Review: “Ant-Man and the Wasp” Goes for Big Laughs

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” Goes for Big Laughs

While the original Ant-Man received mixed reviews, I did enjoy the film, especially Paul Rudd as Ant-Man / Scott Lang. Ant-Man and the Wasp, the second film monpololizes on what the original did well and that was the Paul Rudd factor. Despite what you think of the first Ant-Man, it is difficult to deny the pull that Rudd has as the character. He is both endearing and hilariously quirky. The awareness and utilization of this in the second film make it all the more entertaining. They up the ante with his antics as well as his attitude, making this film a significantly different film than we’ve seen in the rest of the Marvel Universe. After the decimation of half the Marvel universe in Avengers: Infinity War,  this is a much lighter and much-needed break from the drama and destruction.

As I said, Paul Rudd carries a lot of the humor in this film with his campy attitude, but some of the best scenes in the film come from his interactions with the youngest member of the cast, Abby Ryder Fortson who plays his daughter, Cassie. I’ll be the first to say that I am always leery of child actors because they can either make or break a film in a lot of ways. Fortunately, Fortson is a delight on screen and has authentic chemistry with Rudd. Together, they provide some memorable, heartfelt, and genuine moments that move the audience at some points.

The rest of the cast works well. Michael Peña, one of my favorites from the first film gives it a second go around this time, and while most of his scenes hit well, it does feel a little too over the top at a few points. Despite this, the character remains a favorite of mine in the series. Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp/ Hope does a decent job as well. She was a more serious character but had an opportunity to shine in the action scenes. She has some exhilarating action sequences in this film. I’m not spoiling anything by saying this, but the chase scene in the trailer with the Hello Kitty Pez dispenser is an engrossing scene to watch and one of my favorites of the film. The supporting characters are interesting themselves, but the film seems to be a bit overstuffed with characters and storylines.

The story of this film is relatively complicated to tell without really ruining or spoiling parts of the film since the trailer doesn’t get into the story too much. There are multiple storylines at play that, while I feel do enhance the characters and story, tend to get a little overdone at times. Having the numerous storylines and characters may overcomplicate a film that succeeds so well because of the simplicity and authenticity of its main character.

The special effects in the film are top-notch. With effects that rely on shrinking and growing everyday things into minuscule or gigantic proportions, your special effects have to be on point and Ant-Man and the Wasp delivers. From the tiniest details on a Hello Kitty Pez dispenser to the shifting variables of time and space, the special effects are awe-inspiring and offer the audience a look at the world and life they would never have the opportunity to see. The vision and inspiration behind the film is impressive, and the visuals showcase a distinct aesthetic the director, Peyton Reed, wanted to show.

Ant-Man and the Wasp works so well because it is very self-aware. It knows the type of film it is and the type of film it isn’t. It is undoubtedly a laugh-out-loud blockbuster superhero movie that will entertain audiences and provide a much-needed break to all the drama happening elsewhere in the Marvel Universe after Avengers: Infinity War. Paul Rudd breathes life into Scott Lang and gives us a superhero that feels authentic and more human, therefore more relatable. Evangeline Lilly kicks major ass as The Wasp, and I can’t wait to see where they take the story, especially following that end credits scene YOU MUST SEE!

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, iZombie, and Grimm.

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