Australian Council on Children and the Media

Ant-Man

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Not recommended under 10; parental guidance recommended 10-13 due to violent and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ant-Man
  • a review of Ant-Man completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 July 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to violent and scary scenes
Children 10 to 13 Parental guidance recommended due to violent and scary scenes
Children 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Ant-Man
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction violence and coarse language
Length 117 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a burglar recently released from San Quentin prison. After finding it difficult to find a job that will allow him to pay child support to his ex-wife and also see his daughter, Scott agrees to assist his former cellmate Luis (Michael Pena) to rob a rich elderly man. This man turns out to be genius scientist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who years earlier invented a superhero suit that shrinks the wearer down to ant size while giving them superhero strength and speed, and the ability to communicate with, and control, ants.

Scott successfully breaks into Pym’s safe but the safe is empty of money, containing only a strange looking suit which Scott steals. After discovering what the suit does and deciding that it is more that he has bargained for, Scott tries to return the suit to Pym but is arrested for the theft.

It turns out that Dr Pym has been watching Scot for some time and has decided that Scott would make the perfect recruit for his Ant-Man suit. Rather than sending Scott to prison, Pym offers Scott redemption in exchange for wearing the suit and becoming a superhero crime fighter.  Pym’s daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is to train Scott.

Dr Darren Cross/Yellow Jacket (Corey Stoll) is Hank Pym’s nemesis. Cross has been trying to get his hands on the secret of Pym’s suit for years and has failed at every attempt, but this hasn’t stopped him trying. It is up to Ant-Man, Hope and Hank to put a halt to Cross’s plans for world chaos.   

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Superheroes; crime; redemption

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains frequent action violence, and peril, some gun related violence, several violent deaths, threats against a child, harm and death to animals and some mass destruction. Minimal blood and gore are depicted.  Examples include:

  • A man violently slams a co-worker’s face into a desk, leaving the man with a bloody nose and face.
  • We see a group of prison inmates standing in a circle around two fighting men who take it in turns to punch the other in the face and chest. Following the fight we hear one of the men make comment that the fight was a type of prison goodbye ritual.
  • In a flashback scene there is animated footage of a miniaturised superwoman disarming a nuclear missile; the woman shrinks to subatomic size and enters the missile. Later Pym tells his adult daughter that her mother died as a superhero while disarming a missile.
  • A man shoots a second man with a miniaturisation gun (without warning at close range), instantly reducing him to a small glob of pink jelly which he wipes up and flushes down the toilet.  
  • A man is shot in the shoulder and we see a small circle of blood where he is shot; the man is later see wearing a sling.
  • After a man asks a woman to show him how to punch, the woman punches him hard in the face causing him to bend over holding his face in pain.
  • A couple of scenes depict a man and woman sparring using stylised martial arts fighting with punches and kicks to the body and head.
  • In one scene a villain grabs a terrified young girl as a hostage in order to intimidate the child’s father; the child is uninjured. 
  • Ant-Man surfs down a flooded water pipe on the backs of an army of ants then climbs up a chain of ants to emerge out of a sink plughole as the ants swarm over and attack a guard. Ant-Man then climbs onto the back of a flying ant and flies off with a swarm of flying ants. The swarm is fired upon by dozens of guards firing handguns and rifles but neither Ant-Man nor any of the ants are injured. Ant-Man and his swarm of flying ants enter machinery causing it to short-circuit and explode. The swarm also sets off miniature explosive charges causing a high-rise building to explode in flames.        
  • In one scene a toy Thomas the Tank Engine is enlarged to the size of a normal train and breaks through the attic wall of a house, crashing down and destroying a police car. 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Yellow Jacket is a threatening character wearing a helmeted suit with two scorpion-like stinger arms protruding from the back; these arms fire laser beams.
  • Several species of ants are depicted as scary, with some attacking men. One ant is enlarged to the size of a big dog. In one scene an army of ants attacks a man, crawling over him and biting him.
  • A man fires a miniaturisation beam at a lamb, instantly turning the lamb into a small blob of jelly.  The man then tells his assistant to sanitise the lab and bring in another test subject. Another lamb is miniaturised later in the film.
  • During the course of the film Ant-Man develops a friendship with a flying ant which is later shot down and killed; the ant’s wing is shot off and the ant falls to the ground. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Thomas the Tank Engine toys
  • Brand name cars, phones and computers

There is also associated merchandise being marketed to children

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A man makes reference to a school girl’s breasts having been “The first pair of boobs I ever touched”.
  • References to women being “hot”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • We see the rear view of a man urinating in a toilet
  • Pym opens a door to discover his daughter and a man kissing passionately; the man jokes that the woman grabbed and kissed him
  • We see one man with a bare chest and a superhero woman wearing a form fitting body suit

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A woman makes reference to drugging three men with Xanax.
  • Social drinking

Coarse language

There is some coarse language and name calling scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • arse; damn; hell; shit; screw around; son of a bitch 
  • idiot; princess; crazy, stupid, weird, senile, freaky

In a nutshell

Ant-Man rated (PG) is a Marvel Comics superhero film targeting younger adolescents and other fans of the Marvel comics and films. With the focus on comedy and action than on violence, the film is more suited to a younger audience than other Marvel films. However, there are still plenty of violent and scary scenes, including violent deaths and violence to a child and animals, so the film is not recommended for children under 10 and parental guidance is strongly recommended for the 10 to 13 age group.

The main message from this movie is that everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • forgiveness and redemption
  • trust and team work

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