After the universe changing Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios needed a palette cleanser, and Ant-Man and The Wasp certainly delivers. In many ways a sequel to the first Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, Marvel’s 20th film has enough laughs and action-packed moments to keep audiences entertained throughout.
Starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the title roles, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a partner-oriented movie. Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne certainly kicks a lot of butt on her own, but both heroes work better together. So far, Marvel has focused on releasing solo and team oriented films, so the focus on a duo is an interesting change of pace. Not only do Scott Lang and Hope compliment each other on and off the battlefield, but the movie also shows Hank Pym reflecting on his own life and the value of partnerships in an intimate and touching way.
Scott, who’s stuck on house arrest as a result of breaking the Sokovia Accords in Civil War, has been focusing on being a dad and starting a security consulting business with his friends. At the same time, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne believe they found a way to rescue Janet, Hope’s mother, from the quantum realm and they need Scott’s help. Seeing Scott balance his fatherly responsibilities and his heroic duties makes for a fun dynamic and it’s clear that the character is willing to do anything for his daughter. The moments where he and Cassie, once again played well by Abby Ryder Fortson, interact clearly show the audience that he is a loving, warm person who puts his family first. Scott’s attempts to be a good dad not only result in some of the funniest scenes in the movie, but they also help establish him as a good person outside his superhero adventures.
Rudd and Lilly may get top-billing, but Ant-Man and the Wasp is a strong ensemble film. Michael Douglas turns in a solid performance in his second stint as Hank Pym, a genius scientist forced to rely on others to get things done. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the character is somewhat of a douche, but the films have completely watered down his abusive, angry tendencies. Outside of the superhero action, Michael Peña delivers another high-energy, hilarious performance as Luis. Randall Park joins the MCU as the silly and incompetent Agent Wu, the individual who is tasked with ensuring Scott complies with his house arrest.
After seeing Killgrave and Thanos spread chaos in the last year, Ghost seems like a bit of a let-down. Hannah John-Kamen turns in a solid performance as Ghost, a young-woman who painfully and uncontrollably changes her quantum state, but the character falls a bit flat. She’s trying her best to deal with the tragic cards she’s been dealt and is still recovering from her time being a forced agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. She’s not necessarily evil, but she’s not interesting either. The character has a few interesting moments, and she looks cool in a fight, but Ant-Man and the Wasp would have been just as entertaining and thought-provoking had she been removed from the film.
Like the first film, Ant-Man and the Wasp is at its best when it pokes fun of its own premise. Even though Scott is familar with this world, he still serves as a gateway for the audience into some of the deeper science. As Hank and Hope bicker back and forth, Scott coyly asks if they just “put quantum in front of things to sound smart?” The chase sequences inter-mixed with shrink technology are unlike any high-speed pursuits I’ve seen before and the final results are the perfect combination of explosive stunts and physical comedy.
There are moments where this film tries a bit too hard to recapture the charm of the original. Luis tells another funny story, but it feels like an attempt to recreate a comedic beat from the first film instead of a new joke. Don’t get me wrong though, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a funny movie that uses the cast to the best of their comedic abilities. Rudd once again gets a writing credit, which makes sense considering some of the funniest moments are just small, one-off lines that Rudd could have uttered in any movie.
The movie is entertaining, but it is never extraordinary. Outside of the lively music, composed by Christophe Beck, nothing stands out from a film-making perspective. All of the CGI effects are fine, but none of the visual moments stand out compared to some of the other enticing moments Marvel has showed to audiences in recent years.
Ant-Man and the Wasp continues to prove that Marvel knows what they are doing. While the small sequel certainly isn’t the studio’s best film, or even its most exciting this year, it is definitely enjoyable. By focusing on personal relationships and humor, Ant-Man and the Wasp circumvents a lot of the stereotypical sequel problems and turns out to be a satisfying, emotionally-charged film. Make sure to stay for the after-credit scene (the first one is more entertaining and essential than the second) because both Ant-Man and The Wasp have an interesting future in store.
Final Score: 7/10
10 Characters Who Need To Appear In The All-Female Marvel Movie
Out of all the rumored Marvel Cinematic Universe projects in the pipeline, an all-female Avengers movie is one of the most exciting. An Avengers squad composed of only female heroes, A-Force is one of the most powerful teams in the Marvel Universe and they are ripe for a big-screen adaptation. Now that the cinematic universe’s roster of female characters has been slowly filling up, it seems like the perfect time to take this team to the big screen. Add to that the fact that both Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Valkyrie herself Tessa Thompson have expressed interest in an A-Force movie and it seems like a safe bet.
With Avengers: Infinity War now in theaters, it makes sense for the Marvel Universe to expand their team lineups. Captain America and Iron Man can only entertain audiences for so long, so the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to add some heroes to keep fans entertained long term.
Hit Next to discover the 10 characters who need to appear in the all-female Marvel movie!