Rob Reviews "Ant-Man And The Wasp"
When I was at the gym this morning, one of the televisions was showing a block of “Friends” re-runs during the time where Paul Rudd was a semi-regular as Phoebe’s boyfriend. As the episode progressed, it got me to thinking about how I would react back then if someone told me that the stepbrother from “Clueless” would be a superhero about twenty years later. I probably would have laughed like a hyena and perhaps have had to re-evaluate the places I hung out. Rudd would have the last laugh as “Ant-Man” survived a lot of behind-the-scenes issues and wowed audiences around the world. That also gave them the honor of having the twentieth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during Marvel Studios tenth anniversary celebration. (Let that last bit settle in for a minute.) So, let’s discuss “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” shall we?
In the wake of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Rudd) has spent two years on house arrest due to his activities in Germany, breaking a ton of laws established by the Sokovia Accords. He is simply biding his time with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), under the watchful eye of Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). One night, he has a strange dream where he sees Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose daughter and husband in Scott’s former partners Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have been searching for her for decades. Due to this vision, Scott seems to have a connection with Janet, whom they believe is trapped in the Quantum Zone, and while this is going on, they have to run from the law and from Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who has her own reasons for wanting the tech that Pym and van Dyne are working on.
The odd thing here is that this is not really your traditional superhero film. There is no big “baddie” that looks for a showdown with a protagonist or threat to the planet; this is more a story of families, perseverance, and simply owning your own inner hero. Sure, there are visual effects galore (and done very well, especially given that we were able to screen it in IMAX 3-D), but there truly is so much more to this film than that.
The pacing to “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is a bit more dragged out than its predecessor, which knocked it down a notch or two for me (also odd to say that about a two-hour action film, which seems to be on the low end of runtimes in the last decade), but that did not take away from my enjoyment here. Returning director Peyton Reed brings back the fun that “Ant-Man” became so synonymous for, mixing it with emotion and action to a nice balance. There still could have been about fifteen minutes trimmed down to streamline a little bit, but when you add greats like Michael Pena (who is a highlight again here), Judy Greer, Emmy Award winner and Coconut Creek High School alumnus Bobby Cannavale, Walton Goggins (who may have been a bit underused here, but he is always enjoyable to have on the screen), and Laurence Fishburne (whose character DOES add to the story, but not by much else than to make a couple of deep cut references and just be Laurence Fishburne… and there ain’t nothing wrong with THAT), and this is a fun film.
Although I still enjoyed the first film a bit more, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” gives the MCU a much-needed break from the intensity of it’s last two offerings in “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War”. As always, stay through the credits (and do your best not to let the Internet spoil them for you) to further the story, and it also may benefit the experience to see it in a premium format.