3.5 out of 5
Marvel really hasn’t had many missteps. The only chapters in their releases that I didn’t really care for were the Iron Man Sequel and the first two Thor movies. Other than that, they’ve been pretty much money in everything they do. 2018 has proven to be more of the same, with the release of the massively successful “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” movies, Marvel has proven they have plenty of life left. Now with the release of “Ant Man and The Wasp” make that 3 or 3 on the year. For me, the first Ant Man film was pretty formulaic and felt kind of lazy in its storyline — though Paul Rudd, and especially Michael Pena, along with T.I. and David Dastmalchian (who played Rudd’s former partners in crime), made the film very enjoyable. The questions going into this film for me were: “How do you make the story more original?” and “How does this movie relate to Infinity War?”
Let’s take the first question…This movie is not going to win any Oscars for the plot or storyline. It is what you’d expect, and what Marvel has delivered time and time again. They have a formula for how they tell their stories, how they connect them, and it works. So going into this movie there really is no question as to who will “win” in the end, and how it will mostly playout. With that out of the way, writers Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, along with Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, tried to do something interesting with the story. They essentially had the good guys trying to accomplish their goal, while fending off two different sets bad guys. With the addition of Ghost / Ava to the story, played by Hannah John-Kamen, along with Walter Goggins as Sonny Burch, Ant Man and The Wasp, with Dr. Pym, race against time and these new sets of enemies to potentially save Dr. Pym and Hope Van Dyne’s / The Wasp’s mother, played by Michelle Pfeifer. The idea for Ghost and Burch was pretty solid, but what ends up happening in the end, is you don’t get enough of either one of them to really sink your teeth into rooting against them. Just as you are starting to really starting to go against them, the story takes you to a different point in the plot. What ends up happening is a very uneven feeling to the movie overall. It feels sort of like watching several short films all put together into one. In addition to the bad guys wanting Dr. Pym’s technology, we also meet Dr. Bill Foster, a former colleague who was fired by Dr. Pym, and is now trying to help Ava / Ghost. When you add it all up, each character has their own story to tell — and it gets a bit messy. The good part of that, I suppose, is each story is entertaining, and you want more. Goggins’ character, Sonny Burch, may not appear in future films, but I have a feeling he was working for someone who will.
Now onto the second question, “How does this movie relate to Infinity War?” The basic answer is that it is running congruent to that storyline. There’s a moment that brings it all together in a very satisfying way, but you have to wait for it. But it’s worth the wait, trust me. Other than that, there’s no real mention of the any other Avengers, or anything of the sort. And really…That’s a relief, at least it was to me. Trying to tie one more story together, or look for clues that might reveal some sort of great mystery would have taken away from the film.
Once again, Pena, T.I. and Dastmalchian are genuine scene stealers. They are hilarious, and some of the more successful elements from the first film with their comedy and chemistry are worked into this movie as well. This time though, you can add Randall Park, who plays FBI agent Jimmy Woo to the mix. His scenes with Paul Rudd are really funny and Park is proving to be a pretty versatile actor.
I really liked this movie and I think once word starts to spread how it relates to “Infinity War” people will go out to see it in big numbers, making it another solid hit for Marvel. Maybe not as big as its two predecessors from earlier this year, but still another hit.