Geek Science Presents: Ant-Man and the Wasp

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Ant-Man and the Wasp has finally hit cinemas here in the UK and Ireland. After an agonising wait of 5 weeks (allegedly because of the World Cup), 66% of the Empire Ink crew got to see it at a midnight screening last night. I bloody loved it but I have some crap to get off my chest.

We all had a great time with it but whilst I was watching it, I kept wondering about how scientifically viable it all was. Now I'm willing to chalk up the basic concept to silly comicbook science but if you're going to establish a set of rules in your film universe, you should bloody well stick to them. You may say it doesn't matter and that I shouldn't be so obsessed with films about silly books with pictures. To that I say Shut up, Dad! It is bloody important! No, I don't wanna go outside and play football. No, reading comics doesn't make me less of a man! Yes, I will get laid one day, just you wait and see! ...er ...what was I saying?

Both the first Ant-Man and this new one are great films but they have elements that make no sense. I'll break this all down but I won't spoil anything from the new film that isn't in the first trailer. Spoiler alert for the first Ant-Man though. 

Darren Cross is a Stupid Prick

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Darren Cross, the evil "genius" from the first Ant-Man, had the cunning plan to re-create Hank Pym's technology to harness Pym Particles so he could mass-produce his own Ant-Man suits to sell to terrorists. He kept failing to make the shrinking technology work and would instead turn cute little lambs into bubbling piles of goo. Side note: if you work for Cross Technological Enterprises and didn't realise that your CEO is an evil dickhead after watching him repeatedly turn lambs into puss, you're a dumbarse and I'm glad your place of employment was destroyed!

He then uses it on a bloke that he had a minor disagreement with and reduces the guy to a bloody glob of jizz that can easily be disposed of with quick wipe of a spank-kerchief. Here's an idea, idiot, why don't you sell the raygun that turns people into snot to Hydra instead of a suit that makes them tiny? Hydra would jump at the chance to have an army of agents armed with goop guns. What easier way for them to achieve Red Skull and Hitler's final solution?*

Sure, it could be argued that Cross had gone a bit nuts due to his excessive exposure to the Pym Particles and he only cared about figuring out the secret of his former mentor. That said, you're a crap business man if you can't see the marketability of your accidentally created disintegration gun.

*We at Empire Ink in no way endorse the racist agendas of genocidal super-villains

Unprotected Exposure to Pym Particles Make you a Crazy Person

As touched upon in the previous section, it's established in the first Ant-Man film that if you get repeated direct exposure to Pym Particles, it erodes your brain. In the comic, it's the reason why Hank Pym beats his wife. Whilst it seems to make Hank Pym a bit of a grumpy tosser he clearly wants no harm to come to his wife in the film version. Grumpy ol' Hank makes it clear to Scott that the suit is needed to stop this brain damage.

In the sequel, Ant-Man Sr, Ant-Man Jr, and Wasp Jr are tooling about in a miniaturised van. What happened to needing the suits to avoid brain rot?  You can't tell me that an automobile (with the windows down no less) can provide the necessary protection. Maybe Disney wants to include spousal abuse in their next Ant-Man flick but I hope not: I like my good fun comicbook films to be largely devoid of domestic violence.

Regardless of Size, Mass stays the Same

The reason that an ant sized man can knock out a regular man is that he retains the mass of Paul Rudd sized man. Ignoring the fact that Ant-Man's density would probably create a black hole, this rule only seems to apply when a human is ant sized.

Carrying around a pocket sized tank would be pretty bloody challenging if it also retained the mass of a full sized tank. That keyring in the first film should be as difficult to lift a Thor's hammer. The second film sees our heroes dragging a building around like a suitcase...A FUCKING BUILDING! Good luck with that, morons. I guess hyper-intelligent characters shouldn't be written by simpletons but hey, it works for the show Big Bang Theory. 

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So maybe it's only organic material that retains its mass. Maybe you can lug a tank in your pocket as long as it looks like it was created by Matchbox. Plot hole explained, I can move on with my life and play football like my Dad always wanted me to... not bloody likely.

That would be all well and good if Scott Lang didn't also have the ability to grow to be Giant Man. There's no denying that half the movie going public soiled their undies when Ant-Man grew to the size of a small skyscraper in Captain America: Civil War. I myself had to apologise to the employees of Cineworld for the condition I left their seat after my first screening.  That scene would be way less impressive if Giant Man retained the mass of a Paul Rudd sized man. To watch him pathetically bat at his fellow superheroes in that airport wouldn't have the desired impact but it would be more in keeping of the rules of their universe.

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So what's a geek to do? Should I enjoy the fun film for what is and just accept sometimes dumb shit is going to happen in a film that's basic premise is a physics nightmare? Probably.
Am I going to? Not bloody likely.

All that said, shitty science aside, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good fun film and you should see it in the cinema so we get more of them.

-Baz