Release date: July 5, 2018
Based on: Ant-Man and Wasp (comic book characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Ernie Hart)
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Budget: $130 million
Box office: $16.8 million (opening night)
When Scott Lang, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne work to find a way to rescue Janet Van Dyne from the quantum realm, they find themselves dodging black market dealers, the FBI and a ghost with connections to Pym’s past.
The latest outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp presents a fast-paced, energetic, and humorous experience. Telling its own self-contained story, it’s able to take an audience possibly shell shocked from the events of Avengers: Infinity War and give them a bit of a breather.
Instead of a high stakes story with the fate of the world at risk, the film delivers a plot where the stakes would be rather low to an outside observer while simultaneously meaning everything to its central characters. It’s a well thought out story working because all the actors are committed to their roles to ensure its believability. Lang spends most of the film split between wanting to be a good person and wanting to be a responsible parent and Rudd is able to bring the necessary pathos to make every moment he’s on screen feel like he wants both.
The film wouldn’t be what it is had its returning actors not maintained the chemistry seen in the first film either. The way they catch and lob jokes really well, mostly with good follow through, comes off as completely natural. The chemistry they all have really comes to a head in one scene where a sort of sexual tension between Rudd and Douglas is created. The two of them take what they’re given and run with it, turning what happens into one of the best scenes in the film. Additionally, it speaks to Reed’s abilities as a director. Had the two of them not had such great chemistry nor a good director giving them an idea of the vision for what was going on, this scene could very well have not worked at all.
Marvel continues its streak of great villains in this film, too. Instead of throwing the viewers someone out for revenge, money, power or anything the usual supervillain would want, the film pits its heroes against someone relatable and redeemable. They aren’t grandiose in accomplishing what they want, they’re simply acting on desperation.
As for the humor present, nearly all of it lands perfectly. Luis’ wordy flashbacks where he provides everyone’s voice makes a notable return and every running joke is given the ability to live just long enough to maintain peak humor. The only problem is there are a few jokes that either fall flat or are completely random and feel as if the only reason they exist is to interrupt a serious moment and go nowhere.
Still, it’s a fun and enjoyable film and definitely worth watching.