Ant-Man and the Wasp

"Anyone seen a Southern gentleman carrying a building?"

I know what you're thinking. Why is this review only getting posted now when this film came out almost a month ago?

The answer is simple. Before this week I couldn't actually see it. Marvel decided to delay the film's release in certain markets so it wouldn't clash with the World Cup (????). Even though that tournament ended July 15th Marvel still decided to wait a further three weeks before releasing the film in the UK. Only way I was going to see this film when it first came out was to fork out the cash and hop on a plane. Even I won't cross the Atlantic for a Marvel movie. I'll do that for Hamilton, but not for a Marvel movie and certainly not an Ant-Man sequel.

It has been two years since the events of Captain America: Civil War where Scott went to Germany, helped Team Cap fight Team Iron Man, ruined a perfectly good airport, and got himself arrested. Scott is now living under house arrest (where'd he get the house?) while Hank and Hope have been forced to go on the run. Despite being fugitives, the father-daughter team have been working tirelessly on a way to enter the Quantum Realm and rescue Hope's mother, Janet, the original Wasp.

Ant-Man surprised a lot of people when it came out back in 2015 by actually being rather good. It was a fun little caper movie (emphasis on little) that never had any aspirations beyond being a fun little caper movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp is similarly unambitious. This is a sequel that resists any urge to go bigger (not counting all the times Scott goes Giant-Man) and seems content to just be another fun little caper movie. Only problem is someone forgot to include an actual caper.

The first film's heist plot gave it a solid, if predictable, structure. This film has no such structure. It could best be described as an elaborate game of pass the parcel as the various bad guy factions steal Hank Pym's miniaturised lab, only for the heroes to steal it back, only for one of the bad guys to steal it off them again only for another bad guy to steal it off them only for... you get the idea. I have a sneaky feeling that this film might've been rushed into production without a finished script.


After the tease at the end of the first film, this film finally sees Evangeline Lilly get to put on the wings and become the Wasp. In fact, a more appropriate title would The Wasp and Ant-Man since Hope is the one leading the charge here not Scott. Her personal mission is driving the action while he is just sort of tagging along. He may be the central POV character, but Scott is effectively just the wisecracking sidekick, there simply to help out and make jokes. Although I really could've done without most of the jokes.

Unlike the first film, Ant-Man and the Wasp struggles whenever it tries to be funny. Most of the new jokes, like the one about Scott repeatedly fooling his dimwitted FBI handler into thinking he's still under house arrest, fall flat while the ones carried over from the first film are worn from overuse. As much as I enjoyed Michael Peña in the first film, I think Luis and his team of bumbling ex-cons have definitely overstayed their welcome.

With more supers and a wider variety of powers to play around with, this film definitely improves on the first one when it comes to the action set-pieces. The film also benefits from giving the heroes a decent adversary in Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost. She's is a considerable step up from the previous film's villain, the hopelessly forgettable Yellowjacket, possessing both understandable motivations for her actions as well as a nifty set of powers. Shame, though, that the great Walton Goggins is pretty much wasted as the film's secondary villain.


Notes and Quotes

--Abby Ryder Fortson continues to steal every scene she's in as Scott's daughter, Cassie.

--I kinda wish they'd just done a whole film of them travelling around the trippy world of the Quantum Realm in search of Janet.

--This film is Laurence Fishburne's third comic-book film role (he voiced the Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and plays Perry White for the DCEU) and Michelle Pfeiffer's second (she was of course Catwoman in Batman Returns).

Hank: "Hiya, champ, how was school today?"
Scott: "Aw, ha ha ha! Alright, get your jokes out now, can you fix the suit?"
Hope: "So cranky."
Hank: "You want a juice box and some string cheese?"
Scott: "Do you really have that?"

Two and a half out of four inconvenient football tournaments.
--
Mark Greig's music's lost its taste, so he'll try another flavour More Mark Greig

1 comment:

Profe said...

Yeah, I was bummed about Walton Goggins. His character is so forgettable, I don't even recall the character's name. I just retcon that Boyd Crowder got out of jail and headed to California looking for Ava and fell into a new criminal business venture.

Cassie is the cutest. Child actors can be hit or miss, but she definitely did a great job.

I would pay good money to hear Louis summarize everything that happened in the MCU between Iron Man and Avengers Infinity War with Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, RDJ and everybody else miming out the actions.