Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
Marvel's Second Tiny Adventure
Ah, here we are. The sequel to Ant-Man that set up Endgame in more ways than anyone thought. As was the case with Doctor Strange, this rewatch was my first time watching this film since I saw it in theatres. Why did I wait so long? I guess I never really had the interest to go back and rewatch it. At the time of its release, I just really wanted to see the continuation of the Avengers saga. I so desperately wanted to see how the snap would be undone, and I think that mindset really affected my thoughts of this movie. The same goes for Captain Marvel, but I already covered that film. Needless to say, I am glad I rewatched Ant-Man and The Wasp because I actually really enjoyed the film. It was funny and it utilized the shrinking effects very well. Now, is it better than Ant-Man? I'm gonna say no, but only by a tiny margin. I think the original film had a better, centralized plot, as well as a more centralized villain. However, I do think that Ant-Man and The Wasp utilized the shrinking effects much better than the first, and that led to some really cool action scenes.
But what do I mean when I say this film had a less centralized plot and villain?
Villain or not?
The film sets up Ghost as the villain, and she mostly is... but only because she is turned into an antagonist by the protagonists. Here's my biggest issue with the film: Hank and Hope go to great lengths to get their mom back alive––such great lengths that they risk Scott being thrown in prison for avoiding house arrest as well as risking their own lives. Ghost risks a lot of stuff, too, and she's doing it to keep herself alive. Yes, she goes to some crazy lengths to do so. However, she is mostly doing the exact same thing the heroes are doing, except she's stealing, so she has to be bad... even though that's what our heroes did in the first film. She doesn't come across as a villain to me, and the only reason she is doing what she is doing is because Hank Pym is kind of an asshole.
Then we have Sonny Birch, who we don't even know much about. He was the only obvious bad guy in this film, and he wasn't even the main antagonist. I am truly hoping that whoever he was working for will be revealed in the near future. Otherwise, his character will just feel like filler for run-time.
I say Ant-Man had a more centralized villain because, even though Yellowjacket was bland, he at least was obviously evil. Ghost, to me, was just misunderstood and was only the antagonist because the movie needed her to be.
Less Centralized Plot
I also feel that Ant-Man's plot was a lot more focused. They needed to steal the Yellowjacket suit before Cross could use it. Simple. Ant-Man and The Wasp, however, was just a constant game of cat and mouse. The characters start the film by needing a part. They then get that part, but they had to fight for it. Now they can work to bring Janet back. Uh-oh, their lab was stolen! Now they have to get that back. They get it back, but now they're going to jail. So now Scott has to break them out, all while trying to keep FBI from knowing he's been leaving his house. They then have to find their lab again so they can get their mom back, which leads to another chase scene, another fight scene, and then a race against time. There is a lot that goes on. Yes, I know that Ant-Man had a really convoluted plan created by Hank Pym to get Scott to steal the suit, but at least there was a focus. This film made it seem like that right when the writers were committing to a goal, they realized they needed more to fit the run-time, so they added more chase scenes. I enjoyed most of the scenes, yes, but I couldn't help but think every once in a while that the film could have ended at certain points long before the 2-hour mark.
But maybe I'm the only one.
Let's Get Positive
I feel like I have been really negative about a film I actually enjoyed quite a lot, so let's get positive. It's directed once again by Peyton Reed, and I think he does a great job. As I have said multiple times before, I think that the shrinking effects were really awesome. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michael Peña respectively once again do some great performances. The whole film is well-acted all the way through. As much as I complained about the plot, I do find the whole film highly entertaining, funny, and action-packed. If it weren't for the less-centralized plot, I would probably be giving the film a higher rating. I really love what this film does for Endgame, even if the quantum realm could easily be used as Marvel's cheat code anytime they need an answer to something. And sure, there are inconsistencies once more with Pym's shrinking technology, but I am no scientist, and I think it looks spectacular, so I won't complain.
While I do think the film could have been more centralized (I think I have used that word a lot in this review), I do really enjoy the film. I think I enjoyed it more on my second viewing. I laughed, I smiled, and I was engaged. But hey, it's a Marvel movie, so I wasn't expecting to dislike it. No, I don't think it's as good as Ant-Man, but at least it doesn't feel like a boring slog I need to watch just to get to Endgame. Everything it sets up for Endgame makes it highly worth the watch and helps it fit neatly in the chronology.
With all of that being said, I am going to give Ant-Man and The Wasp an 8/10.
As I mentioned in my Infinity War review, my Endgame review is already out, and you can check that out using the link after this capsule. That means that I only have one more film to review, and that's Spider-Man: Far From Home. I can't wait to see you all there for the conclusion of my Infinity Saga rewatch.
Check out my "Endgame" review!
- 'Avengers: Endgame' - A Satisfying Conclusion
This is a SPOILER discussion of "Avengers: Endgame" and why I think this was the perfect ending to the "Infinity Saga".
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth