Ant-Man and The Wasp – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Ant-Man and The Wasp – 3.5/5 – At this point, you can only expect quality films from the MCU.  No matter how they adapt the comic books to the big screen, they are always worth watching.  From the original Iron-Man to Doctor Strange, there is excitement with each new entry.  Ant-Man and The Wasp is the next chapter in the MCU.  With another adventure dealing with the smallest hero, this film provides that kind of joyous fun we had in the first.  Even with general dialogue and predictable outlooks, Ant-Man and The Wasp is a comic-book film that delivers on that genuine spirt found in the MCU.

Premise:  With Scott Lang on house arrest, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym come to him with an urgent mission.  Together, they must uncover secrets from their past, to save someone special from the Quantum Realm.

The main actors/actress return for the sequel:

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man

Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym

For the rest of the returners, refer to the film’s IMDb page.  All them do a wonderful job bringing the same charming personalities they had in the first film.  From the whimsical banter, strong comradery and honest reflections, they provide that connection of believable characters within unique situations.  Rudd is truly enrapturing in his role as Scott Lang, providing that hardiness within a folly character.  He adds dimension when complimented with Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne and Douglas’s Hank Pym.  The strength is in their relationship, as the triangle dynamic is straight-forward but heartfelt.  They become the anchors in an otherwise cliché riddled script.  As the dialogue can be cumbersome and cheesy, it is the mannerism and the delivery of these characters that bring you together within each scene.  By sticking to their roots, it helps give them human qualities.  For the newcomers (including the villains) they aren’t given too much screen time for any development.  They become very basic caricatures of the comic book tropes they are playing.  They are nothing more than contrasting elements with colorful dialogue that provide some friction with the main cast.

The film is a basic ‘second chapter’ in a series, but also another story element in the deeper MCU.  Taking place after the first Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, the director uses an expositional ‘where are they now’ scenario to reintroduce the characters.  Scott Lang has been on house arrest because of his actions in ‘Civil War’.  Paralleling this situation is Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne’s on the run from the law while trying to return to the Quantum Realm to find his wife and her mother, Janet Van Dyne.  After this prologue, the first act weaves you on a linear track that brings the three together.  Once together, they are racing against the clock to rescue Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm, while also trying to keep the technology out of the hands of two villains (Sony Birch and Ghost).  The film uses imprudent antics, common action scenes and standard dialogue as their basic outline for the story.  What keeps the story enjoyable is following this journey with the main three characters (Scot Lang, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne), and the use of the Pym Particles to grow/shrink in the film.  There isn’t a deeper meaning or an elaborate scheme to save the world; it is a down-to-earth journey that focuses on the ‘fun’ instead of trivial detail.  Once in the second act, we see the Pym Particles in action, watching how the shrinking/growing technology plays along with the physical/slapstick humor.  This provides interesting scenarios, displaying some creativity of the script.  Through the randomness of character interactions and ridiculous action/fight scenes, the adventure appeal stays strong.  As the group faces time constraints on entering the Quantum Realm, an elaborate web shows certain characters’ true colors, giving off subtle hints of family/hope like themes.  Once in the third act, the film takes a deeper turn into the adventure aspect, giving the audience a fun ride with the Pym Particles.  This produces some outwardly creativeness with the ‘chase scene’ trope.  Once in the climax, a lot of the fun comes to head in a predictable outcome, where conveniences bring everything down.  Even with an expected ending, the epilogue provides us with enough genuine detail that you feel good with where the journey ends.

The cinematography blends commonplace environments with creative use of CGI.  With the setting in San Francisco, the basic aesthetic allows for the surreal elements to become tangible.  These aspects heighten the sense of adventure, bringing excitement on a revealing scale.  By seeing the contrast of skyscrapers next to a statue like Ant-Man, The Wasp running on a thrown blade or Hank Pym traveling through the Quantum Realm, it creates a sense of dreaming of the impossible.  The score is basic to any kind of action/adventure film.  It adds some dramatization to a lot of the scenes that would have just been standard without it.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is another wonderful entry into the MCU.  Even if the script is basic and some things are predictable, the technology used and the wonderful dynamic of the main characters keeps you enjoying the journey.  If you are a fan of the first film, Marvel or comic book films in general, this is one for you.  It is worth checking out on the big screen.

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