|Quick sketch of the diminutive dude on a Post-it note using pen and color pencil. © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.|
It seems to me that the concept of Ant-Man is a version of the age-old wish-fulfillment fantasy of having the power of invisibility. In some of the archival film footage of the original Ant-Man shown in the movie, it appears that an unseen force is beating up enemy soldiers. It's not until the camera zooms in on a tiny figure that the entity is seen to be Ant-Man. Yet to the soldiers who engage the character in battle, it seems like an invisible foe.
Being literally able to fly "under the radar" of perception is a basic feature of the Ant-Man's powers and it was fun for me to vicariously live out that ability as I watched the movie.
The added power of commanding all ants is a bonus. It's ironic that the ants, who from ancient times have been noted for carrying out their duties with no leader (see the Biblical verse, Proverbs 6:6) are being harnessed to fulfill the wishes of Ant-Man. This facet of the character has come under some ridicule --much like Aquaman's ability to communicate with fish. But the Ant-Man film makes good use of his skill over the tiny legions of social insects. I can see how the pseudo-scientific aspects of the use of ants might incite a host of Science Fair projects about ants across the country.
The movie was as well-crafted as I have come to expect from Marvel/Disney films. Themes of super-powers entangled with the military arms race were repeated. I enjoyed the performance of the actors in general. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was totally engaged in the character and did a great deal to carry the film. I give it two antennae up!