an ANT-MAN AND THE WASP musing
After seeing the bummer events of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, it’s pretty refreshing to get a movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that is this fun and unconcerned with otherworldly dangers. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is the 20th (holy crap!) movie in the MCU, and the second following these characters. The original ANT-MAN, released in 2015, was relatively divorced from the larger happenings in the MCU, and I was expecting it to be the same way for the followup.
That results in a family-focused story, as Hope Van Dyne and her father, Hank Pym, played by Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas, respectively, attempt to bring back their mother/wife from the Quantum Realm. Since the event of the 2015 movie where he had been to and come back from the Quantum Realm, Scott Lang helped the Avengers in Germany (see the movie that essentially gave birth to this website: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR), was caught and put into house arrest. Hope and Hank retrieve Scott to aid them in their quest. Standing in their way are Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who is able to phase through solid objects, and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins).
The movie is at its best when letting the characters just be themselves, with the actors’ chemistry propelling the scenes. Yes, there are lots of silly moments where jokes get a little too played out or go too far; you see the set up and the punchline, then the joke keeps going and becomes less funny, then they keep repeating it until the whole audience was laughing hard. It’s a difficult line to toe, but director Peyton Reed confidently puts his stamp on the film. (My favorite) director Edgar Wright developed a version of the first ANT-MAN before he left the project and Reed took over. Wright’s style was still all over that movie, but we can sense the sequel is purely Reed’s baby.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a neat, almost too-tidy addition to the MCU. All the characters get to have some fun during the Luis monologues, the action is pretty awesome, and the Quantum Realm looks absolutely gorgeous. The emotional beats didn’t really land for me and there was no big theme that I could strongly attach to, and those were the main things that I found lacking. (I cried during BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, so I expect a lot from Marvel, now…) It’s a great popcorn flick that may be ultimately forgettable within the bigger context, but has tons of hilarious jokes (which involve lampshading, aka when a weird situation is pointed out by one of the characters in the scene, an acknowledgement of logic that might not be perfect and an urge to ignore it and move on) that I couldn’t help but have a great time.
RATING: PURCHASING FOR MY COLLECTION
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)