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Hope van Dyne
- Hope is clearly a better fighter than Scott, and would be more familiar with the layout of Pym Technologies than he is (since she's a part of the company). The Ant-Man suit also doesn't have any arbitrary gender restrictions. Why doesn't she just wear it herself and steal the Yellowjacket suit for her father?
- Maybe it's safer for her to send in someone not her and have them get arrested if something goes wrong instead of her? Pacifistic nature? I dunno.
- She may be better at fighting but it might not make her better at sneaking in or circumventing security.
- She may also have other things she has to do. Really premature to ask this question before the movie comes out.
- This is actually a plot point in the movie itself. Hope is the one most familiar with the suit and believes she should go on the mission instead of Scott. However Hank, having already lost Janet during a mission, cannot bear to put her in the same danger as well. Scott comes right out and tells Hope this, that Hank chose him to wear the suit because he's expendable to him and she isn't. By the end of the film he changes his mind and introduces Hope to the Wasp suit.
- Hank also points out that Hope is expected to be with Darren quite a lot, so while she should perhaps have been allowed to use the suit earlier, once time gets short for the heist her absence would raise additional alarms and with less of a chance of finding out about them.
Phase 2 finale
- So, why is this the finale for phase 2 and not Age of Ultron? Seems a bit low-key for that role.
- That's the point, it's ending Phase 2 on a lighter Breather Episode that still gets fans ready for Phase 3.
- Besides, if it was part of Phase 3, that would leave Phase 2 with only five movies versus Phase 1's six movies. Giving the next phase less movies than the previous one would probably give the studio a bad rep.
- To sum up in a single trope, it's a Dénouement Episode.
- That's the point, it's ending Phase 2 on a lighter Breather Episode that still gets fans ready for Phase 3.
Cross and the heist
- Wait, so Cross knew Hank, Hope and Scott were planning a heist, but he wanted it to happen just so he could get his hand on the Ant-Man suit as well ? Then why did he put a miniature laser grid that would have destroyed the suit had they done a tiny mistake or had something out of their control been preventing them from shutting it off (like what almost happened) ? Couldn't he put in place another safety protocol that wouldn't have raised suspicion on the heroes' part but wouldn't be as destructive for the thing he wants to acquire ?
- Since he had JUST perfected his own suit and particles, perhaps he only wanted the Ant-Man suit to take it out of the running. Destroying it with the laser grid would have been one way to do that.
- Also, he didn't really care if he got the Ant-Man suit. It was just a bonus if Scott made it through, so he could rub it in Hank's face. Also also, he was crazy at this point.
- It's sort of a win-win for Cross. If the Ant-Man suit (and Scott) are destroyed, nobody knows, and — more importantly — he's rid of the only competition for his tech. If the Ant-Man suit gets through, then Cross can say, "A piece of 30-year-old technology just got through nearly every security system money can buy. Mine has all of that, plus it can fly and shoot lasers," then ratchet up the price.
- Also, he's... kind of a smug dick. Yeah, he was probably willing to let them go all the way through with it just to have a chance to gloat right at the end.
- Hope's mother, Janet, the Wasp, went subatomic decades ago, and into the titanium shell of an ICBM that splashed in the ocean, at that. Even if she had somehow survived without air, food, or water, and even if Hank figured out how to enter the "quantum realm" on his own, how would he expect to find an infinitesimally tiny person in an infinitely larger world?
- Don't know how he'd find her, but to get to her it could be some variation of the Wait Calculation. Janet wearing the suit decades ago shrank at a certain speed. Hank with a more advanced tech could shrink at a faster rate to catch up.
- As far as how she'd survive all this time, Hank seems to think that time doesn't work the same way in the quantum realm. So if he could ever find a way to retrieve her, it's possible that Janet would have been effectively frozen in time for the last 30 years.
- All this "quantum" talk could might make one think that the movie might somehow be setting up the Time Stone. That didn't end up happening, but it could still be involved in finding her in the future some how.
- More probably, it is setting up the Microverse for future films.
- Hank said that neither space nor time work the same in the Quantum Realm. If the MCU's metaplot involves bringing her back, her physical location in space when she entered it wouldn't necessarily confine her any more than her location in time.
- Time surely still works the same than in does in the grand scheme of things. What Pym surely meant is that in the subatomic realm time is "different" because everything around someone looks like an infinite nothingness, and there is no way for the human mind to actually notice the pass of time.
- In point of fact, time is under no such constraints, even in the real world. Special Relativity specifically ties the function of time to the mass of everything traveling through it. While we don't know how "going subatomic" would specifically affect that relationship (especially since the writers can make up whatever they need to fit the plot), it's almost certain that all the regular rules about time passing are thrown out the window once you start shrinking to quantum states. It's conceivable that when all's said and done, Janet may return to normal size younger than Hope.
Hearing while shrunk
- Perhaps that's not the greatest point for movie with questionable relation to physics, but when Scott goes subatomic, how can he still hear Cassie calling out for him? I understand it in all the other cases, ants have no problem with that, but shouldn't the sound waves at this point be too big for Scott's ears to process them coherently, or even catch the entirety of them?
- It's likely that's supposed to be his memories, not her actually speaking. He's beyond the realm of time and space, he's just dipping into his own head for motivation to find a way out of his predicament. However this raises a second issue: if the commands the ants receive are being transmitted as scent molecules, how do they work when Scott is shrunken? Do the molecules that get emitted by the earpiece suddenly grow to normal size once they're produced? How do they penetrate the environment of the helmet, for that matter (since everything in the suit must be fully self-contained so the individual wearing it can survive when they are too tiny to breathe the air at that size)?
- The second one is easy: While the suit wasn't originally designed for the ant-controller, Hank could easily have made an upgrade since so that it links up to an auxiliary unit in the helmet, which then transmits the signal outside the suit. There is the question of the size of the pheromones, but that could be part of the upgrade. "When you're big, emit these pheromones, when you're small emit these ones." Well, it seems more like a sonic device, but the point is the suit could compensate for whatever it is.
