#REVIEW: “ANT-MAN AND THE WASP”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Ant-Man surfaced three years ago in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a breath of fresh air and truly a fantastic Film. Its followup thankfully can hold its own as a standalone feature for the most part, but the stakes aren’t quite high enough which makes it underwhelming. It is without the presence of a strong villain, while the enjoyable comedy of the first installment carries over to this second Film.
The Film starts off by explaining to the audience why Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was missing in Avengers: Infinity War. After awakening from a vivid dream, Scott reaches out to the last two people on earth who want anything to do with him, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). He tells them he had a dream about Hank’s wife/Hope’s mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), in the quantum realm, making it a mission to rescue her some 30 odd years later. Hope and Hank still are wanted thanks to Scott’s antics in Civil War. They have to acquire the parts needed for their device from the black market to take them to the quantum realm, specifically from Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). As Hope is acquiring the final piece, everything goes off the rails as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) appears and tries to steal the device for herself to stop her phasing and harness the power of the quantum realm in order to save her own life.
While Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t the most remarkable addition to the MCU, Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (T.I) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) are charismatic and engaging. Character development is lacking in the Film’s two villains Sonny and Ghost, and this proves to be the Movie’s biggest pitfall. The Movie is reduced to an elaborate let’s-find-Janet mystery and some may question whether this is enough.
Rudd has fun with the assignment, being the best part of the Film. Pfeiffer is refreshing to watch in a fine effort here. On the other hand, Douglas is far outside his element and this is unfortunate. Lilly’s frustrated Hope Van Dyne doesn’t progress as much as we’d like from the first Movie.
One takeaway from Ant-Man and the Wasp is that we wonder whether there is enough to go on in future films for the Franchise. It does however to some additional MCU world-building for devout fans, and sets itself up as essential viewing for upcoming Avengers 4 and other future installments. That being said, it was enjoyable enough.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release ANT-MAN AND THE WASP in theatres on Friday, July 6, 2018.