Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Director: Peyton Reed
Producer: Kevin Feige
Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer Gabriel Ferrari.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Pena, Randall Park.
After the mammoth event that was Infinity War, the scope of the MCU seemed that much larger. How does a universe that keeps growing get brought back to size? Enter, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The sequel serves as the eighth film in the third phase of Marvel’s Infinity Saga, and brings back Paul Rudd as the charming pint-sized (and occasionally over-sized) hero. Despite taking place after one of the franchise’s biggest films, the film provided audiences with a lighter film that was, at the time, a much needed refresher. For this review, I revisit Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) to see how it fairs as a standalone film within the MCU.
I’ll start this off by saying that I still love this film, and for many reasons. One of the film’s greatest qualities, is that it serves as a reminder that Marvel films can be fun and heart-warming, without some cosmic level threat. The film itself is not even directly influenced by Thanos and the snap – and the film is so much better for it.
Ant-Man and the Wasp shows what happened to Scott after Civil War. Following his trip to Germany and violation of the Sokovia Accords, he is now in house arrest. However, he must reunite with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily), to save Hope’s mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), from the Quantum Realm. After his own stint in there, Scott has become entangled with Janet and is the key to her rescue. Saving Janet is not going to be so easy. A maniacal gangster (Walter Goggins) and a new villain, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), are on the hunt for Hank’s lab and technologies for their own purposes.
Characters & Writing
As a film within a major franchise, the film gives space for it’s characters grow and gives the cast a chance to shine. Paul Rudd continues to bring his boyish charm as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, and it’s hard for audiences not to love him. His focus on his family and the fact that he may not always be the best superhero, or man, makes him endearing to watch.
The rest of the cast also shine, in a somewhat over-stuffed film. In particular, Evangeline Lilly, finally gets the opportunity to suit up and kick ass as the Wasp. The film seems to make up for the long overdue need for a fully fledged female superhero. Evangeline seems incredibly comfortable slipping into the Wasp’s wings and gets to deliver some of the film’s best action sequences.
Michael Pena continues to be the films main comedy relief, delivering some of the films more laugh out loud moments. With the inclusion of newcomer Jimmy Woo, played brilliantly by Randall Park, the cast seems a lot more developed and more comfortable together on this second outing.
Nevertheless, as impressive as the film is, it does have a few drawbacks. Mainly that a few characters don’t get as much development as others. Ghost, while played brilliantly by Hannah John-Kamen, is a tad under developed, despite having a decent set up. The film also never really plays into Ghosts relationship with Bill Foster (Laurence Fishbourne). Considering the film’s emphasis on family, it seems like a missed opportunity.
I’ll also admit, that the film’s explanation of certain elements can be a little thin in places. We never really get to discuss how Janet has managed to survive in the Quantum Realm for over thirty years, which seems like it should be important. Also, considering the Quantum Realms important to the MCU’s future, I would have liked more emphasis on it.
It would be difficult to talk about this film, without mentioning how beautiful the cinematography is. Like the first Ant-Man, the use of scale in this film is beautiful. The art of shrinking, growing oversized, and then going back to normal size serves as some of the films more comedic moments. The use of visual dimensions throughout the film also deserve some recognition, as it is some of the best use of visuals in the MCU. The alteration of sizes, particularly during a car chase sequence, is a feast for the eyes.
One scene in particular that stands out, would be when Hank goes to rescue Janet from the Quantum Realm. What the film lacks in explanation, it makes up for in visuals. The striking technicolour adds to the trippy affects of the realm and adds to the visual magic of the film.
Overall, I still think Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fun and light-hearted film. Director Peyton reed hones in on what made the first Ant-Man so loveable and introduces larger elements that will play a major role in the future of the MCU. All in all, it’s an excellent self-contained story, that reminds us of the importance of the little guys in a larger universe.
If you enjoyed our review of Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) and would like to re-watch the film, then drop us a rating or a comment below.
Buy tickets for BGCP Comic Con in and around Glasgow Scotland – BUY TICKETS
If you want to be part of the BGCP community, Join us on Discord, Twitter, Instagram etc then click HERE