Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man, the original film, was one of my favourites from the MCU. It was legitimately funny, had a simple but enjoyable plot and good characters, so when Ant-Man and the Wasp was announced I was looking forward to it… then the trailers drop, and some early reviews came out, and I decided that it sounded fun but probably wasn’t worth the price of a bus and cinema ticket on top of the Blu-ray I’d inevitably buy, and I was right! It was a fun film, but not amazing and lacking in consequence… Let’s take a closer look!

Synopsis:

Two years after Scott Lang was placed on house arrest due to his involvement with the Avengers, Hank Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. They believe Pym’s wife Janet van Dyne might be trapped there after shrinking to sub-atomic levels in 1987. When he had previously visited the quantum realm, Lang had unknowingly become quantumly entangled with Janet, and now he receives an apparent message from her…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Ant-Man and the Wasp 1

Hey look! It’s … Wasp and the Ant-Man, I guess.

Ant-Man / Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) – Scott Lang has been locked away inside his own home after his acts two years ago. Still, he’s got to see his daughter at least, and there hasn’t been any more visits from his old shrinking buddies… not that he’d mind a visit from Hope…

Wasp / Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) – Hope is… hoping to see her mother again, if she and her father can find her in the endless void known as the Quantum Realm. All they need now is the screw up who caused them to go into hiding in the first place…

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) – Hank and his daughter Hope had to go underground when Scott Lang revealed his Pym-created tech to the world when fighting with the Avengers. Still, that hasn’t slowed down his plan to get his wife back from the Quantum Realm…

Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) – Janet has spent the past few decades in the Quantum Realm, the effects of which have at least meant she doesn’t need to eat, and it’s seemingly given her some super powers! Now, if only she had someone to talk to…

Ghost / Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen) – Ava was tangled up in Quantum energy when her father was experimenting with Pym tech, and since then her body has been constantly phasing in and out of reality. SHIELD and the government have been using her abilities to get some assassination done, but now she only has one ally, and very little time…

Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) – Bill was a colleague of Hank Pym’s back when they worked for SHIELD, with Bill taking part in a project titled “Goliath”. Now the two have parted on bad terms, and he has taken young Ava Starr in to help her with the very technology that caused her harm in the first place…

Luis (Michael Pena) – Friend of Scott Lang, Luis is trying to run a new security business with some fellow former criminal elements… trying is the key word…

Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) – Sonny runs an underground crime group, able to get his hands on some hard-to-find technology for the right price…

Plus more!

The Good:

Ant-Man and the Wasp 3

There’s something very 60s Sci-fi about the Quantum Realm that makes me love it even more…

The fun chemistry is still here for the main cast. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man/Scott Lang is still an extremely likable guy, Janet is the old cold exterior but nice on the inside character, plus now as Wasp “kicks arse”, Hank is the cranky genius (with great sarcastic comedy timing!) and Luis and his two cronies are great extra comic relief. The titular Ant-man and the Wasp do make a great duo, not just bouncing off of each other in conversations (I particularly liked van Dyne implying that she was more angry as Scott not inviting her to help alongside Captain America, rather than that he did it at all) but the fight scenes with the two of them had good flow.

That’s a main thing actually, the film may have been slow in places, but the few big fight sequences were great. They’ve really got the shrinking and growing as part of a fight down to a tee, and now throw in being able to enlarge or shrink anything on the fly and there was some really fun sequences to watch (90% of which were in the trailers, but hey-ho…) Ghost, although I’m not sure on the character (see below) her fighting while phasing thing was good too, though it didn’t actually spring up all that often.

I really enjoyed a sequence where we see Hank Pym and his wife as the original Ant-Man and Wasp trying to stop a missile. It makes me want to see more of these unseen heroic adventures from the past. Top marks for the flashbacks with a young Pym as well, they’re really getting good at the de-aging effects!

As for the other visual effects, they were stunning as always, especially in the Quantum Realm. A scene where Hank Pym was waiting to get reconnected to his lab’s network while three microbe creatures slowly glided towards him was quite tense, mostly because those things always looked horrible in the pictures we have of them, let alone seeing them instinctively glide towards camera like that… *shudder*. I also really enjoyed the idea that Pym’s entire skyscraper-sized lab was shrinkable down to the size of a suitcase on wheels, and that later chase scenes were literally people fighting over an entire building by grabbing it and putting it in the back of vans and such. Crazy idea, but fun, as always.

The last 30 minutes are exciting, as Ant-Man distracts Ghost as Pym enters the Quantum Realm, and it all leads to a long chase sequence across San Francisco, including some Giant-Man style antics and scenes. The post credits scene, where Scott Lang has gone into the Quantum Realm but gets stuck when Hank, Janet (who, yes, was indeed successfully rescued) and Hope all get Thanos-snapped out of existence, was great. Looking forward to seeing how that plays into Avengers 4.

The Bad:

Ant-Man and the Wasp 2

Ghost looks cool as hell, but sadly, isn’t all that compelling…

It occurred to me about half way through the film that I was still… waiting for something. It’s hard to explain, but while I was enjoying the banter, it wasn’t very exciting, or really that interesting. It was just sort of… going along, being somewhat funny, with one fight sequence in a restaurant breaking up what was otherwise a long wait for someone to head into the Quantum Realm and actually do something. Thankfully the final 30 minutes, as previously mentioned, are really good, but it doesn’t really excuse the leisurely pace of the first hour and a half.

I was kind of annoyed that, much like Hank Pym, Bill Foster (Goliath in the comics) has been made into a “his adventures have already taken place” character. His role in the end was literally just a concerned scientist, he didn’t get physically involved in any way or really do anything interesting. Seems like a waste of Laurence Fishburne, really…

Ghost was just sort of… there to be a villain who looks cool, which is a shame as it’s the old MCU problem of well-developed and fun protagonist cast, weak antagonist. She had a twinge of tragedy going for her, but there wasn’t much to it.

Overall Thoughts:

Ant-Man and the Wasp 4

Nice guy Scott Lang. You just can’t dislike him…

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a fun story, but it felt like an episode of a TV series that, while you liked it, you won’t really remember it amongst all the other really great episodes that came before (and hopefully after) it. I’m glad I didn’t spend a lot of money to go see it, but as it is it’s fine. Not the black sheep of the MCU films, but not a standout either.

3 Star Watch

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