Directed by: Peyton Reed
Runtime: 1h 58m
There were a few feelings I had as I left the cinema after Ant-Man and the Wasp. The first; Paul Rudd is a national treasure and should be protected at all costs. The second; Marvel isn’t afraid to be a little silly. And third; Marvel can indeed create a villain worth watching.
For me, I felt like I was the rare few who was actually excited about the first Ant-Man. Everyone laughed, rolled their eyes and said that Marvel had finally hit its limit on great films. Well, Ant-Man certainly showed them! By the way, if you haven’t seen Ant-Man and could use a laugh, I highly recommend it! But that’s not what I’m here to do.
Ant-Man and the Wasp, while not imperfect, is definitely an excellent sequel that made me laugh out loud more than a few times, while still providing context and explanation to the whereabouts of Ant-Man and the Wasp during Infinity War: Part 1. The film begins, rather abruptly, with some background as to where Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne were during Captain America: Civil War.
After Scott’s entry and subsequent return from the quantum realm, Hank starts to realise that his wife, presumed dead or unreachable in the very same realm, may, in fact, be able to be retrieved. The two set to work on creating a means of safely travelling to the realm. Meanwhile, due to his outing during Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang is towards the end of his 2-year house arrest. This provides a helpful explanation as to why he was not at (or perhaps asked to join in) the events of Infinity War.
There were a few things that generally surprised me. This film, while comedic, had some touching scenes between Scott and his daughter Cassie. While the film didn’t need to put her in danger this time, she was an important part to Scott as a character and really made a unique impact that a lot of the other Avengers just don’t have. Scott Lang’s character is managing to have this beautiful and wonderful relationship with his daughter, who grounds him into making the right decisions, rather than being that typical tortured and brooding superhero who has to lose everyone he loves in order to succeed. After all, he is dubbed World’s Best Grandma by Cassie in the film (a very cute scene and call back later) and there are many other touching moments in general with many group hugs between the non-conventional family.
The other surprise was the use of a few ‘villains’ that were not the typical ‘moustache twirling’ villains. Ghost, who you’ve probably heard or seen the most, was a great ‘villain’ who had a legitimate arch and drive into who she became. Sonny Burch, played by Walton Goggins, was a little more straightforward, but he fit into the narrative well and realistically based on the scenario and therefore was not out of place. Lawrence Fishburne’s character, Dr Bill Foster, was excellent and had a wonderful storyline with Ghost and Hank Pym. Jimmy Woo, the FBI agent, was unexpectedly amazing in every scene he was in and was a great character with very minimal screen time to work with. He was a fantastic antagonist without having to be the destroyer of worlds. While some of these characters were a little predictable, Marvel is starting to improve on its (in my opinion) one weakness: boring villains.
I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet and only wished she could have had more screen time.
Overall, the highlight for me was seeing Evangeline Lily kicking ass, Paul Rudd being adorable and hilarious and Michael Peña’s Luis character stealing every scene he was in with his awkward and straightforward brand of humour.
At the end of the day, Ant-Man and the Wasp was actually a great film. Sure, it tried to ‘science’ sometimes when it wasn’t necessary, but I was smiling the entire time during this film and I really came to love all of the characters. I thought I would enjoy it simply because I enjoyed the first film, but I was actually surprised by how many jokes landed so well but still didn’t undermine the film’s integrity. As many reviews have stated, I would agree that this film is a ‘breath of fresh air’ after the intensity of Infinity War.