Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas
Director: Peyton Reed
Running Time: 118 mins
Ant-Man And The Wasp is an American film and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Scott finds himself in a difficult spot after his run-in with the Avengers, he is reunited with Hope and Hank Pym as they attempt to complete a mission they have been thinking of years.
There’s some good fun to be had with Ant-Man And The Wasp, and while it doesn’t overtly thrill when compared to the slightly more memorable original, it is an enjoyable and still relatively unique edition in the increasingly enormous Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that said, it is definitely one of Marvel’s weaker entries in recent years, failing to expand itself beyond being a very lightweight comedy, and still feeling very isolated relative to the rest of the franchise, without the same quirkiness as last time out to really stand strong on its own.
But before I get into all of that, I will say that, at its core, Ant-Man And The Wasp provides a fun time at the movies. Its opening act is in truth really dull, but when the action picks up a bit, everything comes together a lot better, with funnier jokes, more energetic performances, and even some interesting and unique story lines. It’s not on the level of Marvel’s most ingenious or enormous stories, but it has another pleasingly small-scale plot that gives it a nice, innocent feel that’s still rather refreshing when compared to the ultra-blockbusters of the rest of the MCU.
What’s more is that there are some elements of this sequel that prove far better than the original. For one, there’s more depth to the story – even if it doesn’t quite work as effectively as possible. Also, a lot of the performances are better second time round, with Michael Peña once again standing out with his gleeful turn, while Evangeline Lily proves hugely more entertaining than her rather wooden turn last time out, in fact far surpassing Paul Rudd as Ant-Man as a kick-ass action hero, something I was delighted to see.
So, I did have some good fun with this movie, but the fact remains that is overall a little underwhelming, particularly at a point where we’ve now seen the enormous range of stories that Marvel can pull of so effectively over the last ten years.
First off, the comedy isn’t really up to scratch. There are definitely some good laughs here and there, but they are too few and far between to really bill the movie as the flat-out comedy that it wants to be. Last time out in Ant-Man, the film was able to piggyback of the rather refreshing trend of being a very lightweight, comedic superhero movie, with only Guardians Of The Galaxy having come before it in that same vain.
The comedy wasn’t absolutely hilarious before, but it was refreshing enough to prove an entertaining element to the film throughout. However, we’ve now seen films like Deadpool up the ante when it comes to being unique in the superhero genre, and Marvel have thoroughly embraced comedy as a way to keep their films feeling fresh after ten long years of the MCU, perfectly encapsulated by the dramatic shift from the tedious darkness of Thor: The Dark World to the electric laughs of Thor: Ragnarok in 2017.
So, the fact that the comedy isn’t so great here is even more of a frustrating point when you consider the fact that Marvel can be funnier, as well as the reality that there isn’t all that much else to Ant-Man And The Wasp other than the comedy.
I will say that the story does a good job to be different, again not following a generic ‘save the world’ plot, but instead going for something a bit smaller-scale. However, there is a little bit too much going on in that plot, and that proves rather frustrating as the stakes become split and rather muddled – particularly towards the end as three or four different characters have differing objectives that just don’t help the film to come together in the cohesive manner it really needs to.
Finally, the action is a little disappointing here too. Most Marvel movies are inevitably bound to feature loads and loads of action, but I found most of the fight sequences here a little too short and rather underwhelming, and although I think the addition of Evangeline Lily alongside Paul Rudd helps to add some comedy in the fighting style, I really wasn’t all that thrilled by most of the action, with the poorest sequence an almost entirely CGI car chase that really looked out of place and rushed in the middle of the movie.
Overall, I did have fun with Ant-Man And The Wasp, and I think most people will too. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but it does improve on the first film in some ways, even if it doesn’t really manage to recapture the quirkiness of the original, nor tell a fully enthralling nor hilarious story throughout, which is why I’m giving it a 7.1.