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Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp

While it does make for a mindlessly fun two hours, Ant-Man and the Wasp fails to capture any memorable magic in their first outing together.

We’ve entered what will be a weird time in the Marvel Universe, the span between Infinity War and the still untitled Avengers 4. While everyone is salivating to find out the fate of our heroes, Marvel Studios has decided to continue their overall arc with Ant-Man and the Wasp, which seems only fitting considering the original’s “outside of the Avengers/Stark” feel. Ant-Man presented us with one of the most entertaining films Marvel Studios has produced, with a slick-script filled to the brim with wit and intelligent action sequences. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp resides somewhere else within the shadow of its predecessor, and to some degree Infinity War’s scale.

The film does find strength in its charisma, one that shined bright in the original.  The script, while riddled with issues, was handled with care by the cast and Peyton Reed, the returning director. Reed manages to harness all of the energy of his fun loving cast giving the film an undeniable charm, which manages to be it’s saving grace. The script is fueled by humor, with character motivations being either too clear and obvious, or void of any logic. It becomes a large problem with our newest character’s Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), with the latter being a particularly conflicting character. In addition, Ghost’s lack of depth is quite alarming, ranking as one of the worst villains in a comic book film yet. A clearly unstable character is only interpreted as confusing, with no fault to the actor. This movie was about Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Ghost feels like a half baked idea that simply gives this movie a reason to be longer than an hour.

Michael Pena continues to steal the show, but a welcome delight was Abby Ryder Fortson who plays Scott Lang’s young daughter Cassie. The chemistry between her and Rudd invests the audience early in their relationship making their moments on screen a heartwarming break from the jokes, even if they are hilarious in their own right. It was also great to see Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp, and the real brains behind their team. She carries herself with a confidence that purposefully escapes Paul Rudd’s character creating a unique balance to their duo.

Action wise the film delivers an almost regurgitated meal, with a lot of the high points found in the trailer. Seeing the entirety of a lot of these shots were fun and all, but the actual excitement of the moment was gone due to the fact that I had already seen it. Also notable is the film’s expert use of the Pym technology, creating some cool moments in the film where size really does matter.

The rest of the film falls into more generic territory unfortunately. With colour that feels like a Marvel preset at this point, and an arguably bad score, it really begins to push the film into mediocrity that teeters on the brink of a bad film at times. Ant-Man was an extremely well executed heist film that had huge helpings of comedy, and just happened to pivot around a superhero. Second time around, and the comedy has taken center stage with less than stellar results. While it does make for a mindlessly fun two hours, Ant-Man and the Wasp fails to capture any memorable magic in their first outing together.

 

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Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a Toronto based filmmaker and creative mad man. Legend has it that he spent most of his childhood locked away in a cell beta testing Netflix.