In their ongoing effort for world domination, MARVEL continues its reign with their newest release, Ant-Man and the Wasp. At this point if you hate superhero movies you have got to be in some sort of hellscape and I do not envy you or your poor taste in movies. That said Ant-Man 2 is yet another solid addition that takes everything great from the first and expands upon not only the spectacle but the story of the origins of Ant-Man and the day that changed everything for the Pym family. Not only does it go deeper into the mythos of these characters but it further stresses their importance in the greater spectrum of MARVEL-DOM. As fun and contained as this film is there are still dire consequences for the future of these heroes and their fellow superhuman cohorts.
Consequences or not I would say the main goal here was simply to give the audiences a lighthearted, fun adventure that hopefully will alleviate some of that Infinity War tension. Paul Rudd returns in top form as Scott Lang and his quips are quippier(?) than ever. His partner in crime Hope Van Dyne played by the badass Evangeline Lilly is given a much larger stage this time around and shines brighter than ever. She really is a highlight in this film and her future in this universe should be a lot of fun to watch. Much like the first film, as funny as Rudd is he is outdone by the hilarious Michael Peña who once again steals multiple scenes with his ridiculously out of touch character, Luis.
Something that often gets lost in sequels are the characters. For most sequels it’s up the spectacle and damn everything else; basically bigger is better. And that’s usually why a sequel rarely lives up to the first because it has lost its soul, its heart. We want the action scenes with the cool visuals and big explosions but the characters cannot be lost in the dust and rubble of a lesser story. In an origin story the hero-to-be often goes through something motivating their desire to change that which hurt or altered them so profoundly. There is character development there as a normal thing becomes an extraordinary thing with a desire to change what they see around them for the better. Once they are established as a superhero then it always becomes about their abilities and not their reasoning behind their ongoing convictions of taking down the villain and saving the day once again. It becomes all about “Look what I can do…” and it’s boring and forgettable.
Luckily Ant-Man dodges this sophomore slump and showcases its characters front and center. They know with the first film they established interesting characters and wanted to further their stories in the sequel. Scott Lang wants to be Ant-Man but doesn’t want to risk disappointing his daughter who thinks the world of him. His priorities are torn in very different directions as he is forced to decide his future as either Scott Lang the father, Ant-Man the hero, or some balance of the two. Hope Van Dyne (Wasp) is set on bringing back her long lost mother while simultaneously trying to maintain her life as a newly appointed superhero. She must also protect her father Hank Pym from harming himself as his desire to find his wife often contradicts his own self preservation.
As I’ve said in past MARVEL movie reviews, at this point you already know if this is up your so-called alley. It’s a superhero film with lots of visual eye candy, funny jokes, eclectic character types, and a super villain determined to undermine the status quo. With most MARVEL films, especially as of late, they have figured out a formula that includes the best elements of a summer blockbuster that entertains but also manages a certain amount of heart and character importance to an otherwise visually driven adventure. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a worthy sequel and welcomed addition to the overall MARVELverse and fans of previous installments will continue their support long into the future, even when Avengers 4 finishes what Infinity War did and stomps our collective hearts into the ground.
Rated PG-13 For: some sci-fi action violence
Runtime: 125 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes, two. And they are huge!
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, T.I.
Directed By: Peyton Reed
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below:
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