- Hank mentions that his control of the ants isn't due to pheromones, but due to electromagnetic stimulation of their olfactory systems.
What actually happens when shrunken
- So Scott is able to deliver the force of a human fist to an area smaller than a square millimeter but you can carry around a shrunken tank as a keychain?
- Pym Particles Did It.
- Yep, that's basically it. If you want to go into more detail, then the particles somehow grant living things control of their own mass, so that when Scott is running around on the guard's shoulder he weighs as much as an ant, but when he's punching he has the full force of a man. Inorganic material just weighs as much as its size would indicate. Which is kinda counter to what the movie said (Hank said density is increased, which definitely sounds like everything should weigh the same), but there it is.
- Yes, it's extremely inconsistent whether shrinking/growing an object actually changes its mass. Hence things like being able to ride an ant while shrunk. But that's how Pym Particles have always worked in the comics too. Your mass while under their effect is whatever it needs to be.
- It does bug me when problems with story-telling fall back on "This is how it is in the comics." Marvel's Cinematic Universe is great in that they have a chance to re-imagine their existing stories and take out logical failings while maintaining the spirit of their comic franchise.
- That's a Headscratcher for me too. I would be able to accept it if they explained the particles as just shrinking matter, and giving no details, but the way they do it makes it clear that mass is not being affected (the particles are getting closer to each other, but not changing size/mass themselves, matter is mostly empty space after all)... but then it is, but only when it's useful for the script. It's all-right to have a physics-defying concept in a story with sci-fi elements, but if you decide to add some rules to it, the least you can do is stick to them.
- What hurts this is the attempt to explain it. They used actual science, which opened it up to being scrutinized, and it makes the inconsistencies stand out. The writers would have been better off just declaring that it's magical tech so they don't have to be consistent with the way it works, and you can still have your Thomas the Tank engine crush a car.
- To be fair, it's specifically noted that Pym does not want other people replicate his success, so he may have been simply telling them somewhat believable (but not true) explanation. Hell, he should've, if he's as smart as they said and kept particles in secret as long as he did.
- It's also entirely possible that Pym doesn't actually know for certain how they work, but looks at the results and makes the closest educated guess he can to how they actually function.
- In the original comics, it's said that Pym Particles alter the size of things by shunting the affected object(or person)'s mass into an "alternate dimension". That dimension could well be the "quantum realm" Hank refers to. When an object shrinks, its mass is displaced into the realm. When it grows, mass is gleans from the realm and added to the target object, giving it increased weight, density and strength. This would be a reasonable handwave to explain some of the aforementioned inconsistencies.
- Plus, at the end of the day... it's a superhero movie. Superhero movies, by fundamental nature, involve completely kicking established scientific principles in the junk so that you can facilitate cool superhero stuff. If they adhered as closely to real actual physics as some here seem to be demanding, there wouldn't be an Ant-Man movie to begin with for the simple reason that in real actual physics, a person can't shrink to the size of an ant. Drawing on actual quantum physics principles in a superhero movie will never — never — be anything more than an attempt at a thin veneer of scientific credibility to dress up exactly why this guy is shrinking to the size of an ant and beating up people despite such a thing being completely impossible. I guess it sucks to be a physics graduate watching such a movie knowing all the reasons why such a thing is completely impossible and all the reasons why the scientific terms being thrown out are complete horseshit, but ultimately this is one of those "it's just a movie, shut up and relax" things.
- You have a device that can kill a person by instantly shrinking them into a small puddle of snot. Why would you not sell the failed shrink ray to Hydra instead?
- The same reason why criminal organizations don't just focus on getting their hands on as many guns as possible. Weapons only get you so far and Hydra especially would be aware that insta-kill shots would not just give them victory.
- Also Cross was obsessed with recreating the Pym particles as a way of proving his superiority to Hank. He wanted to create a superior version of what he saw as Hank's greatest achievement and getting the formula to work perfectly aligned with that.
- The gun still uses his version of the Pym Particle as ammunition, and it is highly likely that the particles are rare and extremely difficult to produce, making it very impractical as a fired weapon.
- Same reason Obadiah Stane only used his super-awesome paralyzing device once: the villains of these movies are so obsessed with copying the achievements of the heroes that they don't pay attention to the potential of the weapons they have...
- To be fair, as mentioned, the Pym Particle Gun doesn't have many applications that a normal gun doesn't already have. You could kill someone and erase all of the evidence fairly easily, and it would probably be at least on part with the best anti-material weapons available in the MCU for dealing with things like tanks or the Iron Man suit, but the Yellowjacket system has considerably more versatility to it. But it is true that Cross is obsessed with achieving what his mentor did, which does blind him to the possibilities of what he already has.
- Yes, it does. For starters, it's a perfect assassination weapon. It's silent, instant, 100%-lethal and it leaves no body, no bullet, no traces at all. It also doesn't look like a gun and can be easily concealed and disguised as an innocent gadget. And if it is possible to extend the range, well, then it's just a perfect weapon period.
- Is it? Hydra already has discs that turns you first into stone and then into dust. The only improvement the gun would provide is using extremely rare ammunition just to make it soundless (but a disc still is easier to conceal than a gun), so it's not really worth it.
- Sure, it's better for murders, but a functional shrink ray could also help with moving and storing equipment. He could just keep the 'imperfect' mode as an optional setting.
- If the plan was to blow up (then implode) the entire Pym Technologies building, why did the protagonists first short out all the servers?
- To hamper the security systems in the process. The servers being knocked out would have certainly messed with a few of their obstacles as they were sneaking in.
- Wiping out the servers would also prevent an emergency data dump if they were detected infiltrating the facility, as well as making sure that any information on fragments from the servers would be irrecoverable. In fact, I would even bet on one of the procedures when an alarm is sounded that someone either grabs hard drives with the data or dumps the server data to an offsite backup.
- It may also be a tiered contingency plan. At the minimum, they destroy all the servers. The easiest thing for them to do. If successful, move on to destroying the building and then destroying the Yellowjacket.
Avenger's Security Measures
- So the new Avenger's training facility has sensors set up that go off, if an insect lands on their roof? What happens if a bird just randomly lands on the roof?
