Having not seen the original Ant-Man, or many other Marvel movies for that matter, I didn’t go into the sequel with many expectations. All I knew is that Infinity War was on an enormous scale, and that it would have likely been a poor choice for Marvel to make another similar movie so soon after. They didn’t, and I am grateful that Ant-Man And The Wasp is the charming, low stakes movie that it is.
Paul Rudd (I know he has a name, but it’s basically just Paul Rudd) is on house arrest following the events of Captain America: Civil War, but is called upon again by Hank Pym and his daughter Hope to help them find her mother, who disappeared two decades prior. Unfortunately though, they find themselves interrupted by an inept FBI agent, a scheming black market dealer, and someone with mysterious powers linked to the quantum realm. From here, you could probably work out the entire plot if you wanted to, right down to who ends up with who and who will come out on top. You’ll have a good time watching it play out, but don’t expect anything too challenging.
The strengths of Ant-Man as a franchise certainly come from its intense absurdity, which the film acknowledges yet doesn’t overplay like Deadpool tends to. In this latest film, a Hello Kitty Pez is made huge, a building is often made tiny, and Paul Rudd’s best pal Ruiz has a monologue about how he loves Morrissey’s ‘melancholy ballads’. All of these events contribute greatly to the whimsical, comedic, and lighthearted tone; even the black market mobster is mostly played for laughs. This is somewhat of a double-edged sword however, as without the epic tone of the other Marvel movies, there isn’t much left to remember.
Unlike Thor: Ragnarok, a movie bold enough to carve out a distinct and vibrant aesthetic, Ant-Man And The Wasp is one of the most conventional looking films I’ve seen for a while. The majority of conversations are shown through shot reverse shot, the colour palette is basically non-existent, and the editing is nothing other than functional. Moments that take place in the quantum realm are a more interesting neon, but these scenes are few and far between, and tend to just highlight how visually dull the remainder is.
If you are a fan of Marvel’s other outings, you will probably enjoy this one, but don’t feel too concerned about missing out on anything if you choose to skip it. On the other hand, if you know very little about Marvel, you may actually have a better time with this movie than you might otherwise assume. Overall, if your goal is to enter the cinema and be entertained for roughly an hour and a half, give this a go, but if you want more than that, don’t let your hopes get too high.