Film: Ant-Man

"One question... Is it too late to change the name?"
— Scott Lang

Ant-Man is a July 2015 film directed by Peyton Reed and written by Adam McKay, based on the comic book property of the same name. It marks the twelfth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the last entry in the MCU's Phase 2 slate.

Its story follows Scott Lang, a career criminal who is bailed out of prison by retired inventor Hank Pym for One Last Job: steal Pym's research from his former company, before it can be abused by the firm's new owners. To accomplish this, Pym outfits Lang with the "Ant-Man" suit, a piece of technology with the ability to both increase the wearer's strength and shrink them down to the size of an ant.

The film stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross / Yellowjacket, Judy Greer as Maggie, Scott's estranged ex-wife, John Slattery as Howard Stark, and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. Other cast members include Michael Pena, T.I. and Wood Harris.

Previews: Ant-Sized Teaser, Human-Sized Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2


This movie includes examples of:

  • Action Girl: Hope, to the point that she's actually the one who teaches Scott how to fight.
    Scott: You're going to show me how to punch? [holds up hand as a target] Show me how to—
    [Hope punches him in the face]
    Hope: That's how you punch.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Scott's daughter Cassie is a brunette rather than a blonde.
    • Lang himself is a redhead in the comic, and black-haired in the film.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Lang's wife is called "Peggy" in the comics and "Maggie" in the film, probably to avoid confusion with Peggy Carter. Justifiable though since both names are derived from "Margaret".
    • Maggie Lang's new husband is named Paxton. In the comics, his name is Blake Burdick.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: film Darren Cross was made the protege of Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man), and later becomes Yellowjacket, the Evil Counterpart of Scott Lang (the new Ant-Man). Edgar Wright cited the use of this trope in Iron Man as a major inspiration, arguing that the hero and villain getting their powers from the same source makes for a simpler and more coherent story.
  • Adaptational Badass: Apparently. In the comic, Antman is stated to merely retain his regular human strength when small, hence why he appears to be super-strong compared to his size; in the movie trailer, he is explicitly stated to be superhumanly strong when small, to the point he is "like a bullet".
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the Marvel Comics 2 comics, Hope Van Dyne / Hope Pym was an Ax-Crazy villain called Red Queen. Although she is on strained relations with her father in the film due to her mother's death years ago, she's more-or-less on the side of good here.
  • Age Lift: Hank Pym, a contemporary of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the comics, is depicted as a retired superhero from the 1960's, making him as old as he would have been had the comic character aged in real time.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing:
    • Ant-Man wears a costume that looks a bit like a red ant and has the power to shrink to the size of an ant. It also allows him to communicate with ants, which Hope says is his greatest power.
    • Yellowjacket wears a black and yellow variant designed to evoke the image of a wasp.
  • Anti-Hero: Scott is a former thief trying to go straight by helping Hank Pym. This, of course, turns out to involve committing more crimes.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Hank Pym's scientific discovery, the "Pym Particles", are what allows Ant-Man and Yellowjacket to change their sizes.
  • Atrocious Alias: Scott appears to think this of "Ant-Man".
    Scott: One question: is it too late to change the name?
  • Back for the Finale:
  • Bald of Evil: Darren Cross has a shaved head.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt Corporate Executive Darren Cross, a Starter Villain for Scott in the comics.
  • Black Best Friend: T.I. has stated that his character, Dave, is "A superhero's homeboy." He is part of a trio of inmates Scott grows close to in prison, who are later instrumental in Scott's plan to steal the Yellowjacket suit from Cross.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most of the supporting cast, including Scott's prison cellmates.
  • The Caper: Was described as a "heist movie" by Edgar Wright when he was still set to direct. In the comics, Scott Lang stole the Ant-Man suit in hopes of pulling off enough heists to save his sick daughter. This time around though, it's Hank who wants Scott to use the Ant-Man technology to pull off a heist.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted, albeit not without lampshading.
    Scott: Is it too late to change the name?
  • Composite Character:
    • Janet died in the process of him inventing the Ant-Man gear, making her a mix of comics Janet and Pym's first wife, Maria.
    • In a combo of Composite and Decomposite Character, film Yellowjacket is Darren Cross, a completely separate character in the comics. The Yellowjacket suit also has mechanical legs like the Ant-Man suit worn by Eric O'Grady.
    • Hope sports her mother Janet's trademark bob hairstyle. She may also end up being the MCU's version of the Wasp, instead of her mother Janet Van Dyne.
    • Hank's action of lending the mantle "Ant-man" to Scott is from his Earth-616 counterpart, but his age, the fact that he has a daughter named Hope who has a Face-Heel Turn and his dead wife is Janet instead of Maria is astonishingly similar to his Marvel Comics 2 counterpart.
  • Decomposite Character: Yellowjacket is the villain of the film, though he will be Darren Cross instead of Hank Pym.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Hank and Scott have very dry senses of humor.
