by Jessica Andrewartha
(This post originally appeared on: Nerd Academy)
Disclaimer: I wanted to hate Ant-Man. I have hated just about every aspect of Ant-Man from the moment it was announced. Something about it has always rubbed me the wrong way. If I had to guess, I’d say the breakdown of my anger is 75% “They think they can sell a f%#&^$ing ANT-MAN movie, but they don’t think they can sell a female superhero” rage, 10% dislike of insects, 10% I just cannot care about someone whose power is being small, and 5% irrational urge to punch Paul Rudd’s face.
But I tried to give the movie a shot. I really did. I went with friends. I was there to have fun. My expectations were smaller than any of Ant-Man’s sidekicks. But something about this movie still bugged me. (And yes, I intend this pun every time I make it)
Here we go. Also, this list is *spoiler-ific* because I seriously don’t care and the movie came out like a month ago. If you want to like/be surprised by this movie, don’t read this list.
- Oh gods the sexism. I mean, I worked really hard to quiet my angry feminist rage before walking into that movie theatre. But then they did everything possible to stoke it back up again. I mean COME ON. The entire plot of that movie hinged on me buying that a totally capable, smart, strong woman who had been training her whole life for a mission should not do said mission because it would worry her Daddy. Gag me
- The racism. Y’all. It’s bad enough that Marvel is basically a convention of white dudes named Chris, but did we really have to add insult to injury by making every person of color in this movie an incompetent criminal?
- I still liked the Michael Pena gag. That running joke where Michael Pena’s character Luis describes a chain of conversations and it’s funny because you know that all those people of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds don’t talk like Luis the Latino criminal? I hate that it was funny because it also felt like rubbing in that we only brought a minority into the picture as a joke. I’m 100% chalking this working up to Michael Pena being a super-charming actor. I’m really excited to see him in The Martian.
- The cameo crutch. Ok Ok. I can hear you now. There was technically one actor of color who wasn’t playing a criminal. But bringing in The Falcon for two minutes to make me all of a sudden care about your movie doesn’t count. It actually just points out to me that the only person in this movie I liked showed up in a two minute cameo.
- Judy Greer deserves better. Guys, Kitty is my favorite character from Arrested Development. I would watch her go “say goodbye to these” anytime, anywhere. The fact that between Jurassic World and this mess she’s apparently now getting typecast as everyone’s worried mom is super depressing.
- The reliance on lazy jokes. As stupid as I think Ant-Man’s powers are, there is some serious potential for comedy in things suddenly getting bigger and smaller. Sure, the writers use that to their advantage occasionally, but other than Thomas the Tank Engine crushing someone’s house, it feels like there was a lot of wasted potential. Instead we went with it being funny that a woman can punch. Again.
- The complete disregard for the laws of physics. Like, we know that no one at Marvel has ever taken a physics class. But this was on a whole other level. This was someone jumping up and down on top of a physics book while pissing on it and then setting it on fire while screaming “fuck you physics” over and over again. It was bad y’all.
- Lame-sauce villain. Guys. I saw this movie a few weeks ago and at this point I basically can’t remember anything about the villain. He was bald. He made his own evil version of the Ant-Man suit. That’s all I’ve got. Villains are fun! Villains are half the fun of super-hero movies. But this guy just felt like you rolled Lex Luthor, the Green Goblin, and your uncle you don’t like very much into one forgettable blur.
- I’m down here and I’m still mad about the complete fuck-all that Evangeline Lilly had to do in that movie. Seriously, you expect me to be content with unveiling the Wasp suit during the first credits scene?? She deserved that suit during the whole fucking movie! She was the most competent person here! Ugh.
- Speaking of credits scenes – I hated how much I loved the second credits scene. It didn’t make any sense. It was so out of context it wasn’t even trying to make sense. But it’s like Good Marvel, Bad Marvel. After a whole movie of getting beaten up by Bad Marvel, I’m so happy to see a glimpse of Good Marvel that I’ll tell you anything.
So there you have it. I’m so annoyed that Marvel is using its ability to apparently sell anything for evil and not for good. I’m annoyed by shoddy storytelling and everyone falling back into easy, boring, sexist, racist tropes. It’s business as usual down here at the Marvel ranch, and I’m sick of it.