If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling a bit down after the closing minutes of Avengers: Infinity War and whatever comes next out of the mighty Marvel Studios needs to be consequential or whimsical. So, the first movie out Ant Man and the Wasp is the latter, a light-hearted fare with fun action, a good nature sense of humour and a nice big heart worn on its sleeve and it feels like the right type of film. It’s not a perfect film by any means and like its predecessor will never be must-see but for entertaining escapism it does alright.
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang finds himself under house arrest and on the outer with Hank and Hope. While counting down the days until his release, he has a vivid dream about the quantum realm where Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother is trapped. Putting difficulties aside they start planning to save her. The problem is a villain Ghost who appears to phase through dimensions has other plans for her.
The plot might sound confusing and while my explanation probably does it no justice, it is a very convoluted setup however for what ends up being a relatively straightforward story. Truth be told Ant Man and the Wasp takes a long time to find its groove and gives a poor first impression. The other part is this contrived conflict, no one can hate Paul Rudd and yet they give the other two main characters a chance to try and it and start Hank and Hope out as quite unlikable.
Yet at some point, Ant-Man and The Wasp clicks. It might be that it lays on warm and endearing sentimentality throughout it. From heart-warming family moments between Scott and his daughter, between Hank and Hope or even between the ridiculous cast of side characters Ex-Con wanting to make a clean start. It has a nice vibe that gives you a touch of the feels without ever being too dramatic. Given the events of the previous Marvel film it does well to ignore them for the most part and the heartfelt tone thrives here.
Its action is the same mix of large and small, quite literally, from the previous film. It reminds me of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids which might seem dated but is still the definitive reference point. It also seems a little bit more confident in what its trying to achieve and allows itself to be playful and always entertaining. Surprisingly, its Evangeline Lilly who benefits for having these large action set-pieces and her no-nonsense character from the first film becomes a truly tough-as-nails hero here. Never let me say a bad work about Kate from Lost again!
The sense of play means that a lot of the movie plays for laughs. It’s still probably more action than comedy but it has a kind of family friendly, dad-joke feeling which means that the jokes both dumb and yet allows you to feel guilt-free about laughing at them. Jokes about truth serum and giant-ants living their best lives are continual running gags that work well, so does Michael Douglas just ‘playing’ a grumpy old-man.
Ant-Man and the Wasp wades a bit deeper into its comic book lore and there will be those who are appreciative of that. Much of the problem here is that characters such as Ghost and Bill Foster are only given cursory introductions and might leave casual audience feeling a little bit confused before they are thrown into the story.
Ant-Man and The Wasp Review Summary
Ant Man and The Wasp is an entertaining and fun sequel that seems like the right light palette cleanser after the events of Avengers: Infinity War. It starts off a bit shaky but is goofy humour and constant attempts to elicit emotional warmth means it eventually finds the right balance. Worth a watch.
+ Goofy sense of humour and fun.
+ It’s over the top action allows for playful action
+ Evangeline Lilly truly shines.
+Big Heart that wants to make you feel
-Seems to misstep at the beginning with its setup.
-Lore introductions make new character seem superficial