Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018)

“You can do it. You can do anything. You are the world’s greatest grandma.”“You can do it. You can do anything. You are the world’s greatest grandma.”

“You can do it. You can do anything. You are the world’s greatest grandma.”

How do you follow up a film that has the scale and emotional baggage left by Infinity War? The answer is simple if your Kevin Feige. You follow up to the success of Ant-Man with a light-hearted easy going sequel. It’s a palette cleanser after the onslaught Thanos brought to us in Infinity War. The best thing about this Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fact that every little detail was planned out and thought of prior to the implementation of each film. Feige knew and anticipated fans around the globe would be emotionally mentally destroyed and wrecked and he came with the perfect plan.

This also perfectly explains Scott’s (Paul Rudd) absence in Infinity War. He was on house arrest from his actions in Captain America: Civil War. His actions also turned Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and her father Hank (Michael Douglas) against him. Out of the loop and nearing the end of his house arrest, Scott becomes a vessel for Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) to channel herself through to get out of the Quantum Realm. It just so happens that Hank unknowingly created an enemy when he fired Ava Starr’s (Hannah John-Kamen) father causing her to be in an explosion which gives her the ability to phase in and out. 

Along for the ride are Scott’s ex-con associates in Luis (Michael Pena), Dave (Clifford Harris), & Kurt (David Dastmalchian) who have opened a security business while Scott is under house arrest. What’s an Ant-Man film without Luis re-enacting a story in way too much detail and unnecessary speed? I’ll tell you, it’s a dull one. This time, Luis is put under the influence of truth serum given by Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins).

“What, because of hats and sunglasses? That’s not a disguise, Hank. We look like ourselves at a baseball game.”

The Ant-Man franchise thrives because of the chiasmatic performances by Paul and Evangeline. Both have incredible time off of one another making any interaction between the two feel effortless. Just like the previous nineteen Marvel films, this one is no different to the laugh out loud comedy. Paul is a comedic genius and is able to bring that subtle hint of comedy into his character. He magically is able to bring this character to life, go toe to toe with the heavy hitters in this cinematic universe and make it his own. 

What director Peyton Reed is able to do well is create a more human story in this universe. Scott is probably the most relatable character with everyday struggles. He’s a father whose main priority is his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Cassie will always be the most important person to Scott and their relationship together is vibrant and charming. That same father-daughter dynamic can be seen in Hank and Hope except this time she doesn’t resent him for what’s happened to Janet. Hank is able to trust his daughter more as she shoulders more responsibility.

Maybe give Evangeline more of a spotlight instead of having to share that with Scott. She’s just as capable if not more capable than Scott – the training Hope has undergone shows it. Even with the more laid back approach to this sequel, the stakes aren’t raised high enough. Yes, it’s supposed to be more levelheaded and a smaller scale (no pun intended) story but that doesn’t mean this film can’t have a darker more emotional underlying tone to it. Of course we are reminded of that darkness in the mid-credit scene that we shouldn’t get too comfortable in our Ant-Man bubble.

“Well, see, that’s complicated. Because when I first met Scotty, he was in a bad place. And I’m not talking about cell block D. His wife had just filed for divorce, and I was, like, “Damn, homie. She dumped you when you’re on lockup?” And he was, like, “Yeah, I know. I thought I was going to be with her forever, but now I’m all alone.” And I was, like, “Damn, homie. You know what? You got to chin up, because you’ll find a new partner. But you know what? I’m Luis.” And he says, “You know what? I’m Scotty, and we’re going to be best friends.”

Speaking of scale – Peyton Reed and team have mastered the shrinking tech and effects in this sequel. Mostly present in the action sequences, the effect is used flawlessly to transition from big to small to giant and back to normal. It is used as comedy relief as well when we get the baby version of Scott. It’s a compelling story device that makes an ordinary chase scene extraordinary and it’s always interesting to see what everyday objects will be used to grow or shrink.

So much is promised with Janet making her appearance that you want more from her than just the few minutes she’s on screen. Enough time is taken to rescue her that there is little satisfaction when she finally arrives. The reunions Janet shares with Hank and Hope bring that emotional depth that is needed for that type of family moment.

The villain compared to previous sequels is decently developed but the real question mark revolves around Sonny Burch. His character has no purpose and drive. His only purpose – other than playing the worst gangster-esque type is to drive the story forward otherwise this film would have ended after 15 minutes. Ava’s backstory is simple – get revenge on the person who betrayed her family leading to their untimely demise. There’s a different element that is introduced in this sequel that we rarely see with villains and that’s a sense of compassion. That compassion comes from Hanks former assistant Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne). He attempts to remind Ava of using non-violent methods to achieve their goals. 

Overall, Ant-Man & the Wasp is just the palette cleanser and distraction we needed after witnessing Infinity War. Its laugh out loud funny, charming and heart-warming. Paul Rudd brings a certain charisma that will put a smile of your face no matter what he says or does. Ant-Man & the Wasp is a solid sequel set in a universe that notoriously has poorer sequels from its main heroes. If I were to rate Ant-Man & the Wasp, I’d rate it a 3.8 out of 5. 

So, tell me guys, have you seen Ant-Man & the Wasp and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think. 

Ant-Man & the Wasp is directed by Peyton Reed is Rated PG-13 and has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ant-Man & the Wasp was released on July 4th, 2018 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Ant-Man & the Wasp can be streamed on Disney Plus.

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Ant-Man & the Wasp will return

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