If you’d like to know how to win awesome Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp merchandises, there are instructions at the end of this article.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is a palette cleanser. Slightly more than a relaxing popcorn flick. It is exactly the kinda movie we need from the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now after two emotionally harrowing ones. We started the year with Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, an intense family drama that doubles as a commentary on African/African-American struggles. It had me bawling my eyes out. Then came Avengers: Infinity War, a film where we saw our favourite superheroes get their asses handed to them for close to three hours and eventually perish right before our eyes. The bad guy won and I left the cinema feeling like I took Roberto Carlos’ free-kick to my balls. Today, after catching Ant-Man and The Wasp, I had a big fat smile on my face. It’s hella fun.
Taking place after the happenings of Civil War and before the events of Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp opens by establishing its premise. Hank (Michael Douglas) talks to his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) about the mission he was on with his wife/her mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), which lead to her sacrifice — in order to diffuse a weapon of mass destruction and save thousands of lives, she went sub-atomic and unfortunately got trapped in the ‘Quantum Realm’. And after 30 years of trying, Hank finally has a workable plan to get Janet back. Together, Hank and Hope engineer a bridge to the Quantum Realm but need to acquire one last component to activate the machine. Acquiring that final part with the help of Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man is pretty much the entire movie.
Much like its predecessor, Ant-Man and The Wasp is a comedy-heist film. And boy is it a gutbuster. Perhaps even comparable to Deadpool 2. Maybe. Not really. Let’s just put it this way: I laughed as much as I did but not as hard as I did in Deadpool 2. Almost every single scene in this movie is hilarious. But it’s hilarious in a way that doesn’t undercut certain serious story beats. The comedy doesn’t slap you in the face and agitates you. It doesn’t make you roll your eyes.
It isn’t intrusive the same way Drax was intrusive when Gamora and Star-Lord were having a moment in Infinity War. Which is always a concern for me (though, not for most people) with these comedic Marvel movies. But Peyton Reed gets humour right here, just as he did in the first film. And for a good 99.9% of the time, the comedy isn’t juvenile, either. The 0.1% being a giant ant playing the drums and taking a bath. It’s ridiculous and is only included to get the hahas out of three-year-olds. Other than that, the comedy works, either through smartly written dialogue or through smartly directed visual comedy.
The characters (or most of) are heaps of fun. Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp steals the show. I never understood why this woman never received her big break sooner. She was the reason I kept tuning in to Lost every week, even when the show lost (lol) its steam and became a convoluted, nonsense regurgitating machine. Okay, maybe she did think she was getting her big break when she signed on to do Jackson’s Hobbit films. We all did. Jeez, talk about a director dropping the ball big time, huh? Anyway, I’m glad she’s got a big-ish role in the MCU now. The character writing in this film is decent, but Lilly takes that material and adds so much more to it. She’s both sexy and smart. Vulnerable and strong. She has great comic timing and immense charisma. Wasp/Hope is the anchor of this film and Lilly steals the show from everybody, including Paul Rudd.
This isn’t to say Paul Rudd is shabby as Scott/Ant-Man. He’s effective too. Just like in the first film, Rudd brings not just excellent comic timing, but also warmth (especially when he’s with his daughter). The likes of Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne all have enough moments to shine and something resembling an actual character to play. And of course, we also get laugh-till-you-drop scenes with Michael Pena and gang as well. A crowd favourite comedic bit from the first film involving Pena’s character is brought back here. It’s still funny, but not nearly as funny as the first, probably because it doesn’t come as such a surprise.
The same, however, can’t be said about the villain. Which brings me to some of the areas that Ant-Man and The Wasp stumbles. First of all, what villain? The so-called villainous characters are not so much “characters” as they are just obstacle courses with faces. We have three.
