You know, it’s really becoming a broken record, when reviewing these tent pole Marvel films. Some speak about how Kevin Feige has the “winning formula”, while others attribute it to the stellar writing staff Marvel/Disney has within their Arsenal. Personally, I think perhaps it’s a little bit of both, mixed with an undeniable truth. Marvel has been patient, and they understand the fantastical world they’re building. A lot can be said about the polarizing nature of “The other studios” films, and perhaps we can explore that another time. What we will be exploring here, is the one thing that studio seriously needs to take note of, and that’s simply how to have fun.
From the very beginning of this film, I could see the care and cohesive plot threads that Team Marvel put into place, allowing us to revisit the crucial moment Hank and Hope lost Janet Pym. Her choice was a heroic one, that I’d hoped we’d get additional clarity on, when I watched the first entry in this series. What I hadn’t banked on, is just how deep they were willing to go, connecting the fibers to Scott’s heroic decision from the first Ant-Man. After our opening, we get additional clarity as to why Scott wasn’t involved in the events of Infinity War, as well as the consequences of his involvement with #TeamCap. Honestly, it bothered me that he was barely a blurb in the narrative of Infinity War, as it wasn’t made clear as to whether he was one of the prisoners freed at the end of Civil War by Captain America, but regardless of whether he was, or wasn’t, you had to know as a viewer that Scott was heading home to his family. What you may be surprised to find, however, is the rift that Scott’s decision to help Cap left on his relationship with Janet and Hank.
Two years have passed, and Scott is serving out the remaining days of his house arrest (I wonder if Hawkeye got a similar deal🤔). He has strengthened his relationship with his ex-wife, and his daughter, and has even started a security company with his ex-con friends. Life on the surface appears to have returned to a semblance of normal, with the unfortunate side effect of Hank and Hope being on the run from the FBI! Unfortunately, due to Scott “borrowing” the Ant-Man suit to fight in Germany, Hank and Hope have become guilty by association, due to the creation of the suit, and Pym particles themselves. Luckily, you can’t keep a good scientist down, as the father and daughter pair have been working to create a quantum tunnel, with the hopes of bringing Janet back, after 30 years of being trapped in the subatomic realm. Of course Scott needs to be brought back into the fray, and this comes from a test run of said quantum tunnel, that triggers a dream “That felt very real”, causing Hope to “borrow” Scott from his home, the day before his house arrest release!
From here the plot unfolds, bringing with it the typical action, and humor you’ve come to expect from a Marvel tent pole film. Paul Rudd remains awesome and delivers his one-liners as you’ve come to expect. Although he shined in almost all of his action scenes, the real standout for this film was “The Wasp” herself, Evangeline Lilly. Through practical and CGI effects, Peyton Reed demonstrated why it was okay that we never got more than a Hank and Janet flashback sequence. Their daughter is truly “The Wasp” we deserved, and her no-nonsense approach to combat, as well as her analytics, will make a believer out of anyone who may have had doubts about her from the previous film. I must say that I was a little disappointed with the use of Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster. I felt that the exposition wasn’t strong enough to really cement why Hank and Bill had a dislike for one another and saw at least one opportunity in the film for us to have gotten a “Goliath” flashback scene. After the tour de force that was Thanos, we were given a rather sympathetic villain in this movie, in the form of “Ghost”. Although I liked the character, I found “Ghost” to be one of the weaker links of the movie.
Ultimately the stakes this villain presented, were rather low, and their motives came from a place of self-preservation. Enough that I’d highly doubt any of us would do any different. The “resolution” at the end of the film with her, seemed a little too whimsical and convenient for my tastes, but “Ghost” did represent enough of an obstacle to keep our heroes on our toes. Technically this film has three villains, all vying for the same thing. One, I won’t spoil, the other I’ve already mentioned, but it is the third that I found to be the biggest misstep of the film. Walter Goggin appears again, as yet another slippery villain. His “Sonny Burch” initially seems interesting, as it is implied that he may have connections to other power players, that could possibly open additional villain doors in future films. Sadly, you never see it, and Sonny ultimately overstays his welcome. Even the closure we get for him ultimately feels like a waste, beyond additional comic relief. I feel that Peyton Reed could have spent less time on him, and more time on developing the undercooked MCU Bill Foster.
So, Michelle Pfeiffer is indeed in the film, playing the matriarch of the Pym family. For what we got, Michelle is as wonderful as shes ever been, with some additional mysteries surrounding her time trapped, that I’m sure will be explored in the next installment. Oh, how could I forget the wonderful Michael Pena. Again, he steals the show as the loveable, and verbose Luis. If you were looking for one of his famous flashback stories like in the previous film, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll be receiving one, and it is hilarious!
Ant-Man &The Wasp is not without its faults. It follows a familiar movie formula, complete with the typical tropes you’ve come to expect, but does it really matter if you’re enjoying the ride? I personally give this film a 🐜🐜🐜🐜 1/2
It is definitely high on the list of my favorite Marvel films, and I encourage you all to give it a shot. Stay to the end folks, as there are two additional post-credits scenes. Wait, did I say this movie had three villains, or four…