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We all knew this film would be a light story after Infinity War, so Iím not going to dock points for that. Iím of the opinion that a little filler is okay if you can find a way to make it entertaining. Comedy is one of the best ways to do that, and luckily itís where this film excels. I laughed more during this film than I have during any other MCU film. The jokes fly in almost as fast as in classics like Airplane, so even if you donít enjoy one thereís another right about to come in.
However, that pacing is a double-edged sword. Because the jokes and the plot are moving at breakneck speed, thereís very little time for anything else. We get a couple of moments to catch our breath and remember that there are characters under the colorful costumes, but theyíre extremely few and very short. The film wants to be about a family reconnecting, but that gets lost amidst all the other wild things going on. In comparison, the first filmís theme of the legacy fathers leave their children was very much baked into the story and impossible to miss. Hank even spelled it out for the audience at one point. But here that kind of thematic throughline doesnít have time to develop because that would get in the way of the comedy or the action. Itís not as bad as it was in Thor: Ragnarok, but the problem still hasnít been completely fixed.
So overall Iím slightly mixed on this one. I had a lot of fun and donít regret watching it in the slightest, but I wonít deny that people have a point when they say it couldíve done more. Itís a very fun movie, but the heart just wasnít in it the way it was in the first. If youíre just looking for some good action and laughs, youíll have a great time with this one. But for anything else, there are better MCU films, let alone better films.
Good superhero movies have more than just action- they involve taking well-known and long established characters and using them to a good story. Ant-Man and the Wasp succeeds in this regard, and is thus another enjoyable entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film takes place after Civil War, in which Scott "Ant-Man" Lang's decision to help the anti-accords Avengers has resulted in him being placed under house arrest, and his erstwhile allies Hank and Hope going on the lam. The latter pair want nothing to do with Scott until he indicates that he has a clue to finding Hank's wife and Hope's mother.
The film works well as a follow-up to the first Ant-Man, as well as Scott's appearance in Civil War, and helps carry on the previous movie's themes. Scott, like some of the other characters, has to make up for his mistakes, and accept the consequences of his actions, even if they weren't what he intended.
Hope goes from a supporting protagonist to Scott's partner as the Wasp, and it's quite entertaining to see her in action. The film is also a very personal one for her, as she searches for her mother and gradually comes to forgive Scott, so Hope is overall used fairly well.
The film's main antagonist, Ghost, is a fairly compelling and sympathetic character, and it's easy to understand why she's so desperate to achieve her goal of curing her condition and staying alive, even in spite of how far she goes for it. Unfortunately, Burch and his lackeys are little more than distractions for the main characters, and generally fail to serve as a credible threat.
The film has exciting action scenes, particularly the climactic chase and the battles against Ghost. Like the first Ant-Man movie, there's a good amount of strategy involved, and it can be exciting to watch the heroes fight off their enemies as they execute their plans.
Despite being appropriately serious and having a villain with a tragic backstory, Ant-Man and the Wasp can be quite funny at times, and is significantly Lighter and Softer than Infinity War, which makes for a nice change of pace. The film is also fairly easy to get into without much knowledge of the MCU, since only Ant-Man's previous two movies become relevant, at least until The Stinger.
All in all, Ant-Man and the Wasp is well worth your time if you're a fan of superhero movies.
Non spoiler score at the beginning: 6/10, fun and passable, but weak story and characters and plotting. SPOILERS BELOW
Now, I'm not saying that this movie has no place in the MCU. I'm sure whatever happened here will end up being critically important in the next Avengers movie.
Sure, the first Ant-man movie was about smaller stakes and personal issues, and I liked that. So is this film. That's a good thing. But part of the problem with this film is that it feels cheap. Nothing really matters until the very end, and the ending also proves that just about everything preceding it barely mattered.
You have one set of villains, who are basically cannon fodder. They don't matter. They're just in the film to get shot and blown up because money or whatever. They have no character and their motivations are so basic that they really only exist to pad out the running time of the film. There's a few house arrest gags, which are kinda funny at first but after so many it just makes the FBI look like complete stooges. There's a bit more father-daughter relationship stuff which is cute. There's some romance stuff that, while it isn't forced, doesn't really have much of a point either.
Then we get to the main villain. She's interesting. She has a backstory. She's desperate, she's dying, and you can believe that she has a hope for redemption and that's interesting. The climax comes down to either her, or the heroes, because only one person can be saved but
when the heroes save Janet she just comes back with unexplained magic powers and heals the antagonist of all her woes The End.
WOW that was so convenient. And boring. And pointless.
Yeah. Fun ride, filled with distractions, but the destination is really a lot blander than you were probably hoping for. This is a filler movie in the sense that it just fills the gap between other Marvel movies. Nothing really stands out about it on its own.
In Marvel: Infinity War, someone asks, "Wait, there's a Spiderman and an Ant Man?!" Besides the invertebrate theme, the new Ant-Man and the Wasp movie feels vaguely reminiscent of Spiderman Homecoming, which shares a lighter hearted, smaller story, fighting over lower stakes with a more likeable villain. Marvel have apparently been listening to all those criticisms about one note bad guys and apocalyptic sky lasers. The problem with Wasp is they might have been a little too zealous to fix things.
Wasp picks up at some vague time after the events of one of the Captain America movies. It kind of relies a little too much on you having seen Ant Man, Captain America: Civil War, and the last Avengers movie - but who are we kidding - if you are paying to see what is considered the runt franchise of Marvel's litter, you probably have watched those movies already. It does however mean that there is some necessary housekeeping throughout the movie to explain where this film is in relation to the others, and update you on what powers the heroes actually have. It's a bit clunky.
The plot of Ant Man is a rescue mission to find Michael Douglas's character's wife, who is lost in the infinitesimal "Quantum Zone". The tension of this rescue mission immediately deflates when the audience see in the first five minutes that of course they are going to succeed - they're paying out for Michelle Pfieffer to play the wife. Also the protagonist has weird dreams and body swap moments with Michelle Pfeiffer's character, and it feels cribbed from the similarly predictable Star Trek 3, but whatever, it's not about the foregone plot resolution, it's about the journey.
You might have noticed that I haven't been using any names in this movie. That's because I can't remember anyone's name. In fact most of the events are a blur now, despite me having only watched it yesterday. I vaguely remember comedy action scenes and I think I had a good time, but it's all so disposable that my brain couldn't be bothered to file any part of the movie away beyond a couple of images. One thing I do remember is how the movie lacks a villain; it has an antagonist with cool powers and a suit, but Marvel have gone to too much trouble to make her back story and motivations relatable, and at no point does she do anything more evil or unkind than the heroes. She's basically a competitor rather than a bad guy, which ruins the stakes further as you know she isn't going to come to any real harm - she's too tragic and cute for that to happen.
Ant Man and the Wasp is a fun movie, but one that feels like it's just filling space in the Marvel movie release schedule. It is utterly redundant, and whilst you won't have a bad time with it, you might as well only watch it when it comes out on TV for free.
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