Thanks to my Limitless pass, I managed to catch a preview of this film on Monday night, ahead of it’s official release on Thursday (2nd of August) here in the UK. As it was a secret preview, when we were told that ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ was the chosen film there were cheers across the screen in unanimous support. I really enjoyed the first offering as I thought it was smart and funny; however, although I was hopeful, I didn’t think I would enjoy it the second time around in the same way. Regardless, I went in with an open mind, thinking about the overwhelmingly positive reviews it had received from fans and critics alike.
What is it about?
After Ant-Man/ Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) escapades in Captain America: Civil War, he is placed under house arrest for two years (to be followed by a further three years on probation.) His penalty for refusal to comply is a minimum of 20 years in prison; so, with three days left to go of his two year initial stretch he is desperate not to do anything stupid that would result in jail-time. However, after his time in the Quantum Realm he experiences a connection with Hank’s wife, The Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer) who was lost in there years ago. This results in a reunion between him, Hank (Michael Douglas) and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) as they attempt to see past their differences to rescue Janet Van Dyne/ The Wasp from the Quantum Realm. However, their job becomes more problematic when Ghost (Hannah John-Kahmen,) a troubled young woman with the ability to shift between dimensions, tries to use the energy from rescuing Janet to revert herself back to a stable form before she fades away forever. The only problem is, the extraction of this energy will most likely rip Janet apart.
What did I think?
I am glad to say that I enjoyed this film very much. Consistently it was very funny; which was important as this was a real driving factor that led me to love the first one. I thought Michael Peña’s character exudes a hilarious sensibility, that ensures that even when his jokes are a little bit dry, the cinema erupts with laughter just because he said it. For example: for the whole of the “truth serum” scene I was in hysterics, as at every twist and turn of the story there was something new that maintained my delirious state for about three minutes straight. Moreover, I thought Paul Rudd’s comedy was fantastic and his interplay with different characters was brilliant. I thought that the central relationships were developed effectively, specifically between: Scott and his daughter; as well as, Scott and Hope. I thought this gave the film a basis in emotion which meant the drama was allowed to be more believable. Although in the superhero genre there will be some themes that escape the bounds of reality, I liked that I wasn’t completely detached at any point because of this, which generally is the case with superhero movies I have seen in the past. For example, in Avengers: Infinity War, at points I just got completely lost in the fact that nothing felt real and although I came back around to be engaged with the story it meant that my overall experience was tainted. However in Ant-Man 2, despite the characters being able to shrink to the size of an ant/wasp; at no point did I think “Oh how stupid!”, I just accepted it and moved on. Moreover, as I was invested in the drama, it allowed genuine jeopardy to be aroused throughout the film as I was distressed by the character’s individual and collective plights as the film progressed. Finally, it was just great fun. This was evidently clear because: I had a big grin on my face throughout, I couldn’t stop laughing and at no point throughout the narrative was I ever bored.
Despite the majority of my feeling being praise for the film, there were a couple of things that I thought could have been done better. Firstly, I thought that the Ghost should have been more antagonistic as a conflicted villain if we were to ever really feel anger against her. It becomes clear throughout the film that she is in exceptional pain and dying; so, when she wants to steal a lab that potentially holds her cure we never really disagree with her for doing it. This gets a little more confusing towards the end of the film when we are forced to make a choice, that should be simple, between who we should support. Regardless, I felt that this was easy to forgive considering the way things concluded. Finally, although I liked how the plot unveiled and ended; I thought that, upon reflection, it came about a little bit too simply with no real long-term damaging effects (in the actual feature length of the film.)
I really did enjoy this film and felt the experience ranked up there amongst my favourite MCU movies. I am happy to say that I actually liked it more than it’s predecessor and look forward to hearing more about what people here in the UK think about it. Finally, make sure to stay to the very end of the credits as it neatly ties this film, that generally stand alone in the MCU, into the rest of the universe.
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