Ant-Man (2015): Why Did Hank Pym Choose Scott Lang?

This post includes a plot summary of the film, a brief explanation about the universe of Ant-Man and a character analysis of Scott Lang. How did Scott Lang become Ant-Man? Beware of spoilers.

ant-man scott lang plot summary explained

There’s a new superhero in town: Ant-Man. He might not be the biggest superhero, but he’s definitely one of the tiniest. Scott Lang is a clumsy criminal but he end ups redeeming himself when he puts the suit on.

Ant-Man – Plot Summary

Dr. Hank Pym is the original inventor of the Ant-Man shrinking technology. In 1989, he finds out that S.H.I.E.L.D. is trying to replicate his suit and that really upsets him. As a result, he resigns and decides to found his own company: Pym Technologies.

Present-day, Hank is no longer in charge of his company. Hope Van Dyne (Hank’s daughter) and his former protégé Darren Cross force are running things for him. A few of years ago, they forced him out of the company. Later on, Hank learns that Darren is trying to perfect and sell his own version of the shrinking suit (Yellowjacket). However, Hank is totally against the idea. Having said that, he decides to create a plan to steal the suit. Therefore, he decided to hire Scott Lang to help him accomplish that.

Hank and Hope train Scott to fight and control ants. During the unveiling ceremony of the Yellowjacket, Scott and an army of flying ants infiltrate the building. Together, they sabotage the company’s servers and plant explosives to blow up the building. Before they get to the suit, Darren captures Scott, Hope and Hank. He reveals his plans of selling the Yellowjack and the Ant-Man’s suit to Hydra. Scott breaks free. Together with Hope, they take down most of Hydra agents. Scott goes after Darren, the building implodes but Hope and Hank manage to escape alive.

Darren takes Scott’s daughter as hostage to lure him out. During the fight, Scott shrinks into a subatomic size and penetrates the Yellowjacket. He destroys Darren’s suit from the inside, which caused it to shrink uncontrollably. As a result, Darren dies. Meanwhile, Scott disappears into the quantum realm but manages to return to the macroscopic world. As a sign of gratitude, Paxton keeps Scott out of jail.

Hank wonders if his wife is still alive, since Scott managed to come back alive from the quantum realm. He shows Hope a new prototype suit and offers it to her.

Why Was Scott Lang In Prison?

Scott Lang has a masters in electrical engineering. While he was working at VistaCorp, he found out the company was overcharging its customers. At first, he thought it was a coding error, so he fixed it. However, VistaCorp was not happy with Scott’s actions because it wasn’t an error, they were doing it intentionally. Therefore, they decided to fire him. But before did that, they coerced him to reverse the changes.

In order to seek justice, Scott decides to hack into the company’s system to return the money to the customers. Then, he proceeds to break into the CEO’s mansion. Scott steals a couple of things and decides to take the CEO’s car for a joyride. Things were going well until he crashed the car into a pool. Reason? Food. He was eating and driving. This unfortunate incident cost him three years in prison.

Why Did Hank Pym Choose Scott Lang?

Scott Lang wasn’t born as Ant-Man, he just stumble upon that life. Or did he?

You see, Luis didn’t lead Scott to the house. It was Hank’s idea to hire a thief to break into his own house and crack the safe. In the beginning, both Luis and Scott had no idea whose house that was, let alone the content inside the safe.

Scott is a very peculiar individual. He has a criminal record, but he’s not a real crook. Scott took the suit home, tried it on and decided to return it to the rightful owner. Would a real criminal have done that? No. In addition, Scott Lang must have the worst luck in the world. Even when he’s trying to do good things, bad things happen to him. Luckily, Hank was just testing him and gets Scott out of jail.

Why did Hank Pym choose Scott Lang to be Ant-Man? What did he see in him? Let’s be honest, Hope could’ve done the job. However, she’s not expendable like Scott. In addition, Hank needed someone with a very specific set of skills.

Scott is the man for the job because he’s an engineer that knows how break into someone’s house and steal their stuff. In others words, Scott is smart enough to use the suit but he’s also decent enough to not use it for evil. He proved himself (without knowing it) when he returned the suit. Having said that, Scott Lang did not choose the Ant-Man life. Hank Pym chose Scott Lang to be Ant-Man.

Scott Lang – Character Analysis

A man like Scott Lang is a real enigma. Sometimes, it’s almost painful to watch him in action. He’s not a bad person, he just makes really poor decisions. In addition, Scott has the best intentions in the world, but he’s horrible at executing them.

Scott is without a doubt a very smart individual. The man has a masters degree in electrical engineering. How dumb can he be? However, how can someone be that smart and make such dumb mistakes? That’s my question for Scott Lang.

Despite of his flaws, Scott is still a very relatable and likeable character. Unlike his other infamous counterparts like Tony Stark, Scott Lang didn’t have much going on for him. That’s why we root for him, we want to watch him succeed.

“People don’t change, they just become a clearer version of who they really are.” I believe this is true for Scott Lang. He went to prison because he did something that he believed was right (but wrong in the eyes of the law). As I see it, he was never a corrupted person, just someone who needed a direction.

Ant-Man Vs. Other Superheroes

What makes Ant-Man different from other superheroes? At a first glance, Ant-Man is not much compared to his fellow counterparts. However, Ant-Man doesn’t have a ego, he just wants to help. Having said that, there are a couple of things that makes Ant-Man different.

First, physical appearance. Ant-Man is not physically intimidating, unlike other superheroes. In his normal size, he’ll be able to put up a good fight. However, Ant-Man’s biggest strength comes from his ability to shrink (can’t fight what you can’t see).

Second, superpowers. Scott Lang is just a regular guy. He wasn’t born with any superpowers. He wore the suit by “accident”. So, what’s the difference between him and someone like Iron Man? Tony Stark made his own suit. In addition, being mega-rich counts as a superpower. Right?

Third, teamwork skills. Scott Lang is not your typical lone wolf. Unlike many solitary superheroes who tend to work alone, Scott Lang is a team player. His posse might not be the best, but they have his back.

Final Thoughts

The film’s special effects and witty humour made it entertaining but the characters’ background stories made their motivations more believable and in some ways more relatable. Actually, Hank and Scott are more similar than you might think. They are both fathers with terrible relationships with their daughters.

Let’s start with Scott Lang, he’s an ex-convict trying to grasp for a second chance in life. He knows that he has made some poor choices, but now he’s trying to make some amends in order to keep his daughter’s love and respect. Now, Hank Pym’s story is a little bit different. He’s a man with an enviable résumé but he lost his wife during one his missions. At the time, his daughter Hope wasn’t able to forgive him for that and grew resentful towards him, hence their estranged relationship.

Overall, Hank and Scott are not bad fathers, they are just misunderstood. Having said that, the stories told in Ant-Man are very human. Therefore, I believe they will resonate with the audience and who knows, maybe some tears will be shed too.

Ant-Man is not the most epic film within its genre, but it’s definitely a solid effort worthwhile to watch.