- Alex Barnhill
Alex Reviews "Ant-Man And The Wasp"
After Marvel’s most recent endeavor, “Avengers: Infinity War,” two of the many questions a lot of viewers (including myself) had were: Where is Ant-Man, and why would he not be used in this story? “Ant-Man and The Wasp” has both of those questions covered on a couple levels in this perfect light-hearted follow-up to the emotional heaviness that was the last “Avengers” story.
As far as the “where,” that is answered very quickly, as we open with Paul Rudd (The Catcher was a Spy) being his devastatingly charming and goofy self as Scott Lang, who is under house arrest for his involvement in “Captain America: Civil War”. However, the familial tension of the first “Ant-Man” with Judy Greer and Bobby Cannavale has completely eroded and been replaced by very sweet scenes between Rudd and his MCU daughter, Cassie. With this comes a vision that forces Scott to reach out to his estranged and on-the-run associates Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in the hopes that they can locate and rescue Pym’s wife and van Dyne’s mother, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Zone. The problem here is that each one of these segments appears like Peyton Reed forgot to say cut for a few seconds, which happens in other scenes as well, but none to this extent.
The true brilliance to the “Ant-Man” movies seems to be their ability to be completely unique in structure: where every other MCU entry seems to grow with each entry, these films seem to organically restrict its own scope. The house arrest explains this well in story, but it does even more to mirror both the characters’ ability to shrink and explain how this story could minimally exist separate from “Infinity War”. Despite the great action and gut-busting humor, the stakes of the story never seem high enough as it pertains to any negative outcome would be (which has been the status quo). The stakes for Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, seem far greater as she is fighting for her own existence.
Michelle Pfeiffer is a fantastic actress, and she fits perfectly as Janet Van Dyne opposite Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym, but I find it odd that at least half of the character’s lines are delivered by proxy. Hopefully, we will see more of her in upcoming films, but I would have liked to seen more from another actor making there MCU debut in Laurence Fishburne. (Note to the reader: Yes. He was the Silver Surfer, but that was Fox.) Reading the tea leaves on Mr. Fishburne’s dialogue, he does state his character’s comic counterpart of “Goliath” in his introduction. (This would place him in the same neighborhood as Killmonger’s father in the “Black Panther” flashback.)
As for the “why” in regards to the Thanos movie (yeah, I said it), I believe it benefits the MCU to keep some characters separate for standalone purposes. The longer Marvel can keep things apart, the longer they can keep from everything becoming a sequel of a sequel of a sequel, which is part of the fun of the now famous after credit scenes. That is when you see a glimpse of what is next rather that some snap decision to wipe out everything that is unique about movies like “Ant-Man and The Wasp”.
The most brilliant piece of this movie, aside from the glorious Michael Peña, is that this is the movie which finally got 3-D correct, as scenes immerse the viewer in the environment rather than “jump” out at the audience. For the plot and IMAX, the Quantum Realm represents the future, and with the comedy and Marvel completionism, this film is a must watch.
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