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Review: Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp
07.05.2018
7 10

PLOT: Two years after the events of CIVIL WAR, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is wrapping up two years of house arrest, and is now estranged from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who are on the run from the FBI. In the last forty-eight hours of his sentence, Lang has a vision of the lost Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and gets dragged into a scheme to save her from the quantum realm, while also teaming him with Hope, who’s assumed the mantle of The Wasp.

REVIEW: We can probably all agree that ANT-MAN & THE WASP was never 2018’s big Marvel event. Heck, it wasn’t even the year’s second biggest Marvel event, so it comes to theaters under the towering legacy of what are now two of the biggest grossing films of all-time, BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. While not a franchise game-changer, there’s something soothing about the lower stakes of this sequel’s well-honed heist plot, making it a fun follow-up.

It’s worth saying that the original was probably a better film than it ever really should have been, with Edgar Wright leaving at the eleventh hour, and Peyton Reed stepping in. While one of the lower grossing Marvel films, it made a bundle internationally and a follow-up was never in doubt. They promised more action for Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne, who finally gets to take up the mantle of Wasp, and they sure delivered, with her very much an equal partner to Rudd’s Ant-Man, as the title suggests.

However, that’s not the only way that this plays out as a somewhat unique sequel to the original. While Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is still the heart of the film, this opts for a real ensemble vibe, meaning the screen time is almost equally split between Rudd, Lilly, and in a big surprise Michael Douglas, whose origins as the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, get more exploration here, and him getting in on more of the major setpieces. He’s just as central as his two younger co-stars, a nice change of pace in that he has a real role rather than a glorified mentor part.

The gist of the plot centers around Hank and Hope’s attempts to retrieve Janet, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, from the quantum realm. While Pfeiffer’s role is more limited than the trailers let on, her iconic stature fits the part. While there are tons of fun set pieces, there’s arguably less in the way of all-out action, which makes it seem like Marvel is gearing this one more towards a family audience. There aren’t even any real villains this time out. The big one, Hannah John Kamen’s Ghost, who’s a breakout character, is conflicted, almost like a female Winter Soldier, while Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch is essentially played for laughs. Speaking of laughs, similar to the first, Michael Pena steals every scene as the now upstanding Luis, while it’s also a kick seeing Laurence Fishburne in a small but meaty part, one that could pan out in future films.

I also liked the Christopher Beck Score, which is among the better recent Marvel soundtracks, while Rudd, who has a writing credit, gets even more chance to play to his laid-back persona, making this an easy sell even to non-Marvel fans, although looking at the box office stats for the last few movies, does such a thing exist? While this is for sure a lower key Marvel outing, it’s nonetheless slick and fun, and Lilly, Rudd, and Douglas make for a compelling team. The Ant-Man series almost plays like a breath of fresh air given how weighty, BLACK PANTHER and INFINITY WAR were and, even if it’s unlikely to become a major favorite the way those will, Marvel's got this stuff down to a science.

 

Source: JoBlo.com

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