- Well, this is a world where HYDRA still rears its heads and makes deals behind closed doors. Maybe the new Avengers amped-up their security system, making it overly sensitive as a precautionary measure for the new facility. There would be false alarms every now and then, but people like Falcon would take it in stride and opt for the better-safe-than-sorry approach.
- It's likely not just them being insects, but that they have communication equipment and the suit may be putting out some kind of detectable energy signature.
- Considering that in real life, right now, we can create camera drones the size of insects, they likely do have scanners suitable for tracking something small that is not moving in quite the typical insect-like behavior, simply as a safety precaution. Remember that Scott wasn't just flying in on a single insect, but he had an entire directed swam of flying ants under his control moving toward the building. If they do have any kind of JARVIS/FRIDAY style AI running security there, it likely would have noticed odd behavior and sent Sam out to check it.
- Also Scott keeps the same density as a 200 pound man even when he's shrunk right? So the sensors might not pick up an insect or a bird but they might have a flagged a 200 pound something tripped a sensor on the roof.
The Triskelion in 1989?
- It's previously been established that SHIELD, although an important organization dealing with super science and other oddities, wasn't particularly well known or large until the turn of the century. It was implied in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that the Triskelion and SHIELD expansion happened as a result of the Chitauri invasion, justifying why the United States is okay with a multinational run paramilitary base being built at the capital, rather than freaking out about it (the United Nations Building in NYC was met with resistance when established, and that wasn't the capital). Seems like a major retcon.
- No? It's never been indicated that SHIELD was a small-scale organization except in the very first Iron Man movie, and that was simply because Pepper and Tony didn't know what SHIELD was. In addition, the Triskelion itself indicates that its been around for longer than just the Chitauri attack. A building of that size, complete with massive underground hangars capable of housing three Helicarriers couldn't have been built in a couple of years' time. We know that the Triskelion was a thing as far back as shortly after the Chitauri attack, as it's outright mentioned in Agents of SHIELD in the episode "The Hub."
- Coulson's comment then were about building it. It's not to say that SHIELD was insignificant before the Avengers — the tech on the helicarrier alone shows it was well-funded, and clearly in the works years before Stark became Iron Man — but it's still a multinational operation, something that would probably not have a base in the US capital in the 1980s.
- Coulson says nothing about them constructing the Triskelion in Agents of SHIELD. Simmons specifically states that Skye "should see the Triskelion" indicating that it was already an established facility. Again, the sheer size and scale of the Triskelion in Winter Soldier precludes it being constructed in under a couple of years, let alone within months, which it would need if it was built between the time of the Chitauri invasion and "The Hub." In addition, during the flashback in "Melinda" which took place about six to seven years before the events of Winter Soldier, the Triskelion was mentioned during the SHIELD briefing - which means that it was around well before the Chitauri invasion. Without any other statements indicating when it was built, the Triskelion in Ant Man doesn't contradict anything previously stated anywhere in the setting.
- Coulson mentions in the flashback in 'Melinda' that SHIELD is retiring the Mobile Command Centers (like the Bus) and "Putting every dollar they have into the Triskelion". The flashback happens roughly in 2008, but his wording is vague. He doesn't say it's being built, he probably means it's getting expanded somehow.
- He's not talking about expanding the Triskelion, he's talking about building the Project Insight Helicarriers. According to Wikipedia, the latest generation of Aircraft Carriers take around five years to build, and Project Insight was launched in the first week of April 2014, so construction on the Helicarriers would have started in 2008.
- The Triskelion may have originally been built to house multiple agencies, SHIELD among them. It just so happens that by the time of Winter Soldier, SHIELD grew until it took up all of the building, and the other agencies were either absorbed or had to move out.
- Watching the film again, several stories and some of the base of the building are still under construction. Using some of the building while the rest is being finished is not unusual. A project like that would take some time to complete, it's probably not officially finished until 1990 or so, meaning it was only 20 some years old by the time of the movies. Not old at all by the standards of a building like this.
- How does exactly shrinking to sub-atomic levels work? In order to destroy the Yellowjacket suit, Scott has to shrink to a sub-atomic level in order to weave through the Titanium molecules that protect it. This creates two problems:
- If Scott had to shrink to a dangerous sub-atomic level just to pass the Yellowjacket armor's outer layer, how did he expect to actually cause any damage to the inside of the suit.
- When Scott is destroying the armor, he is clearly larger than the chips inside it. That means that he never reached sub-atomic sizes, or that he found a way to enlarge himself back again after breaking through the titanium.
- Pym Particles did it.
- He didn't want to go sub-atomic specifically; he needed to shrink past the normal limit of a few millimeters to get through. He just couldn't stop shrinking once he went past that limit.
- Except that if he went event to a molecular scale, then going through that plate would've been akin to going through the planet crust. For subatomic size it would've been an interstellar travel.
- Both times we see someone shrink to get through titanium we see them aim for whatever tiny gaps exist between the titanium plates rather than between molecules. Scott, as mentioned before, was still large enough to smash up the circuitry on his way to subatomic so it's very possible neither of them were actually subatomic until long after they got past the titanium. Additionally, for the Yellowjacket suit, it was shown Cross has been able to shrink inorganic objects for a while at the start of the movie, whose to say he didn't shrink some micro-circuitry to allow a more compact suit? A microchip shrunk at even the standard scale shown ( from 5'10 to a fraction of an inch) would make for a VERY small chip.
- "Sub-atomic" may not mean that Scott became smaller than an atom initially, but that the molecules of Scott's body and suit shrank so much that they became electron-sized and subject to quantum forces. This made Scott's whole body tiny enough to slip through cracks in the titanium that his ant-sized body couldn't penetrate, but it also interfered with the suit's operation so that, shortly after he'd finished sabotaging Cross's safety gear, its controls got stuck in "shrink" mode and wouldn't switch off.
Reducing atomic distances and subatomic
- The Pym Particle is said to "reduce atomic distances". There should be a hard limit to how small one can get; it would still be trillions upon trillions of times larger than atomic size.
