Sep. 25th, 2015

Ant Man

Sep. 25th, 2015 08:42 pm
signe_chan: (Default)
Okay, so I've avoided talking about this because I got so upset by the fan reaction to Age of Ultron - how fandom went in to destroy it and did so. How they tore Whedon and Natasha appart for having a woman raised to be a killer by the extreme equivalent of Soviet Russia express the belief that infertility made her monstrous when the text then followed through by proving she was NOT monstrous. So I know what it is to see something you enjoyed torn apart. And I try not to but frankly I've been surprised that all those voices who were so quick to hang up Whedon were silent on this.

So I'm going to talk and it's not going to be complementary. Feel free not to read if that's what you need to do. I make no judgement of you. Also, should be obvious but this does not constitutes value judgement on people who enjoyed Ant Man. Our preconceptions and politics affect our reading of the text. There is no right or wrong way etc.

So, I guess I'll do my preconceptions first. I was watching with a feminist lense as a result of the above criticism and also the grudging of Janet Van Dyne, who is awesome. I also had a pre-concieved and largely irrational hatred of Hank Pym. I was openly sceptical but had heard good things and was ready to be convinced.

I wasn't convinced.

My non-feminist observation was that it felt like a film outside its cultural moment. It felt like a less charming Iron Man and I feel like if I'd seen it before Pacific Rim and Jupiter Ascending and Mad Max were things I wouldn't have reacted so negatively to it. It felt like a call-back to the times when a female as an action hero would have just been a thing that didn't happen and Hope being vaguely useful would have been a victory. But I feel like I expect more now. I want my men and women up there kicking ass together. I wanted Ant Man and the Wasp.

I could talk a lot about the idea of the daughter who must be protected (the main motivation for both male characters) or about female agency and the fact they used fridging one woman to justify side-lining a different character. But as much as those are problems, the film could have come back from them. I watched this film with hope in my heart because I wanted the fucking thing to get better.

The point I lost hope was the scene where Pym reveals why he's been trying to protect Hope. She thinks on it. In this moment, all I wanted was for Hope to say 'no, that's bullshit'. For her to be angry. For Pym to pull out the Wasp suit. For hope to go in with him. If they'd gone that route I'd have been 100% there.

Instead they went another rout. Instead she kind of accepted his reasoning and he kind of apologised and accepted that she's a grown-ass woman but this had 0 imp!ication for the plot going forward other than her accepting that Scott was the right guy to do it because reasons. Instead of, you know, them letting the man they were blackmailing into helping them go and letting Hope do it as she's not only the most competent but genuinely believes in their mission.

So Hope remains where she is, consigned to hang out in the background and make out with the male lead at the end. A wasted opportunity.

And yes, I saw the post-credit scene. Too little too late. Had that happened half way through I could have forgiven the rest of the movie its faults. But it didn't. Instead we have a story about protecting women and a competent woman consigned to training a less competent man to do what she could because reasons.

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