    Scott: My days of breaking into places and stealing stuff are over. So what do you want me to do?
    Hank: I want you to break into a place and steal some stuff.
    Scott: [Beat] Makes sense.
  • Death by Adaptation: Janet Van Dyne.
  • Demoted to Extra: Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man in the comics, is a supporting character. The movie focuses on Lang instead.
  • Evil Counterpart: Yellowjacket, to Ant-Man.
  • Every Thing Is An I Pod In The Future: The Ant-Man suit was invented decades ago and looks rather rough. In contrast, the Yellowjacket suit has been described as looking like "Apple made an Ant-Man suit."
  • Humongous Mecha: Played with. One battle between Scott and Cross has a miniaturized Scott rushing a normal-sized Cross as he fires lasers at Scott in his mechanized Yellowjacket suit.
  • Legacy Character: Scott Lang is the second person to take the role of Ant-Man, following Hank Pym.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Hope van Dyne, who is estranged from her father Hank after something that happened between him and her mother Janet.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: The costume is a lot darker than the one from the comics, but still has red in the chest area. The black leather is so prominent that Lang initially mistakes the costume for motorcycle gear.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Ant-man and Yellowjacket have what appears to them to be an epic miniature battle on a train set, which at normal size just looks like a bunch of plastic toys being knocked over.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Hope Van Dyne sports a short bob hairstyle, much like the one her mother Janet wore in the comics.
    • The Yellowjacket suit looks similar to the G.I. Ant-Man armor from the short-lived Irredeemable Ant-Man series.
    • Lang suggests changing the "Ant-Man" name. Pym is prone to changing his superhero name.
    • Ant-Man deals with a couple of mooks in a similar manner to the 2012 Edgar Wright test footage.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech:
    • Pym gives Scott one:
      Dr. Pym: Scott, I've been watching you for a while, now. You're different. Now, don't let anyone tell you that you have nothing to offer. Second chances don't come around all that often. I suggest you take a really close look at it. This is your chance - to earn that look in your daughter's eyes. To become the hero that she already thinks you are. It's not about saving our world; it's about saving theirs. Scott, I need you... to be the Ant-Man.
    • Which is immediately ruined by Scott's unimpressed reaction:
      Scott: Huh.
  • Nom de Mom: Hank Pym's daughter, Hope goes by her mother's maiden name instead of her birth surname, due to her estrangement from her father.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scott gains super-human strength when he shrinks down to the size of an ant, as in the comics.
  • Retired Badass: Hank Pym is now a retired superhero who operated in the 60s.
  • Rule of Cool / Awesome but Impractical: Suit designer Ivo Coveney admits that the tubes on the helmet are woefully impractical, since it'd be easy for an enemy to tear them off and kill Scott instantly (since the outside air molecules would be too big for his lungs). Despite this, he said the design team opted to leave them in, since they felt the tubes made the suit look cooler.
  • Season Finale: The film is the final film of the MCU's Phase Two, instead of Age of Ultron, despite the first Avengers being the finale to Phase One.
  • Self-Deprecation: The trailer contains this line in reference to the Ant-Man moniker:
    Scott Lang: One question. Is it too late to change the name?
  • Shout-Out:
    • Yellowjacket and Ant-Man battle at one point on a Thomas the Tank Engine toy set.
      • Also, during this scene the camera cuts to a view of the toy set, revealing the intense, up-close action to look fairly mundane from actual size, similar to the scenes featuring the miniatures in Night at the Museum.
      • The trailer cutting away from the tense miniature action sequence to the normal-sized perspective of it for a joke recalls (intentionally or not) The Ant Bully, which incidentally also features (you guessed it) ants.
  • Size Shifter: The Ant-Man suit allows its wearer to shrink in size, yet gain far more strength than they have at normal size.
  • Tagline: Heroes don't get any bigger.
  • Three-Point Landing: When Scott shrinks in a bathtub, he classily lands on his legs and one arm.
  • Token Trio: Luis (hispanic), Kurt (white) and Dave (black), Scott's friends from prison.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A lego set that was leaked before the release of the movie revealed that Hank Pym dons the original Ant-Man suit again in time for the final battle. Of course, Lego sets are rarely exact recreations of movie scenes, and sometimes show things that don't make it into the movies at all.
  • Traintop Battle: Befitting with the size changing gimmick, part of a battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is a toy traintop battle. On Thomas the Tank Engine, no less.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Few were expecting the Ant-Man movie to get off the ground after years of Development Hell; by the time it arrived, the superhero was considered an unexpected pick for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • In the film itself there's Hope van Dyne, who goes by Red Queen (Hope Pym) in the Marvel Comics 2 universe.
    • The use of Darren Cross, a character who appeared in one issue before dying, as the Big Bad.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Daren Cross believes he's advancing scientific progress by spreading the Pym Particle technology.
    Cross: Did you think you could stop the future!?

