“Ant-Man and the Wasp” was directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michael Pena. The film takes place before the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and is about Scott Lang (Rudd) teaming back up with Hank Pym and his daughter in order to attempt to bring back their mother, who has been stuck in the quantum realm.
The first “Ant-Man” film was a fun movie, and both Rudd and Pena were excellent, but it is not a Marvel movie I hold towards the top of their filmography by any means. Still, this film looked like it could also be very fun, so I came in looking for some pure entertainment value, and hoped I’d be pleasantly surprised with anything more.
Again, Rudd shines in the titular role, bringing the perfect amount of comedy to this character to make him consistently charismatic and always fun to watch. As Lang, Rudd is able to play both a hero and a father figure very well, and I really enjoyed the scenes he shared with his daughter, as they felt very genuine and necessary to his character arc.
Much like Rudd, it is Pena who manages to shine with his energetic, motor-mouth persona that never fails to get a laugh. This time though, he isn’t alone, as I loved both T.I. and David Dastmalchian, as the trio come together for some of the biggest laughs of the film. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” works the most in its light-hearted sequences, and these three are a lot of the reason why.
The female performances are also very strong in this film, and I loved the move by Reed to make this sequel a co-lead movie, as Lilly is just as much the protagonist as Rudd is, and she gives a terrific, more emotional performance. Hannah John-Kamen is also great as Ghost, and whenever her character did get screen time, I loved how she played the part, and loved the visuals given to her ability.
This is yet another visual feast from the MCU, as there are tons of terrific moments with the shrinking and enlarging of various things that always looks awesome. The fighting sequences are a smart mix of comedy and strong action, and as I already said, seeing Ghost phase in and out of everything is an absolute delight. Seeing the quantum realm is also stunning, as the intense colors and visuals used there make the film stand out as a visual experience like no other.
Much like the first “Ant-Man,” this is a very fun film with a lot of good humor, but it never really succeeds in landing on anything more besides that. Sure, Lilly and John-Kamen bring a few heartfelt ideas to the table, and they perform them well. But, I don’t think enough time is really spent on the dramatic pieces to make them impactful, lessening any sort of lasting impact this film could have had.
The plot moves at a very brisk pace, but it often is full of conveniences or cliches that took away from a lot of the tension. Ideas in this movie have been done many times before, and it made for sequences that felt predictable and a tad stale, even with amazing effects all around.
While I did enjoy the character of Ghost, I wish she got more time to fully develop, and I think that could have been done easily with the removal of Walton Goggins’ character, who is simply a nuisance to the plot. Goggins is never interesting or funny enough to be worth anything to this story, and all his presence did was cut Ghost’s screen time in half, which is a true crime against her far more interesting character.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is as promised: a fun, easygoing film that is helped greatly by strong performances all over the board and some beautiful effects. This exactly met my expectations, but without going even a little bit over them. I wish that there was more time spent building up these more dramatic elements, but as it stands, this is a solid sequel, and one that is a fun ride from start to finish.
What did you think of “Ant-Man and the Wasp”? Comment below with your thoughts.