- Which means it should be impossible to "go subatomic".
- Not necessarily. The general structure of an atom is only finite for the nucleus (primarily because the neutrons and the protons are stuck to each other). The electrons that orbit the nucleus are actually far enough away from the nucleus that the majority of an atom compared to the particles it is comprised of is mostly effectively empty space. If the Pym particles are capable of reducing the distance, you CAN shrink a person down to being smaller than an atom. This is also to note that Atoms are no longer the smallest unit of measuring size.
- It's possible that the whole "distance between molecules" thing was just a BS explanation Hank gave people and it's actually the 'shifting mass between dimensions' method from the comics.
How did Paxton find Scott?
- When Scott and Cross end up at the house with the pool, Paxton and his partner arrive immediately despite earlier following the crashing helicopter in a car that would have crashed somewhere else, and it's unlikely they would have known about the shrinking ability or even be able to follow the suitcase.
- The family called the cops. "Something landed in our pool, and then two men burst out and started fighting!"
- Except, Paxton arrived less than a minute after Scott and Cross fell into the pool - actually immediately after the family run out. They would have had to follow the helicopter and not only the suitcase fell down in a different place before the helicopter crashed, but there's no way they could have known that Scott and Cross were in it.
- How was HYDRA still around at such a level in this movie? I know the whole “cut one head off and two more appear” thing but between Coulson’s decimation of their leadership in Agents of Shield, The Avengers taking care of Baron Strucker (implied to be the largest force they have left) in Age of Ultron, and Ward creating a new HYDRA out of the remnants (he specifically is given a list of contacts left and asks if that is all) it seems strange that they are still in a state where they can act in this situation, let alone afford the Yellow Jacket suits.
- Because they're HYDRA. Even with the other Council members getting wiped out, they would each have significant numbers of subordinates like Bakshi who would be able to rise up and take control of the ranks. Remember, they've had seventy-plus years to build up their resources. There's still plenty of HYDRA left.
- Agents of SHIELD confirmed this and eliminated this headscratcher. Hydra simply fractured into a bunch of cells, some large, some small, some remaining sleeper. They're still around and active until well after this movie.
- It's entirely possible that all this cell has is money. Maybe they're just a financial cell, waiting for more orders while buying up the suit on the logic that whoever ended up in charge would want it for something. They were pretty much less than useless in the final fights, so it's not like this was one of the hard-core spy/assassin cells.
- Cut off one head and two more shall grow. Besides, Baron Zemo's been confirmed for Civil War; this is actually a good reminder that HYDRA is still alive and kicking so it won't be a complete asspull when they show up in that film.
- And we're back into headscratcher territory, since not only did the MCU's take on Zemo have no connections to Hydra, but he explicitly said they can go to hell.
- Because they're HYDRA. Even with the other Council members getting wiped out, they would each have significant numbers of subordinates like Bakshi who would be able to rise up and take control of the ranks. Remember, they've had seventy-plus years to build up their resources. There's still plenty of HYDRA left.
How did Scott get so good at theft?
- It's said that his one burglary (not robbery) was VistaCorp, as a Just Like Robin Hood moment. And although it involved breaking into a house, it's implied he mostly handled electronic information. How'd he become experienced at safes and other heist-related elements?
- He's an engineer. Not only does he make his own equipment, but when he turned to theft he studied safes to learn how best to break into them. It's also implied that he did more than one job; his ex talks about how he "always" goes back to crime, which definitely sounds like it's more than a one time thing. Maybe VistaCorp was just the only one where he got caught.
- granted, it's just a personal theory, but maybe he was a career criminal from a young age (we don't know what Scott's family was like; he could well be a second-gen thief, just like Hope's a second-gen hero). The master's in electrical engineering could well have been Scott's attempt to go straight for Maggie and Cassie; the mess with VistaCorp being the last straw to convince him that he might as well go back to burglary, because even the so-called 'legit' businesses were all crooks too.
- There's no indication that VistaCorp was the only burglary Scott's ever done, its just the one he was sent to jail for. His conversation with Luis after he's picked up from jail implies that they've worked together a long time, seeing how Luis is so eager to get Scott back in the game.
- Luis also comments of Hank Pym's house that "it's a classic Scott Lang mark," strongly implying that he's done other jobs before. Personally, I think there was some confusion between multiple drafts of the script, one having Scott as a career criminal, and another establishing that he'd only committed one very noble crime to make him more sympathetic to the audience, and bits of both drafts made it into the final. But one could infer that Scott's motives for crime have usually been about helping more than just himself.
- Okay, this is really trivial in comparison to some of the other bits, but... how the hell is everyone able to change into these full body suits so quickly? Scott manages to get into the Ant-Man Suit in like 7 seconds, and Yellowjacket gets into a SHRUNKEN DOWN SUIT in about the same amount of time! I'd raise an eyebrow at 30 seconds, but putting on a jumpsuit and helmet in that amount of time is just insane!
- Whilst getting into the one-piece leather Ant-Man suit does stretch credulity, there's nothing to say the Yellowjacket isn't modular or specially designed to facilitate quick-changes, like Iron Man's briefcase armor or the Mk VII through XLII suits.
- From this viewer's perspective, I assumed that the moment when he breaks out of jail was longer than 10 seconds. Since Hank was using the ants to form the actual number, they would take more than a second to count down. I assume that Hank might have exaggerated the count to push a sense of urgency into Scott.
- Maybe the ants counted down twice: once from 10 to tell Scott how long he had to start getting dressed in the suit, and again (from an unspecified number) to tell him how long he had to finish changing and push the "Shrink Me" button. The scene is just cut to obscure this to build tension in the audience.
Side effects of the Pym Particles
- Hank mentioned his reason for not donning the Ant-Man suit in the movie is because years of fighting in the past has taken a toll on his body. Yet Cross starts to act even more psychotic in a few minutes after perfecting his own version of the Pym Particles, and being able to wear his Yellowjacket suit. I've been wondering, did the imperfect Pym Particles deteriorate Cross's sanity? Because when comparing Hank to Cross, Hank seems relatively harmless (despite years of using Pym Particles) when Cross acts like a mixture of a sociopath + psychopath.
