Ant-Man and The Wasp Movie Review
Let’s start at the end. Ant-Man and the Wasp has one of the best mid-credits scene of any MCU movie to date, one that caused a fellow filmgoer who shall not be named to shout loudly in the theater, both in disbelief and shock (as for me, I giggled at the turn of events).
That should have been enough to make me stay for the second post credit scene, but I didn’t because I value my time too much to sit through five minutes of credits for something I an watch on YouTube a week later, but I digress.
The movie itself?
It’s pretty damn entertaining.
Similar to the first one, which many people may not remember actually exists, Ant-Man and the Wasp operates with little interest in building huge stakes (a la Infintiy War) or connecting to the broader universe of superheroes (a la just about every other MCU movie). This leads to a satisfying little film, one that is content with landing a few solid action sequences and playing off Paul Rudd’s comedic sensibilities.
The first Ant-Man was good but not great, but returning director Peyton Reed finds his footing the second time around. Ant-Man and the Wasp is more confident in its delivery and more comfortable being funny--the first, while humorous, never took full advantage of the talent involved. Rudd is great and Michael Peña is hilarious; the film plays to their strengths with glee.
Unlike some of the other bigger MCU movies, which tend to descend into massive battles of superheroes and villains battling amidst massive use of CGI, their various abilities blending together to the verge of genericism, Ant-Man and the Wasp takes full advantage of the “ant tech” the story relies on. Reed stages some sneakily complex sequences with characters, objects and buildings changing sizes almost too quickly to comprehend, fully incorporating his characters’ “powers” to an impressive degree.
The movie, like so many other MCU films, does suffer from a villain problem--Hannah John-Kamen, as Ghost, has a mildly interesting backstory, but is presented as more of an obstacle to overcome than a real villain. Other baddies are introduced, including Walton Goggins as your stereotypical black market gangster (what a waste!) and Laurence Fishburne, who really isn’t a bad guy at all (what a waste!).
The film’s women are also poorly utilized (John-Kamen included). Despite her character sharing in the film’s title this time around, Evangeline Lilly is given very little to do. As the Wasp, she kicks some serious ass, but her actual character is an afterthought. The introduction of Michelle Pfeiffer is inspired, but she’s barely in the movie and is given even less to do.
Despite its shortcomings, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a delightfully fast-paced, entertaining and funny action movie. It may not have the massive scale of some of the other MCU movies, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart--or at least humor.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.