This review contains spoilers for both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Ant-Man

Ant-Man and the Wasp was released July 6, 2018 just 3 short months after Infinity War. It explains why Scott Lang and crew were not present during the events of IW and shows what they were doing instead. Overall the movie was charming, light hearted, and funny. So much so that it almost makes you forget that the snap was a thing… until it forcefully reminds you that the snap was a thing.

What I liked

Once again, Paul Rudd provides an excellent performance as Scott Lang. He proves to be more of a goof ball than a reluctant super hero (in typical Paul Rudd fashion), but when it really counts he can pull himself together and get the job done. More to the point, the movie’s true hero was none other than Hope Van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly. Where there is some butt that needs kicking more often than not Hope is the one wearing the boots. Ant-Man’s costume remains largely unchanged as it appeared in Captain America: Civil War. Wasp’s Costume has a sleek dark green padded leather look that covers her from head to heel. Perfectly practical for the types of combat we see her frequently engage in.

Throughout the movie there are several instances where we see things growing and shrinking. The visuals for these effects look pretty impressive. The villain of the movie, Ghost, is a young woman named Ava (played by Hannah John-Kamen). She has the misfortune to be periodically out of phase with herself and her surroundings. This gives her the ability to become invisible, phase through solid objects, and be an excellent spy/assassin. The visuals for her ability were at once both impressive and disturbing. The pain the character experiences during these times is visible on the characters face, and by the end of the movie you really can’t help but feel sorry for her

What I didn’t like

In the first Ant-man, you learn that Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) sacrificed herself to stop a missile. She shrunk so small that she could fit in-between the molecules of the armor plating and attack the insides of the missile. She succeeded in stopping the missile but at the cost of continually shrinking forever. In essence her character (One of the founding members of the comic version of the Avengers) was killed off screen, during a flashback. Then, the cast of this movie spends the entire movie trying to track Janet down and rescue her, only to kill her off again, off screen, during an after-credit scene. It really does no favors to the character. It almost feels like Paul Rudd spent more time as Janet Van Dyne onscreen than Michelle Pfeiffer did. Not to mention that the after credits scene renders everything the characters suffered during the movie moot.

Why are Hank and Hope wanted criminals? It is known that they are the developers of the Shrinking Suit, and that Scott used that suit against the Sokovia Accords during the events of Civil War. But all they had to do was explain that Scott stole the suit, and used it without their knowledge or permission (which is the truth) I don’t know, that plot thread seems manufactured to give the movie a little more tension.

Luis (Michael Peña) gets another speaking montage where he relates past events in his special way, and it is every bit as glorious as it was the first time. What wasn’t so good was Luis and his captors arguing about whether the stuff they were going to inject him with (to get him to tell the truth) was in fact truth serum. That bit went on for too long and dragged the movie to a halt.

Results

79/100

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a fun movie to watch but it really lacked some of the emotional weight and clout as some of the other Marvel movies. It was confused as to whether it wanted to be a comedy or an action movie, and in trying to be both lost a little something from both sides. The ending was a little lackluster and bittersweet, which only serves to harsh the comedic moments all the more. I still enjoyed the movie, and recommend that everyone see it, just don’t expect it to be the best in the MCU.

Side Note

My biggest complaint with this movie is the same as I found for the previous Ant-Man movie: It doesn’t follow its own science. Throw whatever kind of science babble at the audience to explain away whatever you want, but at least try to stick to it. In the first movie, it is explained that when anything grows or shrinks all that is changing is the space between the molecules. The mass of the object stays the same. Hope further explains to Scott that since he will weigh the same but the surface area of his fist will be so much smaller it will do exponentially more damage. Jump to the end of the movie and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is carrying a tank around in his pocket on a key chain. This movie is very much guilty of the same sin. They carry around a matchbox car tote with all of their vehicles in it. Per their own rules this tote should weigh several dozen tons. To make matters worse, they shrink a multi-story building that acts as Hank’s lab. Again just because you made it smaller doesn’t mean that it is any lighter. Over all this issue is minor and doesn’t ruin the experience; it is more of a personal gripe.

Overall Rankings within the MCU

  1. Captain Marvel, 2019, 94/100
  2. Ant-Man and the Wasp, 2018, 79/100
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