- Hope does point out that Cross was hardly a picture of mental health before - his repeated exposure to the Pym particles without a protective helmet, and his own pre-existing personality issues and bitterness regarding Hank Pym, likely exacerbated the effect.
- Going with the above, it seems like the intent was to say that the Ant-Man suit's helmet prevents any mental side effects from shrinking which is what the Yellowjacket suit lacks and Cross got the full damage from. Hank's comments on himself sounds more like even with the helmet, there are physical deteriorations that happen over time and wore his body down. It would also go along with the fact that despite the years of fighting and having his own personal gym, he's moving like a regular old man during the film.
- Also note the experiments he was doing. He was just standing there, unprotected, while the Pym Particles zapped test subjects. The Yellowjacket suit might have protected the wearer, it might not have, but it didn't matter because that's not what was driving him crazy.
- Hank may not have meant that shrinking specifically took a toll of him as a side effect, just that the physical wear and tear from doing so many missions might have. It does happen to some athletes as they get older, and Hank is probably too old to be jumping around. Going with the above about Cross, it could be that uncontained Pym particles exhibit some form of radiation. Whenever Cross experiments with them or uses the shrink gun, it shoots out energy. The disks that Hank created have a similar purpose, but they keep that energy contained instead, so they may be safer in that regard. One last thing to not is that Cross can only shrink the lamb once it's contained in that little glass pen, and we never see anyone shrink without a suit on. It is strange that we do see the ant grown without negative side effects though, so perhaps growth have very different properties.
- For all we know, the ant could have suffered personality-altering brain damage too. It's not like sitting under a table begging for treats is a normal ant behavior, after all...
Conservation of Mass My Ass
- The shrinking technology behind the Ant Man suit is said to work by reducing the space between atoms. If that's the case, whatever is shrunk using this technology should weigh the same, regardless of size. How then is 170 lb. Scott able to ride on a 5 mg ant, and jump on the barrel of a pistol without knocking over the person holding it (just to name a few examples)?
- There's already a Headscratcher for this near the top (see "What happens when shrunken"). But, to reiterate, Pym Particles Did It.
The Climactic Battle
- Why didn't Scott continue to use the ant blown up to an enormous size in the final battle? It could have taken care of Cross easily, especially since Scott knew exactly where he was. Instead, it's only used as a quick sight gag as it runs out of the house (and as a pet later on).
- It would only be as a strong as a normal sized ant when large, meaning it wouldn't even scratch Cross.
- Actually who can say. This movie wasn't exactly clear about the density and mass of objects when they change size (a plastic Thomas the Tank Engine toy can crush a police car when enlarged yet there's no problem in walking around with a shrunken tank on your keychain). So, yeah, maybe the big ant might have been able to help.
- Just think in the poor ant! Changing his size for the first time, without knowing what was happening, was a very scary experience for Scott. And he's a human being, he could understand what had happened, even if not how. An ant can not even begin to comprehend what the hell has happened. Her fear would be tons of times greater than that of Scott. Don't expect such a terrified creature to simply follow orders like a trained pet.
- Ant brains are pretty basic, and they can endure things like the loss of their own legs without adjusting their own behavior. It's likely the giant ant didn't have a clue anything at all had happened to it, but was just startled by the loud noises and disoriented because it couldn't find the scent-trails of its fellows anymore. Receiving orders from Scott might well have been a comfort to it: at least, it'd be in contact with something that smells like its colony and would know exactly what it's supposed to do again.
"Hey, another superhero. Let's fight!"
- As cool as the Ant-Man vs. Falcon fight was, I can't help but feel that Lang should have had a response to Falcon approaching him besides fight or flight. Falcon appeared pretty reasonable about someone breaching their HQ and even was willing to humor Lang for having to take something to save the world. If Lang just spent ten minutes explaining his situation to Falcon I'm sure they would have worked something out, but all of a sudden Lang runs away and Falcon goes guns blazing having no idea if he could even survive gunfire. The situation goes from 0 to 10 at an alarming rate.
- Ant-Man's working for someone who does not trust the Avengers, and probably would've given instructions not to tell them any details. Falcon "humored" him, but was clearly not intending to let him just take something. Ant-Man trespassed with an intent to steal something, and Falcon only has his word that he has good intentions. In that situation, you neutralize and detain if possible — something Ant-Man couldn't afford.
- Also Falcon, while reasonable, was still gonna bring him in. That's when Scott ran. Yes maybe if he brought him in and interrogated him then maybe they'd have worked something out but that would also let the Avengers know all about what they were planning, and Cap would probably insist they help if not just tell Scott to wait at their base and raid the place themselves, which is exactly what Hank didn't want to happen for the reasons he already explained to Scott a while ago. The only way it would have worked is if Falcon let him steal whatever and didn't tell anyone else he was there, which wasn't obviously going to happen. The only reason Falcon keeps it quiet is because he doesn't want Steve to know he got his ass kicked by a no name and Scott didn't steal anything. Plus who even knows if the thing Hank needed was even there anymore, since the whole place was renovated into a high tech hero HQ.
- Scott comes back with the thing Hank sent him for. It was there, and he did steal it.
- But what are the odds Sam knows that? When Scott said he "needed to borrow a piece of technology," Sam was probably thinking a doohickey off of War Machine's suit, or one of the new toys Stark had carted in to make the Avengers base state-of-the-art, or something with really dangerous applications. Who would think to check an ancient storeroom of thirty year old SHIELD tech?
- A minor one. After Scott has been pushed by the water of the bathtub he's falling downstair into a bar or a night-club, landing on a turntable. He escape from the dancers' shoes, fall into another place where someone is using a vacuum cleaner, and fall by the window into the roof of a taxi. Why is there a night-club between two housings ?
- It's not a nightclub. It's a house party. There's a blink-and-you-miss-it glimpse of it when Scott first goes to the apartment, and is climbing the stairs.
"Daddy, is that you?"
