It’s kind of fascinating how few people saw the first Ant-Man movie. It’s among my favorite origin films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and just not many folks thought it was worth their time. Which is a crying shame, because it was funny, creative, and had a heart of gold. It was refreshing to see such a small story (literally and figuratively) just a few months after the gargantuan and fatigued Avengers: Age of Ultron had been released. Now Paul Rudd is back, with all the supporting cast returning with new additions that work and don’t. Although Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t quite as good as the original, it is an absolute blast and worth every penny you part with in order to see it.
Here’s the synopsis from Google:
Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym, Lang must once again don the Ant-Man suit and fight alongside the Wasp. The urgent mission soon leads to secret revelations from the past as the dynamic duo finds itself in an epic battle against a powerful new enemy.
The cast is mostly great here. Paul Rudd completely destroys his performance again, and I would even say is better than his role in the first. I was so happy that Evangeline Lilly got to shine a bit more, however she didn’t have as much of a character arc as I would’ve liked to have seen. Michael Douglas does fine, and so does Michelle Pfeiffer (I just checked the spelling here, and I think that’s how you spell her last name). The new character, Ghost, who is played by Hannah John-Kamen, was really great and I look forward to seeing the actress in future films. Most don’t know this, but Walter Goggins shows up in a supporting role, and he just Goggins the heck out of it. Also, the original theft team from the first movie are all here and do a great job, with Michael Pena given an even bigger role.
This movie is quite possibly the funniest film in the MCU, and I’m not saying that as hyperbole. I haven’t laughed or noticed an audience laugh that hard in a superhero movie, including Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy. This movie is a straight up comedy almost to its detriment. There are several set pieces that are among the most cleverly funny bits in any MCU film. However, there are times when the humor is a bit too strong and doesn’t fit the scene. They utilize (and sometimes over-utilize) Michael Pena’s brilliant comedic chops, with it being a bit too forced at times.
Another aspect where this film shines is in its visual effects (VFX). There are flashback scenes where we see a young Michelle Pheiffer and Michael Douglas, and I was absolutely floored by how amazing the de-aging effects were; they were seamless and the best I’ve ever seen. The bits of the ‘Quantum Realm’ we see again are even more brilliantly and beautifully rendered than in the previous film.
The script of this movie does have quite a few issues, though. As many of you know, I am largely critical of the Marvel formula and mostly the third acts of their films: they tend to wrap up too nicely without many negative consequences and are typically very predictable. Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther both seemed to avoid this problem and I had hoped that Kevin Feige had fixed it for good. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ant-Man and the Wasp. It wasn’t as egregious as Ragnarok or even Spider-Man Homecoming, yet it still had some problems. I think those problems mostly come from having too much going on and too many character groups to follow. I think the writers buckled when they tried to lift more than their own weight, especially with a runtime of just under 2 hours. It’s just not as cohesive as its predecessor.
I absolutely adored the Stan Lee cameo in this one. It’s quite possibly my favorite one in the MCU to date.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a great movie, filled with laugh-out-loud humor and great performances. It’s not as refreshing or has cohesive as the first one, but it’s a ride that is well worth your time and price of admission.