- Directed by Peyton Reed
- June 25, 2018 (El Capitan Theatre) / July 6, 2018 (US)
Ant-Man and the Wasp work with Hank Pym to retrieve his wife Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm.
I found Ant-Man and the Wasp much less forgettable than Ant-Man. At least when I think about this movie I can recall the story and its narrative flow as compared to the last one. However, many of the most memorable visual elements in the story come from the character of Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and not the main/title characters. It’s just a cool power. She is cursed with molecular instability which allows her to phase through matter. This also provides the impetus for her actions as they are all driven by her quest for survival.
Speaking of Ghost, she’s a murderer and willing to possibly kill Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) in order to save her own life but by the end she gets a little bit of a redemption and all she’s not that bad. Huh? They seem to forget that she was essentially a hired killer for S.H.I.E.L.D. and possibly other intelligence agencies. Admittedly she was doing so in the hopes of a cure but she was still a killer.
Ghost and her associate/helper Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) are not necessarily seeking to do evil but rather just trying to figure a way to save her. Sonny Burch (Walton Coggins) is much more evil since he wants to steal the quantum technology to sell to the highest bidder. But he’s just a jerk and not a main threat. In other words there is no actual villain but rather the enemy is time.
This is much more of a ticking clock film where they need to save the damsel in distress (here Janet van Dyne) before subatomic stuff realigns and they can’t save her for another hundred years. How she knows all this without any equipment is not something to think about. That would be my big question if I were involved in events of the story.
While the film is titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) gets more action than Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) who often gets pushed into the background and becomes largely comic relief. He started the series and is now the punchline. Then again they have a slightly bigger cast and must justify all the plot elements they are involved in. We have returning and new characters all thrown into the story.
In this movie they introduce Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the original Wasp who we learn through a message sent via quantum entanglement is still alive living in the Quantum Realm. Adding to Michael Douglas’s credibility in this is Michelle Pfeiffer coming on as Janet van Dyne. There was a great amount of hype relatively speaking to the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer, but she’s really not in a whole bunch of Ant-Man and the Wasp. A few flashback scenes and the last five minutes or so when Michael Douglas as Hank Pym rescues her is really all. They could’ve cast anybody in that part. Her character was the McGuffin to get things rolling but ultimately inconsequential.
I don’t mind humor and films. In fact, at some points in any story it can be a very welcome element, but what I hate is humor that points out or highlights how ridiculous the situation is. But even that isn’t bad. It gets bad when it’s done to the point that it destroys any tension or excitement. And Ant-Man and the Wasp is certainly a humorous film, and the heavy use of jokes that point out just how silly this is takes away from the excitement.
The overall problem for me is nothing feels important. From saving Janet’s life to preventing an advanced new technology from getting out into the general world, nothing really feels important here. It’s not a big deal. At least the importance the characters feel does not translate to the audience. They could all toss it aside and go out for a hot cup of cocoa instead, and the emotions that they translate would be no different.
This is a relatively safe film. It offers no big twists and no real shocks. We all can guess the ending of most superhero films but that is not the issue. The issue is we should feel concern at points that the characters will not get there. At no point does it feel like Ghost could win or Burch might screw the hooch and delay them too long.
I can’t say I hated Ant-Man and the Wasp. I enjoyed my time and don’t feel like I wasted it here. It was fun and entertaining enough. But it’s probably not something I will seek out again. It’s once and done viewing. Nothing about it begs for more. And that’s a real shame. Why make a movie that doesn’t have rewatchability? Others may think differently on this movie, but for me the days of movies with high rewatchability are long gone. This like so many others today are designed to make their money and nothing more. Ultimately whether or not they could be watched again is immaterial.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is not too bad. While not entirely forgettable, it is a pretty safe film as Marvel movies go. It doesn’t take any chances with its weakest points being that it’s too heavy on the jokes and the issues faced do not feel important to those involved. Only watch this to get a better understanding of how they fix things in Avengers: Endgame.