- How does Cassie manage to guess that it's Scott inside the Ant-Man suit when he shows up to fight Cross?
- Because a superhero just arrived to save her, and to her Scott is a hero.
- Because she says, "I want my daddy!" and Cross then answers, "I want your daddy, too." Then, when Scott shows up, Cross says, "There you are," in a tone that clearly indicates Ant-Man is the person he was looking for, who he just said was Cassie's daddy. Cassie concludes that Scott's in the Ant-Man suit because Cross basically just said Scott's in the Ant-Man suit.
- That and there's also the fact that a child would expect the person who just came inside their room - an "intimate" territory - to be someone they know. Since children have significantly smaller relationship circles, the choice here is limited. And now, we know she still has a good relationship with her dad and calls to him for help: she called for him, so that must be him who came to her rescue. Added to the fact that her dad is her hero.
- The fact that she needs to clarify that it is her dad suggests that she's not 100% certain that it is him, to be fair. But consider that everyone outright states to Scott that he is Cassie's hero and that he needs to earn that hero worship. Cassie is in a dangerous situation with a very frightening man, she wants her dad there to save and protect her, and then a superhero shows up in her room. Cassie is not just guessing it's her father, she's hoping it's her father, because he's the person she most wants to be there at that moment.
Why use lambs?
- So Darren Cross starts testing the shrink ray on lambs instead of mice to show off how evil he is, but why? I assume lab rats are a lot cheaper than lambs (say what you will about America, thirteen bucks still gets you a hell of a lot of mice), so this is just Stupid Evil. Sure, he might need to test on larger mammals before he starts using it on humans, but shouldn't his first priority be to make it not turn living things into bloody goo, then try it on larger, more expensive animals?
- The point wasn't just a Kick the Dog moment. Or, it was, but on the more extreme end. The point was to show that Darren had started going crazy enough that he literally could not understand what the difference was. He probably had some reason or other—hoping that more mass would give them more test data or something—and it didn't occur to him that anyone would care. To him, the only downside was the lamb being a bit more expensive, and with the amount of money each test likely cost, it was a minor detail compared to the potential gain. Which, again, we don't know what he thought that potential gain was, but he didn't explain. He was too busy wondering "Why would Hope be so horrified at using a lamb? What's the difference between a lamb and a mouse?"
- I don't think I'm crazy, and I don't see much of a meaningful difference. The difference Cross is supposed to be "missing" is that most people would probably think lambs are cuter than mice, but that's not a rational reason to avoid using lambs over mice, and rationality is practically the opposite of craziness. Perhaps he gets some fun out of upsetting people by pretending to miss the cute factor and daring underlings to try and explain it to him in a lab setting. You might call that crazy. But I think the most likely explanation for his behavior is that he's a scientist so focused on his objective that cuteness is irrelevant to him.
- Laboratory mice are actually purebreds (to reduce genetic uncertainties), and quite expensive — a genetically normal mouse costs almost $90. Sheep are actually cheaper, at $80 or less for a standard breed like the Suffolk. Problem is, sheep set off the nurturing instinct in most humans, to the point that researchers from the sheep-cloning project refuse to consider human testing for a long time to come — it was bad enough watching 276 baby lambs die in front of them to get the one success. So Darren has reduced costs by using something that is setting off every "save the baby" instinct his researchers have — and laughing.
- There is some practicality to it, actually. When we see the successfully shrunk lamb, it's an inch or so tall. They would want to do tests on it of some sort to verify that everything was working right. At this size, it's difficult but possible. If you start with something rat size, it would have a proportionally smaller shrunk size - probably about the size of a grain of rice. The difficulty of getting useful experimental data from it skyrockets. Did they have to use a lamb? No, but something of comparable size does have merit.
- For all we know, Cross just happens to have a sheep farm as part of his investment portfolio. Sheep farms slaughter their excess male lambs every season, so why not use them for something besides lamb chops?
- He probably has already done oodles of testing on inanimate, non-organic objects and shrunk them down no problem. After all, Hank and Hope spend most of the movie fretting that he's getting increasingly close to success. What Darren really wants to do, however, is shrink a person down, and to figure out how to do that he needs to try it with an organic lifeform at some point. The lamb is something reasonably large, reasonably docile, and cute enough to emphasise just how crazy-sociopathic Darren has become when he horribly science-mulches a cute animal to death without a flicker of concern, regret or even any kind of reaction whatsoever.
The guy who jumps and the guy who swings
- At the end of the movie, it's mentioned that the Avengers have "a guy who jumps, a guy who swings, a guy who crawls up walls...". The guy who crawls up walls is obviously Spider-Man. Who are the other two? (I've seen it suggested that Hulk is the jumper and Thor is the swinger, but jumping and swinging are hardly the most distinctive attributes of those guys).
- They're all just references to Spidey. And the reporter isn't saying the Avengers have those, she's saying that guy exists somewhere.
- Exactly. Falcon is the one asking after superpowered individuals, giving her just the description of "a guy." Her reply is that there's lots of guys with powers running around now, so he'll have to narrow it down. Of course, Spider-Man does all three (jumps, swings, crawls on walls), so it's really just a nice sneaky reference to him.
- Also, remember exactly who the person narrating the events is. Luis is not exactly great at getting the details down. He's probably not referring specifically to any particular Avenger, he's just listing some random things that come to his head regarding the sort of things that people with superpowers can do.
- Possibly at the time this film is set, Peter's career as Spidey is so new that the general public doesn't yet realize he is just one guy. If various eyewitnesses in New York have caught fleeting glimpses of a guy swinging in one sighting, climbing a wall in another, and so forth - probably wearing a crappy homemade costume that Peter keeps modifying to try to come up with something workable - then how can they be sure there aren't several new supers roving around the city, each with a single unique power?
Paxton pursuing Scott
- Was Paxton going after Scott on his own initiative or was he assigned? Just wondering as it would seem weird that he would be part of the official investigation given he has such a personal connection to the case.
