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Recap / Ant-Man

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In 1989, SHIELD had been looking into replicating proprietary technology created by a brilliant scientist in their employ, Dr. Hank Pym. Pym, however, refuses to share his secrets with anyone: his knowledge about "Pym Particles" and the technology that harnessed them would be dangerous in the wrong hands. Vowing to take his secrets to the grave, he resigns from SHIELD in disgust after they make several covert attempts to steal his research, later founding his own technology firm, Pym Technologies. Many years later, Pym would be voted out of his own company by his protege, Darren Cross, and his rebellious and estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne. This, unfortunately, precedes Cross announcing the development of the "Yellowjacket", a battle suit that was capable of shrinking its wearer, allowing soldiers to commit acts of sabotage and subterfuge. This is accomplished via the process of reducing the relative distance between atoms, which increases strength in proportion to the reduction of mass: the very same technology Pym had hoped to keep secret. Even Hope, Cross's right-hand woman, realizes how dangerous this technology could be if sold as a weapon. Something must be done...

Enter Scott Lang, a career criminal recently released from prison. Unfortunately, his desire to live on the straight-and-narrow, allowing him to reconnect with his daughter Cassie, is difficult to realize with his inability to hold down an honest job on account of his criminal record, in addition to his less-than-stellar reputation with Cassie's mother and stepfather, a police officer. With no other recourse, he returns to his old heisting crew, who have a new job: break into a home, crack the vault inside, and steal the goods. The skills Scott honed over an entire career of breaking, entering, and stealing allow him to easily enter the house and break open the vault. The only thing inside, however, is a strange suit...

Scott returns to his crew's hideout with the suit and, out of curiosity, puts it and the accompanying helmet on. Pressing a button on the suit suddenly causes him to shrink down to the size of a small insect. A comms device in the suit connects him to a mysterious man who takes an interest in how Scott handles himself in the suit. Scott, however, is scared out his of wits by the experience of being so small and nearly getting crushed and killed on his strange journey. He tries to break back into the house he stole the suit from to return it, only to be caught by the police and arrested.

While in police custody, Scott is approached by his "lawyer", Hank Pym, who reveals that he was the one who dropped the tip his crew picked up on that led him to his suit. Hank makes an offer to Scott: in exchange for using the shrinking suit to help him with a job, Hank would use whatever means he can to help keep Scott out of jail so he can reunite with his daughter.

For the next few days, Hank and Hope — who is envious of Scott for being chosen to wear the suit in the mission, and who called the cops on him to try and sabotage him — both train Scott in how to use the shrinking suit, in addition to using a special head-mounted device to control colonies of ants to do his bidding. Scott, in turn, also learns of the friction between Hank and Hope, which stems from Hope's mother, who allegedly died in a plane crash. Eventually, however, Hank reveals the truth to Hope: during the Cold War, Hank and his wife were SHIELD operatives known as "Ant-Man" and "The Wasp". One day, a Soviet ICBM was launched at the US, and the Pyms were tasked with stopping it. The only way to get inside the missile to disable it was to disable the shrinking suit's regulator to shrink down to the molecular level. Hank was unable to do so, since his regulator was damaged. Mrs. Pym did so in his stead, saving the country, but also condemning herself to being trapped in the "Quantum Realm", a plane of existence only accessible by shrinking down to the sub-atomic level — a one-way trip. Hank had kept the truth from Hope so that she wouldn't follow in her mother's footsteps, but wound up accidentally pushing her away, creating the rift between them that can only now begin to mend.

The job Hank has for Scott is simple on paper: break into Pym Technologies, steal the Yellowjacket prototype, and destroy any and all research into replicating the technology behind the Ant-Man suit. To this end, Hank sends Scott on a mission: infiltrate an old Stark Industries compound and steal a vital piece of equipment. Unfortunately, when Scott arrives at the compound, he finds that it is now the headquarters of the Avengers. He encounters Sam Wilson, an Avenger known as "Falcon", and the two briefly scuffle before Scott manages to escape, absconding with the equipment, leaving Sam embarrassed.

As the plan seems to begin to fall into place, however, Cross pays Hank an unexpected home visit to taunt him about a coming sale on his Yellowjacket suit and invite him to its unveiling. He also calls Hope to inform her that he would be increasing security, making the job much harder to pull off. The only hope that Scott, Hank, and Hope have is to enlist the aid of Scott's old crew to manipulate a water main pipe to allow Scott to enter the building through its plumbing.

Scott breaks into the building successfully and, while Cross makes a deal with agents of HYDRA and the Ten Rings terrorist group to sell his new product, makes his way to the chamber where the suit is kept, sabotaging servers storing information on the Yellowjacket suit and planting timed explosives. While his crew is able to help Scott reach the suit while also contending with the police, Cross manages to stay a step ahead and trap Scott while making his exit with his customers. Scott is able to break free while he and Hope subdue Cross's men, but Hank is wounded in the fighting. Scott gives chase after Cross while Hank and Hope vacate the building along with Scott's inside-man shortly before the explosives go off, destroying the building.

Scott chases Cross onto his escape chopper, the two getting into a bitter fight that sees Cross don the Yellowjacket suit. Their brawl tumbles out of the chopper and into an unwitting family's backyard. Scott manages to fend off Cross, but is arrested again by Cassie's stepfather. Unfortunately, Yellowjacket survived the fight and, going insane from his exposure to Pym Particles, tracks down Scott's daughter, Cassie.

Scott breaks free once more and races to his daughter's home to save her. As the two fight, Scott learns that the Yellowjacket suit is made using titanium — the same material as the hull of the ICBM Hank and his wife stopped. There is only one way for Scott to stop Cross once and for all: deactivate his regulator and shrink down to the molecular level. Scott makes the sacrifice, shrinking down enough that he can sabotage the suit from the inside. Cross is killed as his suit implodes while Scott finds himself trapped in the Quantum Realm. Hearing his daughter's pleas to see him again, however, Scott is able to reconfigure his regulator to escape from the Quantum Realm and return to reality.

Scott's return from the Quantum Realm fills Hank with hope that he can see his beloved again and, his relationship with his daughter Hope finally mended, he takes the opportunity to show her something incredible: an unfinished prototype Wasp suit. At the same time, Hank's heisting crew get another promising lead on a new job, one involving the Avengers...

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