‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is directed by Peyton Reed who also directed ‘Ant-Man’ in 2015. All the main cast members are back and from what the trailers showed us, the scope of the film overall looked to be much bigger than the more contained heist-film vibe the first delivered. I thought ‘Ant-Man’ was a solid film. It was lighthearted fun. Where it lacked in action that hit with impact, I felt it made up for it with Paul Rudd’s charm as Scott Lang. It was an entertaining origins story that had some lapses in the development of its villain, but still gave me enough to want this sequel. But not so much that it would kill me if there never was one.
After watching I will definitely say I had a great time. The action was escalated with fantastic large-scale action set-pieces that routinely had me up in my seat. It also provides a lot more action than the first which did keep things moving, for the most part. It was able to work in some interesting story dynamics, and some new characters, and with the addition of more spectacle it was surprisingly adventurous.
I really enjoyed certain angles of the script. But others felt underdeveloped nearly to the point of making some dynamics feel more like window-dressing, rather that being pivotal components in the story. There were a few different sub-plots going on in this story-line, in addition to the various character dynamics. The movie jumped around frequently, and it wasn’t a major hindrance at all, but it did make the progression feel uneven in both development, and pace.
The grounded humor was a major positive in the first movie, but it was missing its charm in this one. The situational humor in this sequel was the much more effective angle for me. I felt the comedic attempts in the dialogue were clunky, and just overly childish to hit with me. I smiled a lot but didn’t laugh as much as I was expecting with too much of the attempts at humor just coming off as overly set-up.
The most charming moments were between Scott and his daughter. Yet the rest of the character dynamics didn’t feel advanced much at all from where we left them in the last film. This made some scenes come off as repetitive which was a slight hindrance to the flow of things when there were other interesting elements that could have been explored more. But like I said with more action sprinkled in throughout, the lulls never last too long.
The visual-effects were impressive and the creativity in all the sequences was incredible to watch. The effects were seamless, and this area of the movie for me at least, was the most improved from the last. We get some great action with Ant-Man and the Wasp. Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp was awesome, and I think she had the better of the fight-sequences by far. Lilly put the effort in and pulled off the choreography flawlessly to result in some adrenaline pumping scenes that I think were the highlight of the film.
I did enjoy how the story truly makes Ant-Man and the Wasp feel like a partner team. Not a Batman and a Robin, but a Batman and a Wonder Woman you could say. Two key members of a unit that both rely on each other to lead at times, and to save the others life when needed, which I really enjoyed watching. This movie creates a fun atmosphere that gives the world of the story its own unique feeling despite being in the MCU. It utilizes the new abilities of the Wasp for some intriguing action and it uses the shrinking and growing aspects to create some ambitious sequences that brought a smile to my face.
Despite a long run-time it was an immersive theater experience that pulled me into the action enough to make up for some dry spots in the story, and too much of the Michael Peña stand-up routine. The scope was bigger. The world of the story was larger as well. The action hit harder, and it was a fun summer movie and another quality entry in the MCU.