After the rather ambiguous ending of this year’s previous MCU entry (Infinity War), I hardly knew what to expect from Ant-Man and the Wasp. For instance, how would I cope with marrying the two stories which prior to my screening, I assumed would run along parallel tracks until they didn’t? Because we all know by now that these stories all fold into one another.
Also playing in the background was a part of me that will forever smart over the “might have beens” as it concerns this franchise over the loss of Edgar Wright’s creative vision. Even with that reservation, I must say, I did enjoy the first film well enough – it was entertaining and proved to me a rather pleasant and enjoyable time at the movies.
So, as I have done many times before, I entered this film with as blank a slate as possible. And while I did find myself laughing on more than one occasion, I also found myself playing that dangerous game of figuring out which pieces of the film fit into the larger Marvel superhero narrative. I say that this is a dangerous path to go down because you end up missing some important plot details; as a result, the story the film is trying to tell has the potential to fall into the background.
The entertainment of the film is carried (duh) on the strength of the performances by the ensemble – I was especially glad to see a more prominent role for Evangeline Lily (the WASP of the title) – as well as the featured performances of Michelle Pfeiffer and Hannah John-Kamen (as the mysterious Ghost). And let’s be real, Paul Rudd is worth watching because he is, in fact, Paul Rudd.
However, I also must admit at times, that it was hard to determine exactly what the filmmakers wanted the film’s tone to be. At its core, Ant-Man is a fun, silly (in the most laudatory sense of the word) romp. Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty of that to consume. But there are points where the film seemed very aware that it was making a potentially dark turn, and immediately pulled back and reoriented the tone to a more comfortable zone.
Is it a film worth seeing? Of course – it stands on its own merits as quite the entertaining film and washes over you in a way that leaves you with a bit of a smile on your face as the credits roll. But if I have to be completely honest, it may not be a film that you have to specifically see in the cinema – especially if you aren’t too bothered with the scaling down of the shrinking and expanding effects on your TV screen at home. And for the loyal MCU filmgoers among us, obviously, it is necessary installment to the overall universe.
Overall, it won’t exceed any expectations, nor will it fail to live up to its remit. In other words, it is a good way to spend a couple of hours.