Tie-Ins

Marvel's Ant-Man Prelude contains the following tropes:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: A bit more practical when you can shrink down to the size of an ant.
  • Call Back: Peggy once again fires a sidearm at someone to prove a point, causing them to use some fancy tech to avoid the danger. Leading to this exchange...
    Hank: What do you think?
    Peggy: I think it works.
  • Cold War: HYDRA is making trouble in their old stomping grounds of the now divided Berlin.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Part of Hank's mission is crossing the infamous "Death Strip" of the Berlin Wall undetected.
  • Indy Ploy: Peggy's best advice for the ill-experienced lab tech on his first solo mission in the field? When in doubt of what to do, Improvise.
  • Megaton Punch: One of Ant-Man's powers put to full effect. Sneak up beside somebody's face and deck 'em with full-sized human strength... but focused at a pinpoint spot. Ouch.
  • Teleport Spam: In a close-quarters room, Hank can effectively do this, appearing at full-size, then shrinking out of view, back and forth very quickly. It's very unsettling.
  • The Only One I Trust: With the technology of the Pym Particle, Hank only trusts himself to prevent it falling into the wrong hands, so he won't let any other S.H.I.E.L.D. agent wear his suit. Which means he has to go out into the field if it's absolutely required.

Marvel's Ant-Man - Scott Lang - Small Time contains the following tropes:

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scott's former boss at Vistacorp, big time.
  • Forensic Accounting: By accident, Scott stumbled on the glaring over-charging of customers his former employers were involved in. Beware the IT guy with access to everything.
  • Gang Initiation Fight: The opening shows Scott's getting the crap kicked out him in prison. The ending reveals it's early in his stay and this is an arranged fight by Scott's cellmate, Luis.
  • How We Got Here: Scott's already in prison at San Quentin when the story opens. The rest of the comic is about what happened to lead him there.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: With access to Vistacorp's bank accounts, Scott decides a little redistribution of wealth is in order.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Try to whistleblow on a corrupt executive? Fired. (This with a "Whistleblower: Know Your Rights" poster in the background).
  • Villain with Good Publicity: When Scott tries to reveal his company is illegally overcharging customers, they run a smear campaign that they're just a hardworking company and he's just a disgruntled "former employee" trying to extort them.