Ladies and gentlemen we live in a post Avengers: Infinity War world. Events have taken a turn for the worse in the world of everyone’s favourite Marvel heroes. So why not turn the clock back and let’s check in on the intimate and small world of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) aka the Ant-Man. Two years have passed since the events of Captain America: Civil War and since then Scott has been under house arrest. Literally days before his release he has a disturbing dream and this brings him back into the world of Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) as they try to bring Janet Van Dyne back from the Quantum Realm. This is the plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp and from here events just get weirder and more wonderful.
Many of the cast of Ant-Man return for this pint-sized sequel. As I stated earlier Rudd, Lilly, and Douglas lead the cast with Michael Peña, T.I., and David Dastmalchian returning as Scott’s crew this time as legitimate businessmen trying to help out the downtrodden with their security business.
New additions that join the cast of Ant-Man and the Wasp include Laurence Fishburne who plays Bill Foster (fans of Marvel comics will know him as Goliath), Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost the “villain” of the piece, and Walter Goggin as Sonny Burch a dubious individual our heroes deal with during the course of the film. These round out the cast filling this small corner of the MCU with a lot of enjoyable personalities. And that is the biggest positive of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it is bursting with personality.
Once more Rudd stretches his comedy muscles and gives easily the most endearing performance in the MCU (in my opinion). He is still charming as hell as Scott Lang the downtrodden misfit of the MCU. You are always rooting for him and as he is always the fool you can’t help but connect with his missteps whether they be big or small.
This time around Hope has a far more active role in the adventure. No longer the trainer Hope is involved with all the action and every time she shows off her skills you can’t help but watch in awe. Between her superior skills, blasters, and wings Wasp’s fighting style is a fascinating one. Scott is impressive but at the end of every fight, you know who you want in your corner (it’s the Wasp).
The villains they fight range from the mundane minions of Sonny (Goggin) and though Sonny himself is quite interesting and charming fights against his forces are pretty straightforward as they offer no challenge. With Ghost (John-Kamen) there are so many opportunities cinematically and storywise to intrigue the audience. The fights between Ghost and Ant-Man and Wasp are visually engaging. Unfortunately, her storyline and motivations are clichéd and she’s only saved by her connection to some of the other characters in the film.
Ghost ultimately is a passable villain as she doesn’t have the charm of Sonny so she’s really just the obstacle for the heroes. Sonny has the opposite problem he’s charming but he’s not a challenge so we get no stakes when there are fights with him and his cohorts. There are also long stretches in the film where there is a lot of exposition whether it’s given by Hope or Hank or a member of the supporting cast. The film screeches to a halt and it dampens the momentum built.
There is also the issue of the predictability of the story. It doesn’t break the boundaries of any Marvel film (or daytime soap) that has come before it. If you have a suspicion or an educated guess about where the story might lead nine out of ten times you’ll be right. One of the more unfortunate issues of Ant-Man and the Wasp is one that Ant-Man was praised for. Luis (Peña), Dave (T.I.), and, Kurt (Dastmalchian) have gone from charming and hilarious to annoyances that every now and then instill a chuckle.
Ant-Man and the Wasp works on several levels. It has a fantastic cast, is visually stunning and is the perfect pallet cleanser for anyone looking for respite from the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Unfortunately, it falters with its villains, predictable storytelling and loss of originality in some of its characters. This is an enjoyable film just don’t expect anything mindblowing from it.