Opinion, Reviews

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: Another good Marvel sequel

A sequel to “Ant-Man” from 2015, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – what is it, like 20 movies now? With the vast majority of the original cast returning along with Peyton Reed as director and unfortunately not Edgar Wright – he almost was the director for the original “Ant-Man.”

Ant-Man, better known as Scott Lang, is once again in trouble with the authorities after helping Captain America during the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” He is under house arrest by the FBI and his companions from the first film, Hope and her father Dr. Hank Pim, played by Evangline Lilly and Michael Douglas, are on the run from the law.

This is because Hope and Hank designed the technology Scott used to help Cap. They weren’t exactly friends in the first film and they aren’t now either. But things become difficult when Scott’s companions return and need his help for an experiment, trying to save someone they thought had died long ago, with Hope taking the role of another comic book superhero, The Wasp.

I’d explain more about the plot, but that would be hard to do. The story goes all over the place, which is a pleasant break from the standard superhero setup. There’s no laser beam in the sky here.

This movie is a good follow-up to “Ant-Man,” taking concepts from the original and upgrading them. And this movie is also a good follow-up to “Civil War.” While the concept of Scott being arrested for trying to do the right thing was used in the first “Ant-Man,” it’s a little different this time. Because the twist that Scott not only got himself in trouble, but his friends too, is compelling. Especially since he never asked them for permission before trying to help out Cap.

And now in “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” he is trying to make amends for his actions. Of course, at the same time he is reluctant to help them and go back to being Ant-Man. He doesn’t want to get into more trouble and mess up again.

Paul Rudd delivers an excellent performance as Scott. His character is very likeable. In addition to making funny jokes, he feels much more like an ordinary person as opposed to Tony Stark. He has real-life problems to deal with, such as being divorced and an ex-convict. Not to mention, no one really calls him Ant-Man, he’s just Scott. Rudd was a co-writer for this movie and the last one, so writing for own his character might have helped.

Michael Pena also gives a charming performance as Luis, Scott’s fast-talking best friend and former partner in crime – literally. His character is silly, yet enduring. That goes for his sidekicks as well.

The character dynamics are a big part of this film. Seeing characters work off each other was fun to watch.

Walter Goggins plays a side villain, whose Southern gentleman style felt off against the rest of the movie. The reason for making his character a Southern gentleman at all is probably due to Goggins’ role as Southerner Boyd Crowder from the TV show “Justified.” His dialogue practically sounds the same.

What’s interesting about the main villain of “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” a super-powered being called Ghost, is she did not feel like a super-villain. She had an understandable motive and a sympathetic backstory.

By the way, Ghost is not an Ant-Man villain in the comics. You see, Ghost is mainly an Iron Man villain that usually goes after evil corporations – he’s also a guy. But then again there is nothing wrong with the changes made in the movie, and Ghost is not as well-known or beloved as villains such as Thanos or Loki. That means the filmmakers wouldn’t be angering legions of comic book nerds – and they can be just as demanding as Star Wars fans.

Like the original “Ant-Man,” this movie is much more comedic and lighthearted than other Marvel films. Some of the jokes can be misses, but most of them work. The comedy can be hilarious.

This movie took the abilities such as shrinking or controlling ants from before and takes them to the next level, creating entertaining additions to what they can do – just watch the movie and you will know what I am talking about.

This movie is just bigger than before, both literally and figuratively. It just feels like it’s larger in scale even though the stakes are lower. But that is not a bad thing. Lowering stakes can actually raise them in way, because it can get repetitive saving the whole world over and over again. Having the fate of just a few people hang in the balance can be a refreshing change of pace, like in “Logan” for example.

Marvel is on a roll at the moment. Their latest films have all been really good. To be honest, some of the Marvel films are just filler until the next “Avengers” movie comes out – which would be next year in this case. Because of that, it could’ve been very easy to have put little effort into making sequels like “Ant-Man and The Wasp” or “Thor: Ragnarok.” But “Ragnarok” is a really good movie and so is “Ant-Man and The Wasp” – despite still being filler.

“Ant-Man” was a solid film entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an improvement. The sequel’s plot was a proper follow-up and the action scenes were awesome. The only true negative part about the movie is that it can be tiring of always seeing a Marvel film in theaters – I’m a superhero fan and even I’m starting to feel that way.

Overall, this movie is well made, fun and enjoyable. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one more. At least that was the case for me.

I would like to dedicate this review to the memory of comic book artist and superhero legend Steve Ditko, who died this year on June 29 at the age of 90. He may not have created Ant-Man or The Wasp, but he did help to create iconic superheroes such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, The Question and several others. He was a great influence to Marvel, DC and the comic book industry. Rest in peace.

One Comment

Joe Moore

I’m with you, Ryan! I loved the Ant-Man movies, even though I knew noth8ng about them. And I was highly entertained by Thor: Ragnorok. I’m ready for Marvel to kinda wrap it up, but I’m not sure what I’ll do then! Great review!!


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