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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a solid yet un-impactful addition to the franchise

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a solid yet un-impactful addition to the franchise

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a solid yet un-impactful addition to the franchise
July 11
01:52 2018

“Ant-Man” was one of those sleeper hits Marvel released just before they started hitting their full stride with its coveted Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie had its flaws, but it attempted what every marvel movie has now been known for since its 2015 release: it meshed funny, action and the right amount of drama to create what was just a good time.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is the kind of follow-up a movie of this heft needed. It raises the fun factor, it doesn’t really raise the stakes and it stands on its own in relation to the first for the most part. It slips up a bit by asking you to suspend your disbelief a bit too much by throwing in some things that aren’t explained or make much sense, but by and large it accomplishes every goal it sets out to make.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is on house arrest for his crime in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” and will be out soon on good behavior. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) have re-established contact after cutting ties with him in the year prior in order to get his help finding and recovering Hank’s wife, the original Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer), from another dimension.

Like each sub-franchise within the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man’s — and more specifically Paul Rudd’s — coined comedy is in full swing, and generally every joke lands. Sure there were better jokes than others, but I felt consistently entertained with the dialogue. Speaking of, the writing more broadly works in the small scale of things.

The moment-to-moment plot makes sense and works, but this film operates under one of the most flimsy plots in the entire franchise. While that is a problem, the film consistently lulls you into a sense of security. From the get-go, you know everything is going to work out for every good character based on the palate-cleansing, light hearted tone coming hot off the heels of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” In a way, it uses the cliché to great effect, which left me content walking out of the theatre.

Michael Pena’s fumbling sidekick foil to Rudd is back and as funny as ever, and Michael Douglas plays the cranky genius all too well. In fact, almost all characters are good or great. The only character I’m torn on is Evangeline Lily’s new Wasp character. She is appropriately written in terms of her origin and tragic events related to her mother, but she’s mean-spirited and often feels like more of a bully than Ant-Man’s partner.

The music present is stand-out, switching between orchestral tracks and pop culture references that are centered around the concept of partners. This concept, coupled with the chemistry between Lily and Rudd, is believable on both a crime-fighting-team level as well as romantic interests.

This relationship is validated even further by the clever use of fighting choreography. The two use their capabilities in conjunction with the other, using their shrinking and growing abilities even more effectively and interestingly than before.

The villain is weak, and the plot kind of just acts as an excuse to shoot a bunch of goofy scenes that are stitched together to fit the story arc, but I never minded this.

I think my only large complaint is what goes down in the final 20 minutes.

I saw too many costumes that I thought looked way too comic book-y (in a bad way) on characters that had no business wearing such cliché and cheap designs. We’ve reached the point where you can get away with a faithful recreation of some classic costumes, but both Douglas and Pfeiffer do not pull off such generic designs at all. It looked a lot like a low-budget TV show, and it took me out of the experience a bit. It feels like Marvel is flirting a bit too much with selling even more actions figures than they already do.

That said, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is yet another solid entry under Marvel and Disney’s belt. And I can’t lie — I’m pumped for the next entry in the galaxy-wide saga.

My Rating: 4/5

Feature Image: Courtesy of  “Ant-Man and the Wasp” Facebook

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Zach Helms

Zach Helms

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