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Ant-Man and the Wasp – Movie Review

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Ant-Man and the Wasp – Movie Review

Rating: B (Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Walt Disney Studios

Marvel Studios has been able to maintain a more-or-less consistent production pipeline of entertaining, well-produced superhero pictures that give the audience endearing protagonists and fun action sequences. After the tonally heavy cross-over Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp serves as the necessary palette cleanser. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has often been called an expensive television series for the big screen and this sequel serves as the light-hearted filler episode between the grander adventures. It’s a serviceable romp that delivers on its promise of giving the titular heroes something to do, after their absence in Infinity War, even if the stakes don’t feel that big.

The first Ant-Man movie was a quick-witted movie with director Peyton Reed making the most of its Honey, I Shrunk the Kids concept for a superhero. The sequel is a slight step-down, but Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly make for a solid combo. The decision to make the Wasp just as pivotal in the story as Ant-Man is a nice decision and Rudd and Lilly have nice chemistry. The general plot involves little more than chasing a McGuffin, Hank Pym’s portable laboratory, as various heroes and villains get their hands on it. The movie mostly exists as an excuse for Reed and the visual effects artists to play around with size and those do offer the strongest parts.

The sense of scale was one of the more fun aspects of Ant-Man and being a sequel, they give us more of that here. There’s an amusing sequence where Ant-Man’s suit malfunctions and some other neat moments peppered throughout. There’s an impressively choreographed fight scene in a kitchen and a car chase through the streets of San Francisco that do the job of showing off the Wasp’s intellect and command of the growing-shrinking technology. The movie is otherwise rather routine in its plotting and doesn’t venture off the beaten superhero path. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a somewhat satisfying watch through most of it, but doesn’t truly kick into high gear until the third act.

The central villain Ghost only exists as a minor obstacle for the heroes. There’s an attempt at a sympathetic back story to explain her motivations, but she still doesn’t register as one of the more memorable Marvel baddies. Walton Goggins’s role as a local gangster is a rather superfluous one, although Randall Park’s FBI agent is an amusing foil for Scott Lang as he watches over his house arrest. Scott’s fellow ex-cons return, although they aren’t given nearly as much funny material to work with this time around. Ant-Man and the Wasp glides from set-piece to set-piece, but the main storyline is hardly one of the more remarkable ones devised by Marvel for their movies.

This is more of a passable Marvel movie, providing the basic needs and not much else beyond that. There’s nothing bad in the film, but it doesn’t rock the boat the way a Guardians of the Galaxy or even Black Panther manage to do. It’s a serviceable and decently made picture that picks up steam when the superpowers are showcased, but it’s otherwise a glossy piece of cotton candy. With the events of Infinity War fresh in our minds, Ant-Man and the Wasp can’t help but feel like the stakes aren’t that important. This all feels like faint praise, but there’s definitely room for a lighthearted adventure like this one that doesn’t seek to be radical or define the genre.


Stefan Ellison

Stefan Ellison