may be the one and only relationship between two superheroes that they both admit has come from a mutually abusive place and they're both legitimately working on it. So on that end it's either not the right choice for the current environment, or it's exactly the right choice.

KAT: I feel like it’s the right choice if you’re setting out to tell a reformed villain story (audiences love those), but probably not the origin story of someone you want to present upfront as a hero.

DUY: I mean technically he's not a reformed villain; he's a hero who had a mental breakdown, and then got fixed with, like, therapy an' shit His buildup to turning bad is quite long and pronounced, but the time he spends as a "villain" is very very short. But like I said above, I think that kind of material works better on Netflix.

LIZZY: This Hank Pym was way closer to the comic book Pym than the first one, I think. The cracks showed in his psyche more in this one, methinks.

The cracks showed in (Hank's) psyche more in this one. -Lizzy

MAX: So. It's a movie, right?

BEN: Ghost was cool.

JEFF: Finally saw this and after a bit of a slow start for me I liked it. Nothing special though

RICH: I agree. Parts of it were fun, but really I thought it was kind of weak--and very predictable. It's in my bottom three for the MCU. I give it three stars out of five. Fun at times, but largely just a rehash of the first one and nothing overly new. The character of Wasp's mother wasn't especially interesting. Ultimately, I thought this was the weakest film in the series since Dark World.

MAX: So it's about a man-sized ant?

LaMAR: No, but a man-sized ant is in it though.

JEFF: That ant was the Kilmer winner.

LaMAR: Damn right.

MAX: So really, the movie should be called "Man-Sized Ant."

BEN: "Man Who Shrinks."

MAX: "Shrinky Man" has a nice ring to it. Trademark that shit.

BEN: "Ensmallens Man."

PETER: Sob, you're all talking about me again, I know it! It was very cold just so you know! And I'm Asian so I can't help it!

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