- Paxton may have been the one who investigated Scott's previous crime, and met Cassie's mom while conducting that investigation. He and she became involved after Scott went to prison, when she was no longer ethically off-limits; when Scott's name came up in connection with a new offense, Paxton was called in because he already knew so much about the suspect. He probably wasn't officially the detective on the case, just a consultant in the investigation who stayed interested in its outcome and poked around a little on his own time.
- Why did the tank work? Tanks in general start breaking down if you don't at a minimum turn the engine over and do some minor maintenance every week or so. Hank's had that tank since the mid-eighties at the earliest. A thirty year old tank, which has been concealed in a shrunken form that precludes doing any maintenance on it, should essentially be a five ton paperweight.
- Special materials that don't need maintaining? Maybe there's a trained ant maintenance crew. Maybe Doctor Strange enchanted it. Or maybe Hank just made it bigger and did a check up every now and then. Once you've invented a way to make things tiny while retaining mass AND a way to make things smaller/bigger while losing/gaining mass, it's probably not that hard.
- Who says he keeps it in his shrunken form all the time? All he needs to do is find somewhere reasonably secluded (a private garage, say), zap the tank to full size, do some tinkering, and then shrink it down again.
- When he took the tank as effectively a war trophy Hank was required by law to strip out or disable most of its weaponry. The main gun is deactivated and the traverse gears that let it turn have been stripped out in favor of a fixed turret. That and Hank opted to have the engine replaced a few decades later with a more modern less labor intensive model that would still do the job of moving the shell even if it couldn't pull the same level of horsepower as the original engine. This all cut down on maintenance needs a lot leaving only turning over the new engine once a month or so which Hank has his ants do by shrinking the appropriate amount of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Cassie, the neighbors, and the cops are not at all traumatized?
- Wouldn't they need some serious therapy after witnessing crazy stuff in a man's house? If I saw two guys with shrinking abilities and a giant toy train busting out of the house, I would be in shock, or possibly faint.
- Perhaps they're shocked at first, but it's been common knowledge for the past three years that they live in a world of superheroes and super villains.
- This is a world where aliens literally invaded in recent memory and were fought off with the help of a dude who turns into a giant green monster when he's mad. A couple guys shrinking is nothing.
- They might still be traumatized, of course, but more along the lines of a Real Life person witnessing a meth lab explosion that destroys a house on their street. Scary and disturbing and maybe grounds for moving to another neighborhood, but not impossible.
- Not everyone who witnesses crazy and terrifying things needs therapy immediately afterwards. PTSD doesn't affect everyone equally and it doesn't affect everyone the same. For all we know, Cassie Lang is just a tough little nut who bounces back quickly.
- Also, this is a light-hearted superhero movie, not a drama about experiencing PTSD. In the real world, these events would likely see those involved decide to speak to a therapist for a couple of weeks at least, but the movie kind of skips over that because it's not what the story is about and would drag things down. In fiction, you can just kind of assume that these characters are pretty resilient and bounce back a bit quicker than real-world people might (or, if you must have such an explanation, just assume that Cassie spoke to a child psychologist for a little while afterwards or something).
- We also need to consider the simple fact that not everyone who becomes involved in dangerous or stressful situations is doomed to suffer from PTSD. This is a Reality Is Unrealistic situation; Hollywood these days tends to overstate precisely how common PTSD is (not entirely without reason, since it is more dramatically engaging to see someone had to struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of a traumatic situation rather than just shrugging it off). According to research, many or even most people who find themselves in a potentially traumatic situation manages to overcome it without ever experiencing PTSD (although they might go through Acute Stress Disorder, which is similar in nature but temporary).
Couldn't Hank get Scott's criminal record erased?
- Scott may have saved the world, but he still has a criminal record. Couldn't Hank pulls some strings and convince SHIELD to erase Scott's criminal history? Doesn't Scott deserve a second chance since he saved the day?
- He already has his second chance, and his criminal history doesn't matter by the end of the movie anyway. And Hank hates SHIELD.
- Also this is post Shield's collapse. They no longer have the pull they used to. They're still kind of a secretive rogue operation.
- Just what the hell WERE those weird fluctuating diamonds Scott found in the atom's nucleus?
- Possibly quarks.
- Or any number of subatomic particles, perhaps even ones we haven't discovered yet.
Traced Back to Nothing
- When Scott goes subatomic, he eventually gets so small he ends up in a featureless dark void. Essentially, he traced matter back to nothing. So if matter is made of nothing, does that mean the universe doesn't actually exist? Would Scott have become a nihilist if he had kept his memory when he returned to normal size?
- Scott being smaller than the constituent particles of an atom does not mean that matter is made of nothing or that he traced it back to such a point. It just means he's smaller.
- It is a matter of perspective. As he was so small, the tiny area covered by his line of vision could not notice any variety.
- Quantum mechanics is weird. There actually have been subatomic particles discovered that have no mass, something thought to be impossible until they found them. And the fundamental truth of quantum mechanics, if there is such a thing, is that the farther down you go, the less sense things make from our frame of reference. Either Scott had shrunk so far that he was beyond where even the partially-understood rules of quantum mechanics hold sway, or things were just so incomprehensible to him that his brain decided to render it all as blackness, having no frame of reference for him to see anything else.
- No frame of reference, or merely no capacity to sense what was there. Light, itself, may just stop working if you scale down far enough.
- In Hank's explanation to Hope about what happened to her mother, he mentioned that his regulator was too damaged for him to shrink in between the molecules. However, all it takes to shrink so small is turning the regulator off. Wouldn't being damaged accomplish the same thing?
- It may have been damaged in such a way that it couldn't be turned off. The mechanisms to actually control the regulator could've been damaged and not the regulator itself, and Hank just phrased it the way he did for simplicity's sake.
- Right, the regulator for such a thing is probably an extremely, extremely complex piece of machinery and would have many different states between working exactly as it should (regulates how small you can shrink and exactly how much you shrink) and broken (there is no regulation at all). Maybe it was bent, twisted, or shorting out in such a way that it had locked Hank at between five and two inches tall.
