Ant-Man and the Wasp Review
Paul Rudd is back as the fan-favorite Ant-Man in this hilarious, yet honestly forgettable adventure with Evangeline Lily suiting up as the Wasp by his side. It definitely has plenty of fun, but lacks any sort of importance or relevance to land an impactful punch.
Earth’s Tiniest Hero is back with some much needed help this time around as he is still reeling from the events of Civil War. Now put on house arrest and left to lead a less than super life, Scott Lang (Rudd) must come back into the fold when Hank Pym (Michael Douglass) and Hope (Lily) need his help to get Hank’s wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), back from the Quantum Realm. But when an unknown entity, known as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), attempts to foil their plan, Hope must suit as the Wasp to help Lang take down this new enemy and save Janet.
Rudd is at his best in Ant-Man in the Wasp and probably gives the performance of his career. He has an incredibly charming personality that makes him impossible not to love and can carry even the most ridiculous jokes. Rudd honestly shows that he can bring the laughs and he might even be the best at it in the MCU. Audiences will love how much they can see that he cares about the character and looks like he is genuinely having fun.
The same can mostly be said about the rest of the cast as they tend to follow suit with Rudd’s performance and bring their own comedic fun. Lily and Rudd share some great chemistry that bring together some hilarious and endearing moments. However, this is also Lily’s downfall in some ways as I felt that she couldn’t escape the gigantic shadow that Rudd casted.
For a film called Ant-Man and the Wasp and for the film constantly referring to the duo as “partners,” Wasp felt much more like a sidekick than anything else and just didn’t leave the impact she should of. Instead, Wasp just suffers from the same unfortunate effects as many of the female heroines of the MCU. It’s a trend that I was hoping would be fixed, especially after Black Panther kind of reversed that curse, but I was disappointed to see that it didn’t ring true.
Family is also a strong theme throughout Ant-Man and the Wasp as both Scott and Hope deal with family struggles. Rudd brings some great chemistry with his Abby Ryder Fortson, who plays Scott’s daughter Cassie, as the two show some genuine love towards each other. It’s a relationship that many films attempt to emulate but often can create. With Ant-Man and the Wasp, however, it is created flawlessly. With Hope’s family issues, though, I felt that her issues weren’t presented as strongly and audiences won’t care much for what is happening to her regardless how much the film tries.
Unfortunately, though, there isn’t much else memorable about the rest of the film. The action scenes feel less impressive than the previous film and lack a “wow-factor” that make those moments feel great. There is also just less action in general and while I did enjoy the themes and scenes dedicated to family, these moments took the film from being a fun and action-packed comic book movie to a bit of a family drama.
The villains also fall completely flat as they are extremely underdeveloped and really can be barely called villains at all. While John-Kamen gives a pretty good performance, there is a lack of care given towards Ghost as both Ant-Man and Wasp don’t seemed to be too concerned really with her in the film. With regards to Walton Goggin’s Sonny Burch and another surprise villain (who I will not name) constantly seem like they don’t want to be villains either and the filmmakers constantly back-pedal their “evil” personas. Not to mention, that the villainous motivations that all of these characters have is basically just a ret-con for Hank Pym.
Now for those coming in to Ant-Man and the Wasp expecting a great tie-in to the events of Infinity War, you’ll definitely get it put it most likely won’t feel that satisfying. The main film feels more like a side-story than anything else and any sort of tie-in is shoved to the post-credit scene. For me, it felt kind of cheap to have to sit through a two-hour movie just to get a quick tie-in for a later movie and I left feeling a little robbed.
So even with the comedic achievements and great family-oriented moments that come together thanks to Rudd’s artfully career defining performance, Ant-Man and the Wasp feels a little pointless. It’s without a doubt a fun-ride from the doom and gloom of Infinity War, but it under-utilizes its new female heroines and comes off as forgettable and even skippable for some.