Set before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Scott Lang returns as the lovable crook, turned hero known as Ant-Man. The original film was charming enough, but it ranked in my bottom half of the MCU films when Gabbing Geek did our MCU rewatch earlier this year. How would the film be when a strong female hero was added to the mix?
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Pretty. Darn. Well!
We rejoin our miniature (and sometime giant) hero as he is serving the final days of house arrest due to the events of Captain America: Civil War. When a mysterious message from the microscopic space (it’s space!) comes to Scott, he partners with his predecessor Hank Pym’s daughter Hope on an important mission. Hope don’s the former superhero mantle of her mother Janet, The Wasp, in an effort to find mom in the Quantum Realm; which Scott visited in the first film.
While they are trying to plan a rescue of Janet, they run afoul of a mysterious villain, The Ghost, who can walk through walls. She has other plans for the Quantum Realm and the race is on.
- Paul Rudd belongs in the MCU A-List. He was great in the first film and Civil War, but here he takes it to the next level. He is so charming and funny in every scene of the film. His relationship with his daughter was particularly strong in this second film.
- The whole cast clicked. Everyone was great! Evangeline Lilly (Lost) was badass as the main action star here. Randall Park (Veep) was hilarious as the FBI agent who constantly tries to catch Scott in his schemes. Greybeards Michael Douglas (Falling Down) and Laurence Fishburne (Matrix Reloaded) deliver a lot of strong moments. But most importantly…
- I will never get tired of Michael Pena. Every. Single. Word. He. Says!!! He is better the second time around…and he was great the first time.
- I believed everyone’s motivation. The good guys. The bad guys. The chaotic neutral guys. Everyone had a reason for their actions that you really found compelling and believable.
- The humor and action mixed well. From the trailers it looked like we’d get spammed with more of the Thomas the Train gags, but short of the Pez dispenser from the trailer, most of the shrinking and growing moments are well executed and effective. The films was able to be funny while still creating tension and drama.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
- The Sonny Burch character was fine but extraneous. While I like Walter Scoggins (Tomb Raider), his character was one character that they could have done without. He allowed Pena and crew to have some great moments, but he was there just to have a mustache twirling villain in the movie. Everyone else was too complicated so they seemed to need a character for audiences to hate. Scoggins was fine, but his screen time could have been used for more time with Ghost, Fishburne, or… Michael Pena.
- I’m still frustrated that this film didn’t come out before Infinity Wars. You forget about it quickly enough, but it still annoys me.
I really loved this movie and put it somewhere near the top of the MCU; such a huge climb film over film. Only Thor: Ragnarok represented a bigger advancement within a series. And that’s good company to be in!
Overall, I give ANT-MAN AND THE WASP 9.5 “Truth Serums“ out of 10.