The possibility of Janet being alive
- Was Hank's line about Janet being alive really necessary? That line implies that she might appear in a future MCU film. Why hint to the audience of her return, and then have her daughter take over as the new Wasp? Assuming she doesn't age while going subatomic, wouldn't having a 68 year old Pym and a 30 something year old Wasp be squicky?
- Squicky to some, perhaps, but not all. May–December Romance exists for a reason. And like you said, that's only assuming she ages slower (can't remember if that was actually specified or not in the film). As for why he brought it up... maybe he's just reassuring himself. It's not like they have actual proof she's dead.
- Plus not everyone has as extreme a reaction to age differences as people on TV Tropes headscratchers pages seem to. There's a reason "squicky" is subjective.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp shows she did age.
The film explaining the main characters' morality
- It seems unnecessary to say Darren Cross' s mind was corrupted by Pym Particles. Why add that line in there? Why not have him be a greedy jerk? Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer were sociopaths. There were no scientific explanation for their evilness. Now let's talk about the hero of the movie, Scott. It seems like Disney wants to turn Scott into Robin Hood to make him likable. I don't see it being necessary. In real life, criminals can change their ways. If Scott was a selfish thief who changes his thieving ways for his daughter, viewers would still love him.
- Well Cross being affected adds a few things; One, the reason the full suit and headgear is needed, which Cross didn't use when creating his own version of the particles. And two, he was at one point a decent guy, which is why Hank took him under his wing. Considering the falling out he had with SHIELD, Hank would have been far more wary of letting someone initially like Stane or Hammer into his work. I think you already answered the question regarding Scott. They established him already having a good moral compass even while committing crimes. It's easier to build likability in someone who's doing the right thing, if not the legal thing, than someone who was bad at the start. And it rolls back to Hank again. Hank didn't just pick Scott for his skills at burglary, but also because he had a moral compass the whole time.
- It also helps establish Cross's reckless and unstable nature. Probably Cross's biggest flaw throughout the movie (beyond, well, being a murderous villain) is that he does things without thinking or caring about the consequences. He sells world-changing military technology to a neo-fascist organisation dedicated to spreading global instability and chaos. He shoots up a helicopter in mid-flight while he's on board. So, accordingly, he experiments with radical and unstable new technologies without considering possible side-effects or taking steps to protect himself from them.
- How exactly can a bunch of ants stop the Glock's hammer (even if they really did have those) without getting crushed or snapped in two? Sure, ants are supposed to be able to lift objects several times their own weight, but does that really apply to a moving object, like a gun's external hammer?
- Depends on how they did it. If they built up enough ants between the hammer and the pin, the hammer might not have been able to move enough to build up any real amount of force. Also it's quite possible at least a few of them got crushed... Scott does do his best to protect the ants and not use them disposably, but here and there he might have to make sacrifices.
The Ownership of Pym Industries
- What exactly prevented Hank and Hope from simply taking the company back from Cross? The way Cross took over suggests her shares make the difference.
- They can't just vote Cross out of the company without a legitimate reason to doubt his abilities as chairman, and they don't have any actual evidence that he's dangerous without proving the risk of the Pym particles, which in turn means they would prove that Cross's plans for the particles are legitimate and raise questions about their motives for opposing his actions in the first place.
Cut Darren Cross a check
- Cross Technologies' innovations have plenty of application even without shrinking living organisms. Miniaturizing any inanimate object, having a gun that reduced an opponent to a snot in one shot and building a functioning suit of battle armor that can fly and does not require an Arc Reactor to run - all of those breakthroughs have military uses of their own. It could be that Cross' judgment is affected by Pym particles, making him fixed on the Yellowjacket idea. Not to mention his dealings with HYDRA. It can also be explained by Cross's obsession with recreating Pym's work exactly, to prove his superiority, that he's a worthy successor of sorts.
- Indeed, it's even possible that one consistent aspect of the Pym Particles' effects on the human nervous system is an addiction to Pym particle exposure. In which case, Hank's resolution to never use the Ant-Man suit again is even more impressive, and his reluctance to let Hope follow in her mother's footsteps, even more understandable. Cross' obsession with perfecting and donning a shrink-capable Yellowjacket suit isn't just a psychological compulsion: he's a junkie pursuing the ultimate high.
- Let's also not forget that Darren Cross is a total sociopath.
Risking his life's work
- If Scott had failed his initial test in the Ant-Man suit – getting out of the bathtub – Hank Pym's life's work would have been literally lost down the drain. That seems like... a big risk for him to take.
- Hank may have personally experienced getting flushed down drains in the past, and known that the helmet is watertight enough for Scott to survive the experience. A far-from-pleasant experience, but possibly safer overall than getting flung off a record player, scrambling among stomping feet on a dance floor, getting sucked up a vacuum cleaner or pursued by a mouse that thinks you're a yummy bug.
- Plus, Hank was talking to Scott via the suit — it stands to reason he could have tracked it down through the connection if he absolutely had to.
- It's almost guaranteed that at the very least Hank had a few ants on standby in order to intervene or, if necessary, recover the suit. Plus, like Hank says; trial by fire. Only it's not just for Scott — Hank needs to know that Scott is someone capable of surviving in the suit come what may, and ultimately the only way to find that out for sure is make the suit available to him and see what happens. It's definitely a risk, but under the circumstances it's a risk Hank needs to take.
The Tank 2: Origins
- Do they explain how Hank got a tank? Is it a gift from the S.H.I.E.L.D.? Did he "borrow it" after one of his missions? Did he build it (which might handwave some questions about his mass and things)?
- The tank was effectively a war trophy taken after a successful mission. War trophy taking was a practice which while not expressly permitted wasn't expressly illegal either during the world wars. As a result so long as Hank followed the existing laws for disarming the tanks weapons once it was in the United States his ownership of it is actually entirely legal. Questions about how he got it back from the front lines being artfully deflected presumably.
Back up power
- During the congregation ceremony, Ant-Man and the ants destroyed the devices of Darren’s security systems to steal the Yellowjacket. It bought them 15 seconds of time before the back up power will be powered on, according to Hank.
- Given it was the backup power, it was likely in a more secure location.