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Ant-Man and the Wasp: A Review

The 'Meh' Sequel to One of Marvel's Surprise Successes

By The One True GeekologyPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

I know what you're thinking. You're outraged aren't you? How dare I not enjoy Ant-Man and the Wasp. I'm a traitor to the MCU fandom and should be exiled to watch just the DC Extended Universe movies. But I ask you, in your heart of hearts, was the film really that great? I will warn you at this point that there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven't seen it and don't want it being spoiled, then click away now.

So the original Ant-Man, released in 2015, Directed by Peyton Reed, who returns for the sequel, was considered by many a surprise success. How could anyone have expected a character with a name like Ant-Man, to lead a movie that would go on to earn $500+ million at the box office and receive almost universal praise?

Well, the risk paid off for Marvel as movie-goers loves it, me among them. The cast was great, the dialogue witty, the characters flawed-but-likeable in their own specific ways, it just worked on a lot of levels. The scenes where Ant-Man was his shrunken self gave me delightful flashbacks to Honey I Shrunk the Kids, a classic 80s movie made for a simpler time. The movie knew it wouldn't win over a crowd expecting a seriously dramatic piece, so they went for a lighthearted action-comedy, and it worked.

Jump forward three years and we have the sequel, poised to match the box office success of the first film, but this time around, something seemed... off. The story focuses once again on Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a few days short of being released from house arrest, following the deal he made with the US Government over that whole Civil War nonsense, and he's wondering about how he's going to get his life back on track.

He's haunted by a strange vision from who he believes to have been Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, who was trapped in the Quantum Realm decades prior, so he reaches out to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). Both of whom are, by the way, currently on the run from the government over the Ant-Man tech being used. They pick him up, leaving an ant in his place, wearing the tracker round its ankle so it moves just like Scott does, to stop the Fuzz getting suspicious.

Believing Scott's vision to be a real message left by Janet, Hank and Hope begin working on a machine that will allow them to enter the Quantum Realm and bring Janet home. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure shows up who seems to be phasing in and out of existence, a Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) of some sort, looking to use the Quantum Realm portal to cure them of their quantum phasing ailment.

So that's really the story in a terribly explained nutshell, now back to my problems with the film. I'm not saying it's bad, there's definitely a lot to enjoy and there's certainly some very funny moments, mostly thanks to Luis (Michael Pena), but a lot of this film seemed to drag. There is a fuck load of exposition, and I mean a massive pulsating fuck load of exposition. I get that the writers wanted people to understand the concepts they were introducing, but at times it genuinely felt a bit like watching a classroom.

You know the old cliche about a villain explaining how they're going to take over the world to the hero just before they intend to kill the hero but, surprise! the hero manages to escape in the nick of time? It's exactly like that. The scene in question, where Hope, Hank, and Scott are tied up by the villain and sit, for about 5 or 10 minutes, while the villain explains their intentions and the motivations behind it. Exposition can be fine to a degree, and perhaps in some instances even essential, but this scene felt like a literal lecture, and became incredibly boring.

The original Ant-Man had a lot of exposition too, but it was contextualised by the scene itself. The exposition was warranted in the scenes relevant to it, so it fit, it worked, but it just didn't work in this movie. I didn't care that much about the villain's motives, because I wasn't shown why she was so determined, I was told in what I felt like a classroom why she was so determined. There's a lot more emotional weight given to a character if you're shown why they're driven to do a thing rather than told why they're driven to do a thing. Sure, they gave you some of her backstory in flashbacks during the lecture, but it was a lecture, I just didn't care, I became more wary about the fact I considered whether I should be taking notes.

Some issues with the pacing and dialogue aside, all the performances from all involved were exceptional. The action was fun and at times intense, the special effects were jaw-dropping, and when it happened, the comedic moments gave some real belly-laughs. But while I came out of the theatre from the first Ant-Man saying to everyone who cared to listen how enjoyable I found it, with this I will probably just respond with "yeah, it was alright" to questions of what I thought about it.

Mid-credits scene is amazing though, and very clearly a set up for Avengers 4.

So would I recommend it? Well, if you've got a couple of hours to kill, then yeah, why not?

Score: 5/10


About the Creator

The One True Geekology

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government." - Dennis the Peasant

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