On June 29, 2015, Marvel surprised its audience by releasing the first installment of “Ant-Man” directed by Peyton Reed. At the time, many were skeptical of such a bizarre character like Ant-Man getting a leading, solo movie, but sure enough Marvel wowed us all away with how okay the movie was. It was like…good…but not like…great you know?
Now, fast forward to 2018. “Avengers Infinity War” was the biggest cinematic accomplishment Marvel has created yet. “Infinity War” was the product of 10+ years of accumulating Marvel characters, and the payoff to this entire cinematic universe. So how do you follow up such an impressive feat of a movie? WITH ANT-MAN OF COURSE! “Ant-Man & The Wasp” brings back director Peyton Reed for the second installment of the franchise, which acts as a sequel to the original film and “Captain America Civil War,” but this one takes place before the events of “Avengers Infinity War.” Does your head hurt? What, did you not factor in differential equations to understand the timelines of comic book movies? Well, welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (It’s a fun time, I swear.)
“Ant-Man & The Wasp” picks up where the first installment left off, when addressing the character arc of Michael Douglas’s character Hank Pym. The movie’s main plot focuses on Dr. Pym attempting to rescue his lost wife from an alternate dimension. The primary story of the movie is ultimately the most focused and robust element of the film. Through the main story we delve deeper into Hope’s (The Wasp’s) relationship with her mother, and Hank Pym’s willingness to lose everything to get one more glance at the woman he still loves. The main story of the sequal makes it more of a direct continuation of the first installment than a second self-contained movie, which allows the movie to come off more as a simple character piece, but ultimately compromises the slick heist movie theme the franchise set up.
Along Ant-Man’s adventures, we meet the villain(s) of the story. The primary focus is on the supervillain Ghost. An extremely fun character to watch visually, but her story arc feels poorly spread out amongst the two other subplots in the movie. Scott Lang (Ant-Man) is under house arrest where an FBI agent constantly wishes to prove that he is still as active as his vigilante identity. (e’s totally right, so is he really the bad guy?) The movie also introduces a subplot involving a crime mafia wanting to steal Dr. Pym’s tech…and it all just…feels so poorly paced out in this movie. The plotlines don’t mesh well which ultimately holds back our main villain (Ghost) from having a well fleshed out storyline and makes her a weaker villain. This doesn’t deter the movie from being enjoyable, but it takes up a lot of time that could have been used elsewhere in the flick.
There are also a lot of plot conveniences in this movie. Like, holy cow – our heroes often get necessary (very random) visions or suprise aid from other characters to help move the plot along easier, or (without getting into spoilers) even magically resolving a key character arc.
The characters of “Ant-Man & The Wasp” is what make the movie. Paul Rudd’s performance as Scott Lang makes him the most human and relatable character (with the exception of Spiderman) in the MCU. The movie has great character chemistry, always delivers the funnies and the ending will most certainly put a smile on your face.
Let’s just be real though, you’re probably mainly interested in “Ant-Man & The Wasp” cause ya wanna see the end credit scene. Well, I’m here to say it’s the best part of the movie, and 2019 can’t get here soon enough. (You can totally skip the second end credit scene though. You’re welcome.)
I give “Ant-Man & The Wasp” six out of 10 pesticides. Maybe seven out of 10 if you’re really into Ant-Man, like me.
“Ant-Man & The Wasp” stars Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. The movie is currently playing in theaters.