Review: Ant-man & The Wasp

I think it is fair to say that Ant-man & The Wasp is the most inconsequential Marvel movie for some time. No new superheroes are introduced, no new approaches to the genre are taken, there is little impact on the other MCU films, there are no big or deep themes to discuss. It is the first MCU film to have the name of a female Avenger in the title but that’s about it.

But it is a fun, often silly film. Comical in a more low-key way than Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy, the film knows that it is silly and embraces that. Often childish in a good way, it takes delight in the core premise that sometimes things can be very small and sometimes very big, turning cars into toy cars and vice-versa. It never quite manages the genius of the first film’s Thomas the Tank Engine train fight sequence but there is a genuine sense of fun in the Hot-Wheels like vehicle or the appearance of a giant Hello Kitty Pez-dispenser. The trailer has already shown the somewhat surreal office building that has a collapsible handle and trundle wheels as a luggage item for Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym.

Set after Captain America: Civil War and immediately before Infinity War, Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is under house arrest but busy building a business with Luis (Michael Pena). Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are in hiding to escape the Segovia Accords. Lang’s previous foray into the ‘quantum realm’ has given them new hope that it might be possible to find and rescue Pym’s wife Janet Van Dyne (aka The Wasp) who disappeared into the quantum realm many years ago.

The FBI, a shady dealer in illegal technology and a mysterious figure who can phase in and out of existence are all out to make life more complex for the heroes in various ways. Filling out the cast is Laurence Fishburne as a former SHIELD scientist and Hannah John-Kamen (from ‘Killjoys’) who is an interestingly ambiguous antagonist.

Overall a better plot than the first Ant-man movie, it makes good use of the whole ensemble of characters. The truth-serum joke is the funniest but a giant ant taking a bath is a wonderfully surreal image.

A cameo from some tardigrades will make tardigrade fans happy.

A film with tiny ambitions and a big heart.

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10 comments

  1. Cora

    I’m envious now, cause here in Europe, we still have to wait four weeks to see it, because it’s assumed that we’ll all be watching the World Cup all the time, that there’s no one who’s not a football fan and that we all think Russia versus Uruguay is a fascinating must-watch match.

    I also honestly wonder about the current pop culture obsession with tardigrades. Star Trek: Discovery, The Orville and now Ant-Man and the Wasp. Was there a recent documentary about tardigrades on the Discovery Channel or an article in National Geographic or something?

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  2. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 7/4/18 We Read About Dinos And We Read About Space At Ten-Thousand Words A Go | File 770
  3. Regular Commenter

    Could not persuade the 14 year old to see this one; he insisted on Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.

    His assessment? “I liked it”.

    My assessment? “Needs more Jeff Goldblum”. Which, to be fair, is a baseline condition for living a platonically good life. (See also: Bill Murray).

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  4. Spencer

    Inconsequential?

    Check back after Avengers 4, i don’t think your statement is gonna hold up

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  5. Rick Moen

    As an occasional San Franciscan, I adored the heck out of the local references, even though much of that was a tourism top 10 (Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate). And I’m now willing to pay double-price for two hours of Michael Peña on truth serum.

    Scott Lang’s pretty Victorian house is not utterly unbelievable for an ordinary family in San Francisco. They haven’t all been bought up by millionaires, just many of them. So that, too, was a very San Francisco touch.

    The best compliment I can give is that 118 minutes of whimsy with only a moderately coherent plot didn’t drag a bit. Well done!

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