Let’s talk about Ant-Man and the Wasp.
This was a weird one to follow Infinity War wasn’t it? Not just because Infinity War was incredible but because it left such a devastating impact on the audience. I won’t spoil it too much more for those who haven’t seen it, all two of you, but the ending of that movie was incredibly tough to watch for many and it still haunts many who saw it. Others have not only come to terms with it but agree with the ending hence the subreddit Thanos Did Nothing Wrong.
But for reasons best known to Kevin Feige, they decided to follow it up with an Ant-Man film, the most lightweight hero the universe has. But maybe that was the point. Before we get back into the intense story of Thanos and the infinity war, we need a palate cleanser. Something lighter and funnier, something that won’t have lifelong devastating consequences for all involved. So maybe the man who made a film franchise that has spanned a decade and has been the producer of many billion grocing movies is smarter than we think.
And as a palate cleanser, it does work. It’s a very funny movie. It helps when your lead is Paul Rudd whose a naturally charismatic man but the script is fantastic too. It gives him so funny lines and most them revolve around the biarre world he’s found himself in The movie goes to painful lengths to explain that Scott Lang is a fairly normal bloke, yes he’s been in prison but he’s a good natured soul who wants to work hard to provide for his daughter. Unlike a lot of people in the Marvel Universe, Scott would have been fine if he had never become a superhero. He’d have got on with life and tried to do his best for his daughter. So when he’s plunged into this world of quantum tunnels and complicated science, seeing this normal bloke be just as confused as we are is funny. Also, I’ll never not laugh at an ant doing human things.
For the most part, this is a very similar movie to the first Ant-Man. Yes we now have two superheroes to root for with Hope Van Dyne donning a suit and becoming the Wasp, though I can’t remember them ever dubbing her with that title, but things are pretty much the same. Action scenes revolve around the fluctuating size powers that both have, with action scenes seeing Ant-Man turning from big to small and vice versa within a few seconds. All so they can punch someone in a fancy way. They can also use one of their gadgets to make things big and small which leads to some creative action set pieces. This also allows Hank Pym to have many cars in his pocket that he can just get out and use which is a funny sight gag.
Where the movie tries to have a heart is with its parental relationships. A big part of the movie is Scott’s relationship with his daughter Cassie and how pretty much everything he does is for her. He is willing to be a prisoner in his own home just so he can see her and be a dad. It is such a sweet relationship to watch play out on screen and it’s nice to see that he gets on with her mum and stepdad, though that’s weirdly close in a funny way. But there’s some definite attempts to parallel Cassie with Hope. Hope also has a doting father and someone who does all he can to make her happy, namely in this movie bringing back her mother who is stuck in the quantum realm. I do need to watch this movie again to see all they were getting at but there’s a definite reason that Cassie and young Hope both look the same and are also given sickly sweet nicknames by their parents. That’s not a coincidence.
But while the movie is fun, it does struggle with the weight of the movie that came before. This film is set before Infinity War and the question that lies heavy in the mind is what’s going to happen to these characters when that happens, especially as none of them appear in Infinity War. So because of at and the general tone of the movie, there is something about it which feels inessential. That while you are having a good time, you wouldn’t be missing much at all if in fact you had decided to do something else with your time. I know there’s an attempt to make this feel more important than it is, but it doesn’t work.
So in that way, Ant-Man and the Wasp feels a bit like an early Marvel movie. It is a fun movie that is definitely worth your time but it also never really makes itself feel important or big like some of the later ones. It is very fun, there’s a lot of great action scenes with creative moments and you’ll probably laugh more at this than you than an average comedy. But it is not a must watch and is just a distraction before we get back to the effects of Infinity War.