The winsome Wasp flies onto the screen to become Marvel’s first female headliner!
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Directed by Peyton Reed
Music by Christopher Beck
US Release Date: July 6, 2018
Runtime: 1 hour 58 minutes
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer and Stan Lee
What You Should Know:
At the end of the first Ant-Man film, Scott Lang and Hope Pym have grown closer and begin a romance while Hope provides training for Scott, the new superhero on the block. But when Scott joins Captain America’s team in an internal battle within the Avengers and violates the Sokovia Accords, he is placed under house arrest and Dr. Pym and Hope are forced to go into hiding.
What You’ll Find Out:
Movies — any movie — often hit a lot of turbulence when it comes to sequels that don’t hold up to the original…for whatever reason. Marvel is no exception. But Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp is an exception, a film that in many ways is better than the original. Ant-Man is Marvel’s “family fun” movie, one of three comedy oriented comic book films (along with Guardians of the Galaxy and, most recently, Thor). The first Ant-Man was pretty heavy handed with the comedy but Ant-Man and the Wasp reign it in just a smidge to provide a solid action movie as well. Returning are Scott Lang’s trio of bad boy buddies lead by Michael Pena. This time, the boys are making an attempt to stay on the straight and narrow by starting their own security business. We don’t get as much of Pena mugging the camera as in the first Ant-Man which isn’t to say he doesn’t supply plenty of comic relief.
Michael Douglas is back as original Ant-Man Hank Pym. This time out he has a meatier role and presence as the core plot of the movie is about rescuing his wife, Janet van Dyne the original Wasp, from the Quantum Realm. Janet, in her short screen time, is played by Michelle Pfeiffer who is no stranger to comic book movies having played many people’s favorite Cat Woman in Batman Returns.
The real star of Ant-Man and the Wasp is fittingly Evangeline Lilly. She has a solid screen presence which draws your attention whenever she is on screen. She is the straight [wo]man to Rudd’s comedic Ant-Man. She’s not there just to play the hero’s love interest…often she’s there to pull the hero’s fat out of the fire! Although things looked like they were heating up between her and Scott at the end of Ant-Man… it’s now two years later and the Pym’s have suffered some heavy losses for their association with Lang and his violation of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America Civil War. Scott has been under house arrest and forced to wear an ankle monitor and endure frequent check-ups by FBI Agent Jimmy Woo. He’s only got three days left till he’s free but. of course, that’s when all hell breaks loose. And not just in the movie but for director Peyton Reed as well.
The problem Ant-Man and the Wasp gets into is there is a lot going on with multiple sub-plots and the screen gets so busy at times it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. There are many parts that deserved more screen time and exposition such as Hank Pym’s old partner at S.H.I.E.L.D. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) and the whole Quantum Realm rescue which feel cut short in favor of special effects hijinks and chases.
The main villain of the movie, dubbed “The Ghost” by Scott and Hope (and not bearing much in common to the comic book villain of the same name) is well played by Hannah John-Kamen and they could’ve given her a little more story if they would have just omitted the other villain(LOL) of the story, Sonny Burch, a two bit-tech thief who briefly appeared in the Iron Man comic book. Here, however, he’s just used to be, frankly, a pain in the ass and to instigate chase sequences.
There was plenty of story to tell in the Quantum Realm than just showing us freaky CGI effects. The shrinking/growing jokes begin to wear thin, though, when they’re tossing giant Hello Kitty Pez dispensers around. But it appears Marvel sees this as the selling point of the movie, sadly, rather than giving us more of a character and plot driven film with more focus on the Quantum Realm, Bill Foster, and The Ghost. If they would have just expanded those things and left out Burch it would have elevated Ant-Man and the Wasp to one of the best Marvel sequels.
Nevertheless, Ant-Man and the Wasp is certainly a wild ride and makes for some great summer popcorn fun. And when the DVD release comes down the road it’s likely to get a lot of play from the adults as well as the kids.
What This Means For The Future:
It will be a crime if this pair doesn’t make it into the Avengers after the Thanos story (or during seeing there is one more movie). The Wasp could follow in her comic book counterparts footsteps and lead the team one day. For the immediate future, however, I must defer you to the first of two after credits scenes.
Ant-Man And The Wasp is now playing at a theatre near you. Go see it! ‘Nuff said!
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