Aside from the “Ant-Man” films being interesting stand-alone films in their own little corner (pun intended) of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe (MCU), “Ant-Man and the Wasp” also has the distinction of being the first MARVEL movie to come right after “Avengers: Infinity War”. While the film is a great palate cleanser from “Avengers: Infinity War”, it also had all the fun and humor that we have come to expect from an “Ant-Man” film, and had great moments and performances throughout the film. However, at times, the narrative didn’t really string together as smoothly as I wanted it to, and some things that they wanted to drive home didn’t really hit the mark; but they were also able to introduce some interesting characters, concepts and possibilities for the future of particular “Ant-Man” characters and for the MCU as a whole.
To be honest, aside from Loki, Daredevil and Captain Marvel, Scott Lang’s Ant-Man in the MARVEL comics is another MARVEL character that I immediately took a liking too. Because of that, I was glad that they did deliver on the humor and how Scott generally is, and that was also seen in here, in the sequel, which does nicely build upon the first movie, and offers more possibilities for the future.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is set two years after the events of “Civil War” and happens simultaneously as the events of “Infinity War“. Here, we see Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who is in his last three days of house arrest due to his involvement with Captain America (Chris Evans) in “Civil War”. Scott is eager for his house arrest to end so that he could actually go out and have fun with his daughter, Cassie, outside; but all of that is put into jeopardy after he seemingly has a vision of Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer), who has been trapped in the Quantum Realm for the past thirty years. He then contacts Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), only to discover that they have been creating a device called a Quantum Tunnel to get Janet back, while being on the run from the FBI. However, time is of the essence after they discover that they only have a day to team up and to get Janet back from the Quantum Realm; while being chased by a black market dealer interested in their goods and a woman named Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen) or the Ghost, who wants the Tunnel to heal herself; while trying to avoid the FBI from knowing that Scott is not actually in the house as he’s supposed to be.
As a fan of the Scott Lang in the comics, I love the fact that the essence of the movies is the same as the comics, that the father-daughter dynamic of Scott and Cassie are just as strong, and that it is also shown here that he is trying to put a security consulting business up just like in the comics.
There was plenty of heart and humor in the film, and all the jokes landed well, causing the audience and I to laugh so hard that our sides were aching.
The performances of the main cast, and the motley crew of ex-cons headed by Luis (Michael Pena) were great, as well as Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster aka Goliath, and especially Hannah John-Kamen’s Ava or Ghost. I am glad that John-Kamen was given a better and bigger role to play in this movie as compared to her stint in “Ready Player One”, and she was able to embody the physicality that her character needed, while still being able to do some great fight sequences, something that she’s not a stranger to thanks to her role on the SyFy show “Killjoys”.
While the entire film was definitely a fun ride, narratively speaking, sometimes the narrative didn’t feel as cohesive as the first one, and because of that, some of the emotional beats were lost. Individual moments did stick the landing, but when you take a look at the movie as a whole, it didn’t quite hit home as they thought it would.
I also thought that one of the villains of the film wasn’t really necessary and was very much underutilized, but it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the film.
It was also interesting that this film also opened up some interesting possibilities not only for the future of the “Ant-Man” franchise as a whole, but for the MCU as well.
If you are a fan of the first “Ant-Man” film, you’ll definitely enjoy this installment, maybe not as much as the first, but it is a fun addition to the MCU that opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of both its own franchise and the MCU as a whole, and is a definite welcome palate cleanser from the grimness that was “Infinity War”.
Now, you know the drill! Turn around now because beyond this point, there will be spoilers!
It was interesting that they deliberately set this movie around three days before for Thanos’ fateful snap in “Infinity War”, because it allowed it to be in its own little corner of the MCU, while the post-credits scene directly connected it to the MCU as a whole.
Now, before we get into the post-credits scene, let us talk first about the film as a whole.
As mentioned above, it the heart and humor that we have come to expect from an “Ant-Man” film, while it also upped its game in terms of the technology they use and what it can do. The writers had a field day in adding all the humor and the comedic beats which landed every single time, and it was interesting how the humor was different depending on which characters were interacting with each other. The banter that Hope, Hank and Scott had with each other was different from the banter between Scott and Randall Park’s FBI Agent, which was different from the humor that Michael Pena and the other ex-cons had, and then there’s the humor and fun that was worked into with them being able to shrink and grow at the flick of a finger, which was different from the humor with heart that Cassie and Scott have with each other. However, among all of those types and moments of humor, I think my favorite moment would have to be the whole truth serum thing, which left me in stitches.
It was also interesting as how they were able to connect the first film with this one, with the whole focus being the rescue of Janet from the Quantum Realm. With that came the different problems that our team had to continuously face, as it caused Scott not to be home like he is supposed to, Walton Goggins’ character wanting to get the quantum technology for profit, and Ava or the Ghost needing it to be able to help heal herself.
At a certain point, however, it ended up feeling like there were just too many people they were up against, and it would have been more cohesive as a narrative if there was something that truly connected Goggins’ character, Randall Park’s character and the Ghost. Or maybe, they could have just concentrated on the Ghost, so that they could have really delved into her character.
I also wished that there would have been more Michelle Pfieffer and the Quantum Realm, but I am happy with what was given to us. Also, Rudd’s impersonation of Pfieffer was just amazing. I have a feeling, that with how the movie ended, with that post-credits scene, that we’ll end up exploring the Quantum Realm also in “Avengers 4”, and I have no doubt that quantum energy and Scott being stuck in the Quantum Realm will definitely play a big part in “Avengers 4”. After all, Janet did mention a Time Vortex, thus counting in the new possibility of time travel and they also introduced the concept of quantum energy, which can be used by the remaining Avengers and is tied to Captain Marvel as her powers are quantum energy based.
As this film was called “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, I love that they were able to show us how well this duo works together. Hope is very much capable on her own, but Scott also has his own unique set of abilities that allows them to work hand in hand well.
At the heart of every Ant-Man story, however, is the father-daughter relationship between Cassie and Scott. It was played up even more here, and it also started laying the groundwork for Cassie becoming a hero herself, as in the comics, she did become a superheroine named Stature. What’s even more exciting is the fact that we will definitely see her as a teenager in “Avengers 4”, and I really do hope that we get to see her as Stature there.
With regards to future “Ant-Man” films, this film does lay the groundwork for an eventual Ant-Man team that hopefully consists of Scott, Hope, Hank, Janet, Ghost, Bill Foster, and hopefully, Cassie as well, in the future. I’m also definitely looking forward to see how Scott’s business will thrive or not in the future as well.
In the end, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” wasn’t a perfect film, and at times, it felt like individual moments more than the film as a whole were good. Despite that, it was still a fun, lighthearted film that was a great palate cleanser to “Infinity War”, and still managed to hold its own in its own corner of the MCU.
Have you seen “Ant-Man and the Wasp”? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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