Ant-Man and the Wasp is a superhero film directed by Peyton Reed and it is a sequel to Ant-Man. It is also the twentieth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Paul Rudd reprises his role as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Evangeline Lily reprises her role as Hope van Dyne/Wasp. Michelle Pfeiffer, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne, Abby Ryder Fortson, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Douglas, David Dastmalchian, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Bobby Cannavale, Walton Goggins, Judy Greer and Michael Peña round out the rest of the cast for this movie.
The story of Ant-Man and the Wasp is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and focuses on the duo of Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/Wasp. They are working with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man, to retrieve Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, from the Quantum Realm.
My Expectation For Ant-Man and the Wasp
For many years, I was just a casual fan of the MCU. I liked the franchise, but I did not have a deep love for it like a lot of other people did because I never read any Marvel comic books. As such, I never had a lot of attachment for the characters in the MCU which prevented me from liking the films in this franchise to a greater extent than I did. However, recent films such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War have really made me a bigger fan of the MCU than I ever have been before.
Certainly, I would have usually ignored a film like Ant-Man and the Wasp but I do not have this mentality anymore. In fact, I went back to watch Ant-Man for the first time as preparation for this sequel. I really liked Ant-Man. It is not the best movie in the MCU but there is a lot to like in it. Corey Stoll as the villain is not one of those things, but there is a lot to like in Ant-Man. The humour, action, visuals and performances by Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Peña and particularly Michael Douglas are great aspects of that movie.
As a film that is coming off the brilliance of Avengers: Infinity War, my hopes for Ant-Man and the Wasp were raised but I was not expecting this to be a top tier MCU movie. Instead, all I was hoping was for Ant-Man and the Wasp to maintain the quality of what made Ant-Man so entertaining while improving on its weaker aspect; the villain. I was also interested to see how the events of Avengers: Infinity War would play into this film.
My Thoughts On Ant-Man and the Wasp
Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp is an enjoyable film. However, if I had to choose between the two, I do slightly prefer Ant-Man. One thing that this film considerably improves over the original is the villain. This was not an especially hard thing to do but I liked how Ava/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) had a more relatable and personable motivation for her actions than Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Ghost is not one of the best MCU villains by any means though.
Moreover, I would contest that some of the strongest aspects of Ant-Man are a little bit weaker in this movie. While the performances from the returning cast, as well as the humour in Ant-Man and the Wasp, are still at the same level of quality as they were in Ant-Man, the action and visuals in this film are slightly worse. Ant-Man and the Wasp also has worse pacing than Ant-Man. This movie did not flow as well as the first and some parts felt quite sluggish.
The core story in Ant-Man and the Wasp is what you expect from where the first film left off and it is good. But, it is not as compelling as the story in Ant-Man and it is a bit disposable when you think of the larger narrative being told in the MCU right now. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp absolutely works as a palette cleanser for the serious and heavy Avengers: Infinity War and, once again, the de-aging technology is outstanding. I love this technology as it opens new doors when it comes to storytelling not just in the MCU but for any film.
My Final Thoughts On Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp also has a great mid-credits scene which, as you can imagine, links into the events of Avengers: Infinity War very well and it sets up some interesting things going forward in the MCU. While I prefer Ant-Man, everything in this film combines to make a good and enjoyable instalment in the MCU. If you are a casual or hardcore fan of this franchise then you should absolutely see Ant-Man and the Wasp because you will, at the very least, be entertained.