Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Directed by Peyton Reed
Based on the comic book created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Screenplay by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park
Scott Lang (Rudd) is trying to be a decent father on top of his other life as Ant-Man. Things get tricky when Doctor Hank Pym (Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Lilly) ask him to help them with a new and dangerous mission. Now Ant-Man and the Wasp are fighting alongside against a new and dangerous enemy, all while ducking an incompetent crook.
This movie is the follow-up to 2015’s Marvel comic-inspired hit, Ant-Man. Peyton Reed (Yes Man) returned as the director, using a script written by Chris McKenna (The LEGO Batman Movie), Erik Sommers (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer (Haunt), and Gabriel Ferrari (Legends). This one features the return of Paul Rudd (Knocked Up), Evangeline Lilly (The Hurt Locker), Michael Douglas (Wall Street), and Michael Peña (Crash). The film also adds Laurence Fishburne (John Wick 2), Randall Park (The LEGO Ninjago Movie), and Hannah John-Kamen (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to the mix.
The writing for this film connects nicely to Ant-Man, both in the plot and the tone. The script tends to lean into the comedy early, similar to the way that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did. The writers also did a good job crafting a plot that has some real drama. This balance is important since it keeps the stakes high. There are also a number of little twists that work to shift the tone at just the right moments. The action throughout the movie is nicely written to work with the strengths and skills of the characters. This one also introduces a number of new faces that fit in nicely with the returning cast members. The dialogue throughout the movie is nicely written, giving the actors a lot to work with. The story struggles a bit when it comes to the payoffs. Some arcs seem more resolved than others. Without spoiling anything, it’s hard to say much more. As a whole, this one is a solid story that fans of the franchise will enjoy.
The actors all did a great job bringing this one to life. The action sequences benefit from the work the actors did to prepare and execute some nice stunts and fight scenes. There are far more talented people in the film than I am going to spend time on here. Paul Rudd is right back in the groove, playing a character that feels perfect for him. He does a good job rekindling the chemistry between himself and his co-stars.
Evangeline Lilly also does a great job getting back into her role. Like Rudd, she seemed to find a nice connection with her fellow actors. Both of their performances make the most of the comedy, action, and honest emotions in the script. Michael Douglas and Michael Peña also come back with good work in familiar roles. These returning stars all did a great job bringing the world of the first film back to life. They also did a good job connecting with the new faces in the film.
Laurence Fishburne is one of the new actors to join the franchise. His performance really adds a nice touch to the film, and he does a great job with the more dramatic aspects of his role. If Fishburne was brought in to push the drama, Randall Park was called on to bring on the laughs. His role isn’t all comedy, but that’s where he really shines. Both of these men do solid work overall, and they’re great additions to the movie. Hannah John-Kamen also does good work throughout this movie. She has a lot of emotional and physical demands within her role, and she does good work with all of it.
The production work doesn’t disappoint. The cinematography works well with the nicely choreographed action sequences. The visuals also benefit from really good CGI. This allows the abilities of the characters to shine, as well as some of the unique settings in the film. The editing also keeps this one moving at a good pace. The sound work and score also help to make this feel like a complete and well-made movie. Overall, there isn’t a lot to complain about from this one.
This film had a lot to live up to after the success of Ant-Man. The story is solid, but it’s just a little less complete than the first movie. Still, the laughs, drama, and action are all there. The actors all brought their best work to the table. The production work is all where it needs to be. So, fans of the first movie shouldn’t wait to check this one out. I would also suggest this one to fans of the other Marvel movies. If you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War you might want to check that one out first. (It will help a few moments make a little more sense.) Fans of the stars should check this one out as well. I give this one 4.4 out of 5 stars.