Ant-Man and the Wasp [Celluloid Hero]
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
It's pretty much tradition for me to be about one movie behind in the MCU. Captain Marvel is in theaters now, so it was time for me to catch up and watch the second Ant-Man movie as the Avengers: Endgame looms on the horizon.
My memory of the finer details of Civil War are somewhat hazy, but Scott Lang's Ant-Man was on #TeamCap, and got busted by the feds after the iconic airport fight. After a few years of house arrest, Scott is drawn back into being Ant-Man when Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) tries to rescue his wife from the Quantum Realm. The entire story was told as a flashback in the first Ant-Man, but becomes the entire focus of this sequel.
Entering the story is a mysterious villain, Ghost, who has an ability to fluctuate between physical states. A deeper backstory from Pym's past is revealed, so Ant-Man and the Wasp have to battle the villain while battling the clock trying to rescue the original Wasp, all while avoiding a crook who wants their tech, and keeping Scott off the FBI's radar. It's a cat-and-mouse game with multiple cats and mice.
While it was entertaining to watch, I think the most damning thing I can say is that it's mostly unmemorable. There were too many subplots, too many pauses in the action (not saying I need non-stop fight scenes, but too many scenes just ground things to a halt and should have been cut), just too much. I get that the MCU has to balance telling a stand-alone story along with continuing the Infinity Wars thread, trying to figure out how all these pieces fit together, but I feel like this was another example of a homework assignment that I needed to complete.
I love Paul Rudd, I love Michael Pena; Michael Douglas was solid; Evangeline Lilly and Walton Goggins and Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer were all fine. Hannah John-Kamen's turn as the villain Ghost had some great moments, but overall felt kind of blah.
If they had stripped a lot of the extraneous stuff away, I think I would have really liked it. But, with all the extras and diversions, this falls into the middle of the pack of the MCU. I will admit I loved the post-credits scene, and I have a decent idea of how Endgame will go (although I still refuse to watch the trailer), which still keeps me excited about the MCU in general.
[Celluloid Hero] gives "Ant-Man and the Wasp" a 5 out of 10.