I’m still wondering after all this time what Edgar Wright would have done for the record. However what Peyton Reed showed us in the first Ant-Man showed signs of originality in a formulaic Marvel film. it wasn’t without its faults but nevertheless was an easy film to sit through that wasn’t too heavy for its audience. After Infinity War which I assume many of us haven’t fully recovered from, a hero like Ant-Man is a great dose of morphine to remind us how fun the MCU can be, hence we get Ant-Man and the Wasp. Size does matter in Ant-Man and the Wasp but despite the film highlighting what made the first Ant-Man a success, I felt that déjà vu had infected this film because it felt too similar.
Breaking down Ant-Man and the Wasp to sub-atomic precision, Peyton Reed has sustained the charm that comes with the ability to resize. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) shows off even more heart through trying to be a good father and hero whilst being under house arrest for his actions in Civil War. I found the scenes involving Scott trying to be a father to his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) very sweet and connecting, the lengths Scott goes to like staging an entire adventure with cardboard around his house just, so he can make Cassie happy gives the character of Scott a lot of heart that was briefly seen in the first film.
We’ve explored one name in the title, now to move on to the Wasp or Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) who may fans will remember wanted a piece of the action and now finally gets some, even more so than Ant-Man. The film takes her characters wants from the first film and uses that as the foundations of her style of combat which even surpasses Ant-Man in what she can do with this shrinking ability. Her character stays with the realm of family as we explored her relationship with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) her father, now we explore her relationship with her mother who she and Hank are trying to search for.
We do of course get more Ant-Man action and although the first scene introduced us to the type of action that comes from the ability of resizing, I feel like the action scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp will be more memorable because there are a lot of more interesting ways the film uses that ability and incorporating them into the scenes. The involvement of objects like cars, a Pez dispenser and even an entire building once shrank, is wheeled around like a suitcase creates wonderment because once something is made smaller and/or larger, it’s evolutional and adaptive, it plays with the element that made Ant-Man unique.
Note that every good point I’ve made about Ant-Man and the Wasp is elements that were already known to us, that’s because trying to look for a stand out quality that take this film one step further is an impossibility. A lot of people are going to walk away from this film saying, “it wasn’t as good as the first”. Even the strong humour I felt teetered between wisecracks to sitcom-style events. The main perpetrator of this teetering is the character Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) who is an FBI agent who spends most of his time trying to catch Scott in the act of breaking his house arrest. It messed with the comedic tone of the film and it has a prologue effect on what should have been good humour that comes across uncomfortable. I’m certain that “Wazzup!” was a retired joke decades ago.
The tone is crippled in this film not just though humour but editing. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a very trimmed film where the cuts feel too sharp. It’s almost liked the film has one tone, but the editing is out of sync. There are scenes like the school scene where Scott is getting his suit back whilst being the height of a child miss out on so much in both humour and action. I was waiting for the moment when a teacher would mistake him for a child, but that moment never came.
A big criticism of the first Ant-Man was that the villain was too much of a template villain. Ant-Man and the Wasp attempt to rectify this problem with Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) who does have a small connection to Hank Pym, her ability to phase through walls is from a special effects standpoint quite beautiful. But despite this, when you think of great Marvel villains, Ghost isn’t going to pop up on anyone’s list because the motivation isn’t felt to be a strong one.
Ant-Man and the Wasp was a massive letdown for me after walking into the film positive about it. The film’s progression has ground to a halt and it has made me question where else can they take this hero. The story was made up of things and places that have already been plotted out and when it tried to become more interesting it felt desperate. I would have rather seen a film about Scott Lang the father rather than Scott Lang the Ant-Man because that was where the film shined the most, everything else felt rushed and made purely for the sake of being fun. Sure you can have fun, but you’d better be prepared to feel the film’s sting afterwards.
Final Result: 4/10 – Below Average
Have you seen Ant-Man and the Wasp? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Christopher Robin