Ant-Man and the Wasp
Review by Danny Beaton
Ant-Man and the Wasp is breath of happy fresh air, after the emotionally heavy Avengers: Infinity War, which was the last release of this Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was funny, which is to be expected from anyone who has seen the trailers or the previous Ant-Man movie; action-packed (almost comically so) and still full of heart.
But before we delve into the deeps of the Ant-Man and the Wasp world, I think we need to talk about expectations. Ant-Man and the Wasp is the twentieth entry into the Marvel Universe, which is absolutely ridiculous in and of itself. As I mentioned, this movie follows on the heels of Infinity War, which is easily the most successful of any Marvel film world-wide; but it’s also a part of what is known as “Phase Three” of the MCU. This phase has been critically, and financially the best phase of the three released to date and includes the likes of Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
The most surprising part of Ant-Man and the Wasp, however, was that it was a complete movie, separate to the universe it lives in. The film introduces every character, plot element and “super power” as if you have never heard anything about it. You don’t even have to have seen Ant-Man before seeing this. Even when it references other films, like it does with Civil War, and other characters, like Captain America, it does so with a wink and a nod so that fans of the series can smirk and those without context can keep watching without missing anything important.
The plot is honestly ridiculous, basically it can be syphoned down to a game of hot potato. If the first Ant-Man movie was a cool slick heist movie, this was more a fast and the furious style movie, that felt like every scene was joined by someone saying “and then”. There was a back and forth ridiculousness, where sometimes just a sit down and a cup of tea might have made the whole thing run smoother…but where would the fun have been there.
Where Ant-Man and the Wasp falls apart is the villains, who serve as nothing but an annoyance, only slowing down the heroes, instead of being a real menace. But the main focus of the movie is that of family and the heroes. Paul Rudd is great, but his on-screen daughter, Abby Ryder Fortson, is a knockout. The real star of the show, and by design I am sure, was absolutely Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp. She had the best fight scenes and action beats, and whenever she was onscreen I was locked in. My biggest worry about the sequel was that Michael Peña would be relegated into the background, but luckily Luis was still in the movie and even got to tell one his famous stories.
So whether you want a good action movie, a great sci-fi or just a good example of a super hero film, go see Ant-Man and the Wasp.