Was the villain in Black Panther too interesting for you? Did you find Thor Ragnarok broke too many moulds? Were you tuckered out by the fast pace and intensity of Infinity War?
Well Ant-Man and the Wasp is here to bring us right back to the predictable Marvel formula that has keyboard warriors the world over copy pasting the term “superhero fatigue”.
Yes Marvel was on something of a streak with its previous three movies, offering up something new and interesting ways to break up the formula that they themselves created in the MCU.
The “just another Marvel movie” phase seemed to be over as recent films shook things up, but Ant-Man and the Wasp is here to c-c-c-combo break and offer up an experience that feels very lacklustre and predictable.
This movie’s troubles start with the setting you’ll grasp from the trailers on this page. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd as Scott Lang) is under house arrest following the events of Captain America: Civil War and has had to give up being a hero for the time being until he’s brought back into life by Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp) and Hank Pym ( Michael Douglas).
As this is set before (and strictly before) Infinity War, this movie has to strike it out on its own without the massive hype and expectations of that film.
Putting aside some spoilers for both of these films, this would be an okay decision if this standalone title could fend for itself with a competant story, which it can’t do.
Instead we’re given a very generic struggle involving Hank Pym’s tech, some outside influences in the form of new villains, and internal struggles as Ant-Man tries to avoid being arrested again.
While we do appreciate the fact that this movie isn’t the standard “bad guy versus good guy”, two-party fight, it takes an absurd amount of time to become interesting.
The first two acts of this film are extremely slow and make this movie’s two hour run time feel bloated.
The third act, however, is fantastic. It’s where the most imaginative use of superpowers comes into play, it’s fast paced and the CGI is decent.
As the third act is all action, it’s a stark contrast to the first two which are focused on the slow story and the cast.
The performances from that cast are a mixed bag. Rudd, for example, is always fun to watch and Michael Peña returns as Luis to play a comic relief role that is actually enjoyable,
Another standout, oddly enough, is the child actor in Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie. She’s completely believable in her portrayal as the young daughter of a superhero and we really hope she remains in the MCU with new movies.
On the other end of the scale we have Hannah John-Kamen as the character Ghost. Her performance was oddly disjointed – something we’re willing to contribute to the script – but some consistency here would have been appreciated.
This character is also criminally underused in terms of how her fight scenes and CGI were pulled off. It’s not bad, just boring. The way her powers are demonstrated will give you inklings of interesting applications and potential uses in a fight, but they never happen.
The rest of the cast is very serviceable with the only other performances worth mentioning being with Judy Greer and Randall Park. Their characters (Maggie and Jimmy Woo) are on opposite ends of the scale when it comes to comedy, Greer missed every mark while Park seemed to hit them.
If you came to this movie for comedy, you made the right move as it’s very solid here. Sure, there’s a lot of jokes that fall flat, but many do work well. Again, you’ll find these weighted towards the end of the movie, which also includes the Stan Lee cameo that’s really funny.
By the time the credits (and after credits scenes, two of them here) roll, we found ourselves really wanting to like Ant-Man and the Wasp. Unfortunately the good humour and great third act can’t outweigh the slow, bland nature of most of the run time.
That being said, it is still recommended when you’re next at the movies. Those who don’t catch every Marvel movie will like the fact that this film stands on its own, and even those who hate superhero flicks will like the comedy and the action, when it finally gets going.
It really is missing that special something to make it memorable, however. Give this movie a month or two and it will be forgotten until Avengers 4 when people rewatch all the previous movies.
Oh, and the funniest scenes will probably make it onto YouTube as clips. Give it a week and “the Luis scene” will be on there. Look out for it.