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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ant Man and the Wasp - Movie Review


The Movie: Ant-Man and the Wasp

The Director: Peyton Reed

The Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburn, Michael Douglas

The Story: As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.


The Review:
If Marvel has one major attribute in creating its cinematic universe, it's consistency. Every movie they have put out has, first and foremost, an entertaining, engaging, and quality story. Every single time. After that, they make sure the characters are fully realized individuals that you an relate to and then, after all that is in place, they make sure it is also an action packed spectacle that fits nicely within the connected framework that has been carefully built and cultivated over what is now a decade of time.

One of the things I keep hearing every time a new Marvel movie is about to debut is that this is the one that won't go over well because how could they take some crazy idea like that and turn it into a blockbuster movie. This happens every time and every time they prove everyone wrong by knocking it out of the park and Ant Man and the Wasp is yet another example of that level of consistent output. People said Ant Man wouldn't work because the idea is silly and Paul Rudd is just a comedian not a heroic leading man like Downey or Hemsworth or Evans.

What works so well about that movie and now it's sequel is that it knows exactly what type of movie it is and plays to those strengths in a way that allows you to laugh more than you'e used to at a super hero movie while still marveling at the super hero type stuff that comes along with it. Director Peyton Reed never goes overboard with the comedy and it never feels out of place or out of context within the story or the overall universe the story inhabits. For me, that was the one major flaw of Thor: Ragnarok but it is completely avoided here.

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly continue to work very well together and their characters' relationship evolves nicely over the course of the movie. It was also nice to see Michael Peña, T.I., and David Dastmalchian's team of characters used in a way that doesn't feel forced and actually pushes their stories forward as well. I will also say that any time you add Michelle Pfeiffer to a movie good things are going to happen and pairing her up with Michael Douglas was a brilliant move indeed.

One of the most entertaining aspects of this movie is how the super powers are utilized by both lead characters. Each of them has had some time to get to know the powers their suits provide and each has used that experience to become more creative and innovative in how they utilize those strengths. Watching them in action is a real treat as the creative team constantly throws stuff on the screen that we haven't ever seen before, some of it jaw dropping and some of it genuinely hilarious.

While the movie itself stands alone as a very entertaining story, there is of course several connections to the overall MCU story and all of it is interwoven in a way that makes sense and isn't just there for fan service. Scott, Hope, and Hank are all dealing with the events of the previous film as well as the consequences of Ant-Man having gone to Germany to help Captain America during the Avengers' civil war. The story also takes place at about the same time as Infinity War so there is bound to be some connective tissue there as well although you may have to wait until the post credit scenes for that to play out.


The Verdict:
Ant-Man and the Wasp is about as fun of a Marvel movie as you will find. it is action packed, it is funny, it is filled with surprises, and it is just a good time at the movies. Make sure to stay all the way to the end of the credits as there is more than one bonus scene to check out.





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