Ant-Man

This particle breakdown of comic book absurdity called Ant-Man amounts to nothing more than an LSD movie!

I’m fully aware that the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t necessarily the comic books I read, and so liberties have been taken with the costume designs, background origins and character identities, altered for easier assimilation into the framework of the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline: at once, both familiar and different.

Used specifically to bridge old school comic fans into this diverse, new breed universe, an aged Hank Pym (played wonderfully by Michael Douglas) goes from being Stark Industries’ main designer to their biggest competitor when it comes to tech development. It’s an idea conceived in the 1970s as Pym grew frustrated with S.H.I.E.L.D. co-opting his work for weaponry. Seen storming out of the meeting with Howard Stark and Peggy Carter (ABC TV’s Agent Carter, who by 1989 obviously works for Stark), as a result of an assignment that cost Hank’s wife, Jan Van Dyne, her life, the MCU sets in motion Pym’s plan to turn ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) into the next Ant-Man.

That’s where the movie gets splintered into some hipster novel about a hacker who breaks into his former employer’s files to reimburse overcharged customers, turning this Ant-Man into a hipster saint for Occupiers instead of a Marvel superhero!

For this alone, it must be an LSD movie, or someone’s acid flashback.

Hispanics in Marvel comics are rare, though competitor DC has filtered Hispanics into its comics since the 1970s: Vibe is featured on The Flash TV show, Gangbuster was a secondary guest in The Adventures of Superman, and then there’s El Diablo. Yet the opening credit music for Ant-Man is salsa? And once Lang is released from prison, he shares a room with his former cellmate, who is Hispanic – which in and of itself is an insult, suggesting the only role for a Hispanic in the MCU is that of a jailbird!

How is that any different from anything Donald Trump has said?

So the question needs to be asked: who is the target audience for Ant-Man? Certainly not us older comic book readers. And there wasn’t a single kid in attendance at the initial screening I attended on opening day!

But there most definitely is an LSD undercurrent to the film. Using a Pym particle potion, Scott shrinks to miniscule size where he can hang onto the grooves of a spinning vinyl record, plus he commands actual ants to lift sugar cubes, which were the preferred method for dropping acid in the past!

And besides his screwy jumpsuit, Hank Pym has designed whirly discs that when stuck to an object can enlarge or shrink said object.

So, in theory at least, Scott could minimize the height of the Eiffel Tower, but instead accidentally produces an oversized Thomas the Talking Train?

Now that’s some goofy stuff! But shades of Bert I. Gordon, when a solder ant grows to the size of a dog, Ant-Man isn’t a grade-Z, half-assed spectacular, it just looks that way with a clunky, plastic giant ant being pulled from underneath the dining room table!

“One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small…” And those infernal whirl discs are the “White Rabbit”!

It’s evident to anyone who takes the time to watch Gordon’s The Amazing Colossal Man, where a military scientist runs onto a test site as a bomb is detonated, that Lee or Kirby must’ve seen it, and they incorporated this particular scene into the origin of the Hulk. Recently it’s come to light that Jack Kirby worked briefly for Ben Cooper, and they released a “Spider-Man” Halloween costume in 1954, eight years before Amazing Fantasy #15!

For Ant-Man, either his creators or these filmmakers were familiar with both the movies The Incredible Shrinking Man or X – The Man with X-Ray Eyes, which both reference this idea of reduction to the sub-atomic level, which found its way into this movie. In the case of X – The Man with X-Ray Eyes, LSD might as well be the catalyst used for him to see into infinity!

Free your mind, relax and float downstream… from the beginning!

Thoroughly contemporary in spirit, it makes no demands on its audience. Ant-Man might be the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film that’s not directed to comic book fans, appealing more to the flapjack temperament of the esoteric herd with its blank face of amusement.

Yep, it’s an LSD movie, all right!

[PG-13]