The first being Walton Goggins who plays a character named whogivesafuck. He wants to steal Hank and Hope’s Quantum Bridge because he’s Walton Goggins muahahaha (that’s an evil laugh, btw). Next, we have the FBI, led by Randall Park, who wants to chuck Scott Lang right back in prison. (You see, after the events of Civil War, Scott Lang has been put under house arrest, a term that will expire in three days as long as he sits tight. Of course, he doesn’t sit tight — this is an Ant-Man movie.) And so in a series of comedic moments, the FBI keep busting into Scott’s house as soon as they see Ant-Man on the news or get a phone call reporting that Ant-Man is back in action, only for Scott to be at home right on time just as they arrive (if you think this is a spoiler, you’ve never seen a movie in your life).
More importantly: Ghost. She has a backstory and somewhat of an arc, but nothing to make me remotely care. What she does bring to the table are cool powers that translate to even cooler action sequences. Which, by the way, needs a special mention. The action sequences in this movie are stellar. Just like in the first movie, Peyton Reed takes something as ridiculous as shrinking abilities and talking to ants and makes it bloody exciting to behold. There are a number of jaw-dropping set pieces, my favourite being Wasp running on knives. It’s badass!
Anyway, the villains. All three of them have cartoon personalities, no layers, no nuance and are merely there to be potholes, and bumps in the road that leads to the good guys activating the Quantum Bridge. Look, we all know the heroes are going to win. The trick is to convince us that the good guys might actually lose. Peyton Reed does not accomplish this. Not once throughout its runtime did I worry for the good guys. Not once was there a moment of doubt.
The film also lacks an emotional crux. Ant-Man was about Scott proving to his wife, to his daughter and most importantly, to himself that he can be a great father and role model. Holding the laugh out loud moments and kinetic action sequences together is a strong emotional core. The reason we even root for Ant-Man in the first place is that we want to see him grow as a character, to learn from his mistakes and through his triumphs that he can be the dad his daughter thinks he is. Ant-Man and The Wasp doesn’t offer another layer. At the end of this movie, Scott is exactly the same as he was at the end of Ant-Man.
There is an argument to be made that this is more a Wasp movie than it is an Ant-Man movie. And it definitely feels that way. But even then we don’t get enough of Hope. There is no conflict within her character. She isn’t forced to make tough choices. She isn’t pushed to her breaking point. So, why should we care?
I know I sound like a hypocritical jackass. Not a few paragraphs ago, I called Ant-Man and The Wasp exactly the movie we need from the MCU right now, yet here I am scrutinizing the shit out of it. I stand by my statement. Have you watched a four-hour long pro-wrestling pay per view? The big matches are usually spread out. And the one or two matches before the main event are usually undercard bouts that are smaller in scale. Exciting enough to not kill the mood, but not important enough to get the crowd emotionally invested. This is done so the audience isn’t fatigued and exhausted before the highly anticipated BIG BATTLE at the end.
That same concept applies here. Ant-Man and The Wasp is the perfect undercard filler before the MCU picks up the tempo slightly with Captain Marvel and then hits us hard with Avengers 4. But judging it as a movie standing on its own, Ant-Man and The Wasp is fine. It’s enjoyable but not memorable. It’s the garlic bread you eat before getting your Wagyu steak next summer.
*Scroll down to the end of the article for Ant-Man and The Wasp rating.
Okay, now it’s time for you to win some dope Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man & The Wasp merchandises — This giveaway has now ended!
Here’s how you can win em!
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*Terms and conditions:
– Merchandises will be given out to the winners at random, subject to availability.
– Winners will be announced on the 9th of July 2018.
– Giveaway is only limited to participants living in Malaysia.
Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp will be hitting cinemas on 4th July 2018.
Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp is the perfect undercard filler before the MCU picks up the tempo slightly with Captain Marvel and then hits us hard with Avengers 4. But judging it as a movie standing on its own, Ant-Man and the Wasp is fine. It's enjoyable but not memorable. It's the garlic bread you eat before getting your steak next summer.
Ant-Man and The Wasp