Ant-Man and the Wasp
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Randall Park, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne,
2015’s “Ant-Man” was an insignificant part Marvel universe, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. The character was better incorporated into the franchise, in “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) which is where this film picks up. So, if you haven’t seen that one, you’re already lost. Ant-Man has been absent from The Avengers films, including “Infinity War,” but “Ant-Man and the Wasp” hints at how Ant-Man might fit into the larger puzzle. Director Payton Reed returns for the sequel and while this one feels less like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” this one is a 30-minute screenplay desperately stretched into an agonizing two- hours. The expanded cast doesn’t improve things either, with Pfeiffer getting only about six minutes of total screen time.
Scott Lang is serving two years house arrest for the calamity he caused assisting Cap in Germany. Though ankle bracelet confines him to suburban San Francisco, he continues being the world’s greatest dad to Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) and daughter Hope (Lilly) have been working tirelessly to bring wife and mother Janet (Pfeiffer), aka the original Wasp, back from her quantum shrinkage over forty years ago. A premonition from Scott’s offers newfound hope, and a cause for him to flee from house arrest. For differing reasons, a mysterious foe called The Ghost (Kamen) and southern villain, Sonny Burch (Goggins), are both after Pym’s technology, which leads to a lot of destruction for the city.
Adding “Wasp” to the title gave me “hope” that our female counterpart would have either equal importance or at least equal screen time, sadly neither is the case.
Rudd’s charisma is one of the only sustainable elements in this otherwise unsustainable superhero film. Adding “Wasp” to the title gave me “hope” that our female counterpart would have either equal importance or at least equal screen time, sadly neither is the case. “Ant-Man 2” can’t wait to introduce us to Marvel’s second female villain, but similar to Blanchett’s Hela in “Thor Ragnarok,” there isn’t much depth to the character. It doesn’t help that her costume looks like a Star Wars wardrobe malfunction. The script has a few clever jabs, Lang’s comment on the overuse of the word “quantum” and similar creative moments that play with the size ratio. But we have seen all this before, and like other solo character films, “Ant-Man” functions as a placeholder until the more important superheroes films return.
“Ant-Man 2” is an expensive version of hot-potato, where Pym’s shrinkable science lab is passed around every ten minutes for the full length of the movie. Pena gets a handful of one-liners that relieve us from the action comedy, he might be the second-best asset this sequel has. The special effects are not going to win any awards, and as far as summer blockbusters go, “Ant-Man” won’t be the memorable favorite. “Operation rescue mom” feels like an insignificant piece of the puzzle, especially when “Infinity Wars” ended the way it did. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will pacify the super fans until “Captain Marvel” debuts in the spring.
“Ant-Man 2” is like oatmeal, no one really wants oatmeal for breakfast, but sometimes you are outta groceries and that's all you got.