Ant-Man and the Wasp Review – Big on Fun, Light on Drama (Spoiler Free)
The latest entry in the ever expanding MCU is here, and it’s a hilarious one, in fact, Ant-Man and the Wasp could very well be the funniest Marvel movie to-date. With that being said it also lacks a bit of tension and drama, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on how you like your comic book movies served up. I tend to like higher stakes even though I know the good guys will always come out on top, so to me this sequel faltered a bit in the stakes department, but overall it’s a very entertaining film.
You can check out the full review below in video or scripted form.
Hey now MCU fans, Matt Heywood here to review Ant-Man and the Wasp, which should really be called The Wasp and Ant-Man, but enough with semantics.
There will be no major plot spoilers in this review.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good Marvel movie, a very funny one at that, hell, it may be the funniest one to-date, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it one of the MCU’s best. This is due to the fact that it never really offers up any sort of palpable tension in terms of the struggle between the protagonists, and the antagonists. It just feels like one big fun science project with high-octane chase sequence elements added to it, so when the climax comes you never really feel like anything, or anyone is at risk, making the ending a bit lackluster and ho-hum. With that being said though this movie doesn’t lack a fun factor, it’s very enjoyable, I just never felt like the stakes were ever that high for the heroes, which makes the resolution of its plot a bit dull and lacking in any sort of holy shitballs did that just happen type of moments.
Don’t get me wrong though, this is a solid sequel and an entertaining entry in the MCU. It’s lack of drama might even be a bit warranted after the events of Infinity War, so I guess I can’t fault its more practical adventure when compared to the galaxy spanning affairs of some of the more prominent MCU character franchises. Although, it would have been nice to at least at times feel like something terrible may go wrong for Scott and his friends, so we could then feel jubilation when they overcome said obstacle, but that’s just never the case in this sequel. I think part of the reason also lies with the villain, who is a cool character with interesting powers, but she never feels like a true big bad, so I never considered her a real threat to anyone. That’s not to say Hannah John-Kamen did a poor job, in fact she was fantastic and really made Ava her own. The character was just treated in a way that never made her feel like someone that Ant-Man, Wasp, and Hank couldn’t ultimately take down, and the way the climax goes down only cements this villain’s vanilla feel.
Even with the less-than-intimidating villain, Ant-Man and the Wasp excels with its characters, especially the titular heroes of Ant-Man and the Wasp, with the latter being more of the action hero than Lang himself. Evangeline Lilly owns as Hope Van Dyne unleashed, and in terms of the physical action set pieces, she definitely carries them, because the Wasp is way more of a badass than Ant-Man. He’s more comedy relief, and the heart of the film thanks to Rudd’s natural comedic talents, and Lang’s relationship with his daughter. In fact, the whole Daddy/Daughter mechanic drives most of the characters’ motivations in this film thanks to the Hope and Hank dynamic, as well as the relationship between the Ghost villain’s fatherly figure. Let’s just say that if you’re a Dad to a girl, you may experience some feels while watching these character interaction. Also, there’s plenty of legit girl power, especially when Hope and Ava square off, so while I didn’t appreciate the villainous side of Ava/Ghost, she is definitely a formidable combatant and provided some awesome brawls with Hope and Scott.
While comedy and characters are the driving forces of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it does feature some great action moments that make awesome use of the whole growing and shrinking aspects of Pym’s technology. While some of these moments were spoiled in the trailers, there are plenty others that keep the visuals of this film looking very awesome, so there’s no shortage of eye candy in this sequel. In fact, one of the best uses of the Ant-Man suit in this movie features Scott being shrunk to toddler-size, which may also provide the film’s funniest moments, and that’s saying a lot because there are plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes throughout. It just felt like the Pym tech was more of a star this time around, so its ability to grow or shrink any tangible item adds to the visual entertainment.
I may have started this review sounding a bit down on Ant-Man and the Wasp, but I can assure you that I did highly enjoy it. It just felt like it lacked any real sense of drama, which honestly may be a good thing considering how Infinity War ended. I just would have at least once felt like something permanently bad was going to happen to the good guys, but that’s just not how this MCU movie plays out. And yes, I know nothing about the MCU really goes wrong for the good guys, but most of the movies, at least at times, had their heroes in some pretty hairy situations facing dire odds, and even though they always pulled through, I at least felt their peril. I can’t say the same about Ant-Man and the Wasp, but thanks to its insane level of humor and entertaining characters and action sequences, it manages to thrive. Plus, the mid-credits scene provides a direct tie to the events of Infinity War while also setting up a possible situation for Avengers 4 and how Ant-Man may come into play, so it still added to the MCU’s lore overall while being very entertaining, so I can’t get too bent over my small gripes about the villain and the climax. It’s a solid 8 out of 10 type of summer blockbuster, so yes I do recommend you go see it in theaters.
Thanks for watching, this is Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one movie review at a time.
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