ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the newest offering from the MCU.  It’s the first film after the massive Infinity War and is almost its polar opposite.

While you had to have seen several of the other MCU films to even understand Infinity War, you only have had to see Ant-Man to understand the sequel.  And even then, it’s not really necessary.

Infinity War was a huge film, packed with a ton of MCU characters.  This movie features only the characters that you already know, with a couple new-comer villains.

It’s really the perfect follow up to Infinity War, something to satisfy you in the valley after that film.

TIMELINE

The film takes place two years after the events of Civil War, which means that it takes place around the same time that Infinity War is happening.  So I guess it makes sense that Ant-Man wasn’t involved in that story, but the end credits seem to suggest that he may play a bigger role in Infinity War part 2.  More on that later.

A SAFE MOVIE

The first Ant-Man took some risks with visuals and camera work.  It seems now that most of that was the work of Edgar Wright, who was removed from the project.

This film is decent, but there’s really nothing there.  It’s the cinematic equivalent of buttered toast.  It’s okay, it’ll curb your appetite, but it’s not exciting.

There’s some good action scenes, and the plot is engaging.  We get some good emotional connection between characters and clear motivation for everyone involved, but it’s too much paint by the numbers.

When you have a character as goofy and interesting as someone who can manipulate their size, you would think it would be easier to come up with interesting visuals, but it’s just very bland.

HUMOR

I’m also disappointed that this isn’t a funnier movie.  Look, Paul Rudd is a damn national treasure.  He is hilarious, but the script doesn’t give him a whole lot to work with.  There is some good back and forth between Ant-Man and the FBI agent checking up on him, but other than that there isn’t a lot of humor at all.

JUSTIN HAMMER

Remember him?  He was Tony Stark’s rival in Iron Man 2.  He was played by Sam Rockwell and was, maybe, the only good thing about that movie.  Yeah, you got it.

Why wasn’t he in this film?  I like Walter Goggins as much as the next guy.  Hell, I probably love him more than you do, and he was great in the movie, but I think it’s pretty clear that his character should have been Justin Hammer.

If you want to keep Goggins in (and why wouldn’t you) you could make him the main henchman.  It’s a best of both worlds situation.

END CREDITS (SPOILERS)

I’m not talking about the throw-away end credit scene with the giant ant (which they put in because apparently all of these movies must have two end-credit scenes) I’m talking about the scene where Ant-Man goes to the quantum realm to harvest gamma energy and becomes trapped because Thanos’s snap caused Hank, Hope and Janet to disappear.

That’s a big shot in the gut and really the only scene that had any kind of emotional impact on me.  Though, I can’t say it was a surprise because I was sure they were going to bring that snap in at some point.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Based on this review you might think that I won’t recommend this movie, but you’d be wrong.  It’s a fine film.  Solidly made, with a good storyline and great characters.  It’s just very much a run down a path we’ve taken many times.

There’s nothing new or beautiful here.  It very much feels like Disney saying, “here’s another movie, it’s fresh off the assembly line.”

It’s a curse of Marvel making movies that are too good, probably.  But there’s a real lack of creative vision here.  When you compare it to Winter Soldier or Infinity War or Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, it just doesn’t hold up.

So, if you want to see it in the theater, you should.  You won’t come out disappointed.  If you want to wait until it’s out on BluRay, I think that’s fine too.  You won’t be missing anything if you wait.

FINAL VERDICT: 3/5

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The Author

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips is the author of several thriller and literary novels. His Bentley Books series introduced the world to sadistic serial killer Bentley Grimes, a villain of unbelievable cruelty and unimaginable coldness. His literary novels are populated with richly drawn characters struggling with issues that affect our society today, such as: homosexuality, alcoholism, family struggles, poverty, greed, and bigotry.

He is an avid sports fan as well as a lover of movies and television.

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