Originally Published on Salty Popcorn
Set between the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, we pick up on hero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) coming to the end of his two-year house arrest. His track record is clean, but the law still wants him under close surveillance. But when Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) uncovers a secret hidden in the quantum realm, they’re going to need Scott to don the Ant-Man suit once more and team up with alley Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in order to retrieve a piece of technology before the villainous Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) finds it first.
It doesn’t quite have the same charm or unexpected delight that the first film did, but it’s not very far behind, either. Paul Rudd brings about his signature charm, once again co-writing the screenplay and having an absolute blast with the ridiculousness of this whole situation. His chemistry with Lilly’s Wasp takes a more prominent position this time around, and this works for the better. Their dynamic is fresh and exciting, and Lilly suits her newfound titular role perfectly. The love-hate relationship they explore is a ton of fun.
The plot’s fast, tight and enjoyable, but harnessed together through a strong emotional layer of family. Scott’s relationship with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), is an effective reminder that we’re still dealing with real people who, at the end of the day, just want to be there for their kids. This also plays an important role in developing the story revolving about Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne, who’s been lost in the quantum realm for over thirty years. Don’t expect much screen time from Pfeiffer, but what’s there I enjoyed.
What really sets this film back from recent Marvel hits derives from a mixture of puzzling editing and narrative choices. A few of the more intense moments see characters in different locations, quickly cutting between them, but a few scenes with jarring cuts left me confused as to how certain characters got to certain places. One scene sees Laurence Fishburne’s Dr. Bill Foster (who’s absolutely wasted in this film) walking into a lab, then cutting to Michael Douglas grabbing a suit in a different room, then to the reverse shot of Foster a second letter where he’s already in mid-conversation with Douglas’ character, despite implying that no time has passed. It has no flow.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP’s shortcomings are frustrating after such a brilliant string of Marvel movies all in a row, but if a fun, lighthearted bit of escapism is on your mind after some of 2018’s more serious blockbusters, you might want to buy your tickets now. It doesn’t do a lot in its own right, but the stage has certainly been set for next year’s untitled AVENGERS sequel. And goddamn, April 2019 continues to feel further and further away.
You May Also Like: