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Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd star in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

After Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) got to stand on is own in his first film, he’s now sharing the spotlight in his return. This time around, The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) is joining him, but she’s not coming alone. As it turns out, this adventure is something closer to a family affair, and the movie benefits from it more than you might expect.

Picking up nearly two years after the events seen in Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) is seen grappling with the consequences of his actions. At this point, all he’s been doing is trying to find the correct balance between his duties as a father and being a former fugitive. He’s been on his best behavior so far, but when he’s presented with an opportunity to take on an urgent new mission, the itch to return as Ant-Man overwhelms him.

Like Ant-Man, Ant-Man and The Wasp is done on a lower scale than the average Marvel film of present day. This is a good thing in my opinion since it offers somewhat of a fresh take in a series of movies that always aspire to be large and impactful. Aiming for that can obviously work, but it’s nice to have a change of pace in certain instances if only to keep things balanced.

There are some good things about this movie, but before I get to those, I have to point out something that was strange. I wouldn’t consider it a complete negative, but the way the antagonists are used is odd. As you watch, you may begin to feel as if there really isn’t a primary villain. In both cases where we look at the adversaries of Ant-Man and Wasp, we get people who don’t feel like they are the kind of threats to carry this portion of a flick.

In both instances, these people feel more like they should be secondary antagonists.  One is bad simply because he’s a criminal while the other isn’t necessarily what you would say is a villain when looking at her reasons for doing what she’s doing. In reality, she’s more of a person who is extremely desperate when it comes to achieving her goal. It’s explained in the movie well, but you can’t have someone with this particular motivation be the “main bad guy” in this case.

The hole that comes from this also helps create the feeling that there isn’t really a central story to pull everything together. As you would expect, the characters we meet are going for the same thing, but sometimes it feels as if it’s not all that important. In some instances, you may actually forget why Ant-Man and his team are chasing what they’re going after. In order to fix this, I think making the villains more impactful could have made the movie tighter as well as made there feel as if there was more at stake.

The film could have also benefited from them putting more dramatic emphasis on the quest of our heroes. When thinking about the movie now, the joking manner kind of hampers it, and a slightly more serious tone would have made their desires seem more important. Making these simple changes turns Ant-Man and The Wasp into a more powerful film that manages to still maintain its amusing and light nature while grabbing onto the emotions of the audience more.

With that being said, I like the movie as a whole. I just believe that they had the tools to let us love it more. That’s kind of where I stand with the action as well. It’s fine, but there isn’t enough of it and it isn’t as noticeable as it should be. Take something like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as an example. If it contained action at least somewhat similar to that in terms of intensity, Ant-Man and The Wasp could have been a true source of fun. Since it doesn’t reach that level, what we get is only solid at best.

The strongest part of this movie for me is the development of the characters overall who were in the original film. To call this movie Ant-Man and The Wasp is misleading since it’s not really about them. In fact, this almost feels like a movie about a larger team where everyone has a different role to play. Because of this, you get a picture that consists of well-developed characters who do a good job in keeping everything moving and allows for the emptiness that I spoke of earlier to be less of a detriment than it normally would be.

What we have in Ant-Man and The Wasp is odd since it’s a fine movie where the faults are glaring but not that damaging. For me, I just see that there’s a great movie in there since all of the elements appear to be ready to use. Regardless of how people like me see things, I’m willing to bet that most viewers will still be able to enjoy it when they see it for themselves. There’s plenty to like about it, even if it isn’t able to reach anywhere near its full potential.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast:
Paul Rudd
Evangeline Lilly
Michael Douglas
Michael Pena
Walton Goggins
Hannah John-Kamen
Abby Ryder Fortson
Randall Park
Laurence Fishburne
Judy Greer
Bobby Cannavale
T.I.
David Dastmalchian
Michelle Pfeiffer

Film Length: 118 minutes

Release Date: July 6, 2018

Distributor: Marvel

  • Score - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
6.5/10
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