Review: ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ is a Fun, Witty Entry in the MCU

A much needed, light-hearted film following Avengers: Infinity War.

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A much needed, light-hearted film following Avengers: Infinity War.

RATING: ★★1/2 (out of four stars)

The MCU has had an incredible year so far with Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Both of those films were very serious and, for the most part, some of the more darker chapters in the universe. They were definitely great movie experiences, but with Ant Man and the Wasp, it’s nice to go back to laughing every five minutes for a Marvel Studios movie. Even though the events in the movie take place before Infinity War, it was smart and necessary for Marvel Studios to set Ant-Man and the Wasp pre-Infinity War.

Let’s talk about what worked in Ant Man and the Wasp. Paul Rudd is perfect as Scott Lang/Ant Man. His wit, comedic timing, and charisma make his character very likable and easy to root for. He spends the first act of the movie on house arrest following the events in Captain America: Civil War. The writing uses this plot element as a great way to continue building the relationship with his daughter after the events of Ant-Man. Best of all, it explains where he was during Avengers: Infinity War.

Now if only we can get justice for Hawkeye…..BUT ANYWAY….

Evangeline Lilly makes for a good partner as Hope/The Wasp for Scott Lang/Ant-Man. She has some of the coolest fight sequences in the movie and she’s also just as cool and collective when she’s not in a superhero suit. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and is about the same as he was in Ant-Man. The biggest difference for his character this time around though is that Ant-Man and the Wasp’s story is far more personal to his character, which adds some gravitas to the story. Laurence Fishburne is now a part of the MCU and the DCEU, so that’s pretty cool if you like comic book movies. Michael Pena once again steals the show with some of the funniest moments in the movie. Seriously, get him a suit and a movie of his own now, Marvel Studios.

There are two problems in Ant Man and the Wasp. One is somewhat minor and can be overlooked by most people, and the other is pretty glaringly obvious. The small problem is the chemistry between Scott and Hope. It isn’t bad, but the issue is that they built their relationship between the two movies. So, the fact that the audience hasn’t actually seen it build makes it difficult to believe when Hope gets mad at Scott or when they have a romantic moment. They had some chemistry in the first film, but without seeing it build on-screen poses as a  small character connection problem. The main problem in Ant Man and the Wasp is a problem that’s been around for years in the MCU: the villain (or should I say villains). They missed a big opportunity to make Ghost the main villain and one that we could sympathize like Thanos and Killmonger. After Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther earlier this year, it looked like Marvel Studios finally got the antagonist side of their MCU entries right – and then Ant-Man and the Wasp shows how it’s still a glaring problem that has yet to be fixed entirely. And not only is there Ghost, but there’s also Walton Goggins’ character and group of henchmen that are connected to the FBI too. When you have this many villains, it’s hard to keep the core focus of the film. If Ghost had been the only villain, then Ant Man and the Wasp might have soared to greater heights.

As a whole, Ant Man and the Wasp is loads of fun and is laugh out loud funny. The fact that you’re either laughing or smiling from excitement makes it easier to forgive the movie for its flaws and issues. The mid-credit scene is awesome and the post-credit scene is simply okay. And yes, Ant Man and the Wasp does answer some questions from Avengers: Infinity War and ties everything together nicely.

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