Ant-Man and the Wasp: Film Review

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

After the events that occurred in Avengers: Infinity War a few months ago, we kind of needed to feel a little more happy and excited for what’s to come next. MCU’s other film of the summer, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the 20th movie released from the franchise. And because it’s a Marvel sequel, there’s no way it was gonna end up being terrible, especially when the summer season is uphill.

What’s the Story?: After fighting alongside Cap in Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under his last few days of house arrest while trying to be a devoted father to his daughter and being Ant-Man. But as Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are trying to find a way to bring Hope’s mother out of the quantum realm that she was stuck in for over 30 years, it’s up to Scott and Hope to team up while trying to put a stop to a new enemy with the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen, Killjoys).

2015’s Ant-Man was a lot of fun when it came out. It doesn’t hold up that much after its first viewing experience, but the overall film is a lot of fun as it felt like a heist film inside the MCU. Now, director Peyton Reed comes back to helm the sequel with no problems involved this time around. But while I was really looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp, on a scale from one to ten, I was about a seven. Why? There wasn’t that much excited since this is a follow-up to both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, and we all had so many emotions felt after it ended with the latter. But I was guessing that with was just gonna be a lighter tone that will easily to a fun time for everyone who found a liking with this the hero already. Ant-Man and the Wasp didn’t have all that excitement from before, but it’s at least cool, to say the least.

Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Starting off with the obvious, Rudd is always likable as Scott/Ant-Man. The charm that he puts into his role as the small-sized hero never disappoints. And if fans were sad that Hope didn’t get to fight in her suit and the end of the original, don’t worry; She’s able to kick ass and fly alongside Scott. Was Hope the scene stealer? No, but still good in her performance. They still continue to have good chemistry with each other. Could there be a chance for a romance between the two of them? Can’t see it, to be honest. With “The Wasp” in the title, this is the first time a female superhero’s name is in an MCU film before Captain Marvel. Douglas still gives a capable performance as Hank Pym and it’s also great to see him once again as the father and father figure to both Hope and Scott.

The action sequences and the visual effects were about on par with the first film. As always, the visual effects are still good when anything is sized bigger and small from our perspective in humorous ways. Didn’t get the chance to see it in 3D, but it would’ve enhanced the experience a lot more. They even brought back the de-aging effects during the prologue on Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, who went subatomic decades ago to disable a missile.

Reed and his team of screenwriters, Rudd, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, perfectly didn’t make this a darker film, but still incorporating a consistent tone throughout. And it feels nice to know that these kinds of movies set in the MCU that are labeled as fast-paced fun without taking itself seriously.

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

There were some humorous moments that are to be expected in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Nothing was rolling on the floor funny, but the laughs were there. One of my favorite side characters Luis (Michael Pena) is back again and still brings laughs including another one of his classic storytelling that might be better than the ones from the last film.

I also liked seeing the relationship between Scott and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) since a lot of there scenes with each other really brings a lot of charm to the film. Since he’s on house arrest, he needs to entertain his daughter with what he can when she visits him. It had a good amount of heart thrown in here.

As for problems, Ghost was a weak antagonist. John Kaman’s performance was actually pretty good, but even given some development on how she was able to gain this ability wasn’t enough. Some of the jokes weren’t that funny, and I was surprised with how much I didn’t laugh that much compared to the first film. Some new characters like Randall Park’s FBI agent Jimmy Woo and Walton Goggins’ black market criminal Sonny Burch were wasted and felt like useless when they’re onscreen. And personally, the overall story could’ve been a lot better if it didn’t follow that predictable MCU structure sometimes with mild stakes.

And with every MCU movie, there are two post-credit scenes. The first one was great and took me by surprise. The second one right after the credits wasn’t really worth mentioning.

In the end, Ant-Man and the Wasp was the type of summer fun that needs to be energized for the middle of the break. We already have three movies from the MCU in 2018, and all of them are easy to get through, This doesn’t warrant to be called a disappointment, but it’s still a blast. And even if I didn’t love this as much as the first movie because of the problems that did surface, I can easily watch this again in the future because this is still an entertaining superhero movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp delivers a fun and serviceable action-packed sequel despite not being fresh as the original on account of the villain and story. Grade: B-

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