Remember how in 2015's "Ant-Man," the movie may not have been the epic-ness of other Marvel Studios movies, but it was a crowd-pleaser anyway? Same goes for "Ant-Man and the Wasp." Remember how part of that movie's entertainment value is that Paul Rudd and Michael Pena were funny guys? They are going to make you laugh a lot in this installment again. Remember how the power of shrinking was cool, and added some nice inventiveness to the action sequences? It's still cool on this one and still showcase some awesome action sequences, plus it's got more powers to show off here too! Remember how we were promised that Evangeline Lilly was going to finally be even more of a badass and contribute more to the action scenes? They mostly lived up to that promise, but with some caveats...
Alright, let me tackle that last part first. Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp, is indeed a badass, and a lot of the best action sequences in this sequel involves her. As a strong female character, the Wasp has got the action parts no problem, but somehow the five people credited in writing this movie couldn't completely hit the landing with Hope Van Dyne herself. I don't really want to go into spoilers of course, but let's just say that besides the obvious, certain familiar plot tropes further emphasizes why Ant-Man gets first billing in the title. Does what I'm hinting at hurt the movie? Not too much, but they still kept all that there for me to criticize either way.
Before you get the wrong idea, I did in fact have a lot of fun watching this movie. Right from the beginning and all the way until the end, I was having a blast. The plot moves at a quick pace, and just keeps going and going. There's a lot of cat and mouse scenarios here, which leads to some nice races against the clock, as well as some fantastic chase sequences. The story may get convoluted in juggling the different characters and the multiple sub-plots, but it all flows pretty well throughout the whole thing. Kudos to Peyton Reed's fine direction for this film. At a certain point though, despite the actual premise of the movie, I start asking "what's the point of all this, besides moving a story along?" Thank Goodness it has many fun set-pieces to distract me from asking that question too much.
This movie really does feel like it has the typical comic book tale that doesn't seem like it's trying to reach lofty goals in story telling. It tells the story well from beginning until end, but the story itself isn't telling you anything else beyond plot details or expositions. That's fine though. It's entertaining. It's enjoyable. It's a lot of fun. It's a great excuse to put together a great cast that involves Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglass, Michael Pena, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Hannah John-Kamen, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more. All good to see on screen, and they all interact well together.
In terms of ambition, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" doesn't seem to care that it's just trying to entertain us comic book loving movie audience, with an enjoyable story involving outlaw heroes trying to do what's right, despite the odds. It does succeed splendidly in that regards, so that in itself deserves your attention.
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