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Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp [spoiler-free]

December 15, 2018

In an unprecedented turn of events, I’ve written not one, but TWO reviews in a single week.

[sound of crowd gasping]

Let’s take a look at Ant-Man and the Wasp, that delicious filling squeezed between two chunky slices of epic Avengers action.

Why now?

Ant-Man and the Wasp was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 3rd December.

In a nutshell

Scott Lang has been on house arrest for two years following the events of Captain America: Civil War. He’s just days away from freedom when Hank Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne get in contact – they’ve realised that Lang may hold the key to rescuing Hank’s wife Janet from the Quantum Realm, which Lang had entered towards the end of the first film. It isn’t long before trouble arises in the form of Ghost (a spectral villain with an unwavering agenda, also involving Janet) and Lang dons his Ant-Man suit again alongside his new-found partner, the Wasp.

Who’s it for?

Like almost all Marvel movies up to this point (with the exception of a certain Deadpool), this film is perfectly suitable for kids and adults alike. No sex, no bad language, and only superhero-film violence on the table here.

Who’s in it?

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprise their roles as Ant-Man and the Wasp (can you even believe it?), while Michael Douglas also returns as Hank Pym. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Janet, and Michael Peña provides a substantial amount of the film’s already substantial comic relief. Hannah John-Kamen plays Ghost, and Laurence Fishburne (the man is EVERYWHERE) comes on board as an old friend of Pym’s.

The good stuff

As with the first Ant-Man and Thor Ragnarok, this movie is decidedly lighter and more humorous than many of the other offerings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Obviously, the likes of Rudd and Peña excel in this environment, playing to their strengths, though the chemistry and easiness shared by every actor you see on screen is palpable, especially between Rudd and Lilly. It’s a fun movie to watch, and though I adored Infinity War, it’s a refreshing change from the heaviness of the Thanos-centred narrative. As you might expect from a Marvel movie, the SFX and fight sequences are all top notch, and the shrink/growth technology employed by the two primary heroes is utilised to great effect. Even the other fairly ridiculous aspects of the Ant-Man universe, such as giant ants playing electric drums (oh yes), are perfectly passable in this movie, in keeping with its tone.

The not so good stuff

My only criticism of Ant-Man and the Wasp centres on something that, to be honest, its makers can’t really do very much about, and that my extraordinarily clever analogy in the opening paragraph referred to: it’s a filler movie.

I actually missed seeing it in the cinema during its release because it didn’t feel like a huge priority at the time – I was still digesting the epic blockbuster that was Infinity War and didn’t fancy going to see a movie that seemed to have no real bearing on Avengers: Endgame. Maybe I’m not as hardcore as I thought.

However, don’t be fooled – the whole premise of this seemingly-small Marvel offering may actually have huge implications for the final act in the Avengers story. You may be able to piece together a few theories before even watching the movie (assuming you’ve seen the first one), and the teaser trailer for Endgame was noticeably Ant-Man-centric towards the end. I may be wrong, but I’d be surprised if what happens in Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t inform the plotline of Endgamein some significant way.

The bottom line

I suggest you grab this one on DVD or Blu Ray soon and enjoy a quiet night in front of the fire with this small but potentially-crucial cog in the big MCU machine. It’s a solid movie with a good cast and a decent storyline that may not leave you quite as thrilled as other Marvel flicks, but should keep you ticking over until Captain Marvelarrives in the spring.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

David McIlroy
Freelance writer/contributor based in Northern Ireland. Degrees in English, Film and Youth Work. Married to the beautiful Christine. My main things: God, family, movies, reading, and Liverpool FC.

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