Ultimate Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp
Being the first Marvel movie to hit theatres after Infinity War is harder than following The Rock in a bodybuilding contest: you pretty much know you’re going to lose. With an unprecedented $675 million box office showing, Infinity War served to both satisfy the years-long craving for a mega superhero mashup and also to make fans impatiently shake their fists as they begin yet another wait for the highly anticipated sequel. Perhaps it’s because they are the only two superheroes in existence to NOT make an appearance in Infinity War, but the Disney/Marvel gods chose Ant-Man and The Wasp as their summer superhero film release and, being that it is a Marvel movie, the expectation is always high…so did it live up to the hype? If you’re ok with spoilers, read on to find out!
The night before I saw Ant-Man and the Wasp, I was at the cinema with my friends catching a screening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Both films are in the exact same genre (NO ‘superhero’ is not its own genre!) and I knew there would be loads of CGI and action sequences in both, but I always hope that the acting and character development scenes will far outnumber and outperform the action sequences- that’s what makes us audience members fall in love with them! Jurassic World, to put it kindly, featured the worst acting and directing in any film I’ve seen so far in 2018 and the entire thing was basically one long drawn out dino fight.
When I walked into Ant-Man, I was praying for the opposite, and when the film opened with a heartwarming and hilarious look at Scott Lang’s life on house arrest, I settled back into my seat with a smile. Paul Rudd’s scenes in his house with his daughter give the audience some context and substance to sink their teeth into. All he wants is to follow the rules, serve his probation, and ultimately be free from 24/7 surveillance, so when he unwillingly gets pulled into the film’s core fight, we actually care about his goal and are invested in its outcome! There won’t be any Oscar nominations here, but the moments set aside to develop Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s quirky and adorable chemistry made the action scenes’ high stakes believable.
It’s All In the Timing
Since Guardians of the Galaxy premiered, every superhero movie in the Marvel and DC universes have tried to find a comedy voice for each and every following film. None have succeeded. Neither did Ant-Man and The Wasp. The bulk of the laugh lines fell in Paul Rudd’s lap, and overall I think he did a great job of delivering them. My movie date and I were laughing out loud when his shrink/grow malfunctions and he is trapped in a child-sized body…watching a tiny adult man try to navigate a very big world is one of the comic moments that make this film a success. And when The Wasp’s mother is communicating through him…I won’t spoil it for you, that scene is TOO funny to not see for yourself! Ant-Man’s ‘normal guy’ demeanor plays into his overall likability, and ultimately his relatability as a guy who just wants to hang with his kid. While definitely not the funniest movie, the comedic moments were well-timed and fit nicely into an otherwise weak script.
Marvel at its Core
There is a new villain with untouchable power. There is an impossible mission. There are action scenes. There are explosions. There are superpowers. Yep, Ant-Man and The Wasp follows the tried and true Marvel formula that we’ve come to know, love, and sadly expect. While predictability is certainly a factor here, I was so, so relieved that the action and ‘fight’ sequences were all purposeful and never dragged out! The CGI effects that I hate so much are absolutely a huge factor here, but I felt as though the effects supported the action rather than took away from it, which in comparison to that dinosaur debacle I saw the previous night, this was a win for Marvel in my book!
The disbanded SHIELD and a villain who hails directly from the derelict company drives the Marvel Universe tie-in here, and although the events of this film are all part of a much larger picture, it stands on – so much so, that if you didn’t see the previous Ant-Man film, you won’t be confused in the slightest. The entire story revolves around a rescue from the quantum realm, and while the notion of crossing time and space borders is intriguing at the start, it takes far longer than it needs to for them to actually get there, dragging out a story line that would have been better told in a 90-minute film than the nearly 2-hour marathon that is in theatres.
Should you see it? Yeah, why not. If you’re a Marvel fan, you might as well. If you’re not, I would wholeheartedly recommend it over the Jurassic World disaster (no pun intended), but would direct you to watch (or re-watch, or re re-watch) The Incredibles 2 over this one. The story is okay, the characters are relatable, and the few comedic moments are very funny, but overall, Ant-Man and The Wasp failed to be the epic blockbuster that we so needed to follow Infinity War. The verdict? Wait for Netflix.
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!