‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ (Film)

‘ANT-MAN AND THE WASP’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Hope van Dyne becomes the Wasp

This movie is just as fun the second time I watched it on Blu-ray in 2020! 🙂

On Saturday the 25th of August 2018, I saw the movie ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’! I have to tell you, I really enjoyed it! I didn’t see the first ‘Ant-Man’ movie first before seeing ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and yet I still enjoyed the sequel. I found it easy to get into as a film and enjoyed everything about it.

I enjoyed all the comedy, the drama and the action sequences throughout. The visuals were pretty impressive too. At the time, I was getting into the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ movies properly by watching all of the previous films from the first two phases in the collector’s edition DVD box sets. 🙂

This was pretty fun to do. I’d just seen Phase One of the ‘MCU’ by the time I saw ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ at the cinema. I was looking forward to seeing the first ‘Ant-Man’ movie in Phase Two of the ‘MCU’ on DVD after seeing ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ at the cinema. It was a good, happy experience.

I could’ve seen the first ‘Ant-Man’ movie first before I saw ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ at the cinema, but I decided not to. It was nice to be surprised by what I saw and could easily get into. Granted there are elements that are carried over from the first ‘Ant-Man’ film, but it’s fairly straight-forward.

I didn’t purchase ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray at around December time in 2018 after it was shown at the cinemas in August that year. I had it given to me by my parents as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part Two’ Blu-ray box set.

That was for Christmas 2019! 🙂 ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. The film was directed by Peyton Reed, who directed the first ‘Ant-Man’ film. It also featured Evangeline Lily as Hope van Dyne/Wasp, Michael Peña as Luis, Walter Goggins as Sonny Burch, Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr/Ghost, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. All of the cast deliver exceptional performances in this fun movie.

With me seeing this ‘Ant-Man’ film for the first time, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the first time I’d seen Ant-Man in a movie before. Oh no! The first time I saw Ant-Man was when he made an appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which I saw as a birthday film at the cinema in May 2016.

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ even includes references to Ant-Man’s appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which I enjoyed. This movie also takes place before the ending of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. This movie depicts what Ant-Man was doing when the Infinity War happened. This we’ll get to later.

So what can I tell you about ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ as a story from seeing it at the cinema in 2018 as well as seeing it on Blu-ray in 2020? Well, the film has Scott Lang under house arrest following his involvement with ‘Civil War’. Scott can’t leave his house until his house arrest is over in a few days. 😦

Soon, Scott Lang finds himself reunited with Hope van Dyne and her father Dr. Hank Pym. This is after Scott had a dream about Hank’s wife Janet. He phoned Hank to tell him about it. Scott got kidnapped by Hope from his house to meet her and Hank at their new lab and to solve the dream. 🙂

Hank Pym and her daughter have been creating a quantum gateway in order to get Hank’s wife Janet back from a quantum realm that she disappeared into. This was when Janet, the original Wasp, was working with Hank as the original Ant-Man. Hope also becomes the new super-heroine…the Wasp. 🙂

Eventually, Ant-Man and Wasp team up with Hope’s father, Hank Pym, in order to rescue his wife and Hope’s mother. But problems ensue when the villainous Ghost wants Dr. Pym’s lab that’s been shrunk to the size of a suitcase. Can Ant-Man and the Wasp work together to defeat the Ghost here?

I like how inventive the movie is, especially in terms of its visual effects trickery with shrinking characters like Ant-Man and the Wasp down to size as well as growing back up to full-size and even giant-sized. Most of the visual effects trickery works well especially for the comedy-drama effect. 😀

Most of it isn’t just comedy-drama of course. The visual effects are also utilised for some pretty impressive action-packed sequences between our heroes and villains. I believe director Peyton Reed has stepped up a gear from making the first ‘Ant-Man’ movie in this specific second ‘Ant-Man’ film. 🙂

A lot of the sciencey stuff in these superhero films, especially ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, can be complex and mind-boggling when you’re watching them. I was able to get the gist of what was going on in the film, especially when Hank Pym ventured into the quantum realm in order to save his wife.

Many of the action sequences take place in San Francisco, especially during the climax where there’s a spectacular car chase of our heroes outrunning the villains who want to get their hands on Pym’s mobile shrunken lab. Once again, the visual effects team are at their best with the action sequences.

The film is also very good in presenting the quieter dramatic moments, especially between characters. This was certainly something evident in the first film and it was good to see that resurfaced again in the second film, without too many distractions in so many special effects scenes.

I enjoyed Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in this movie. He’s a cocky hero with a sense of humour and I loved the scenes he had with his little daughter Cassie. The relationships he had with Hope and her father Hank Pym are enjoyable, even when they’re fractious towards each other in this movie. 😐

Apparently, Paul Rudd was one of the writers of the ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ movie. When you have an actor writing for the film in some measure, you know the dialogue is often going to be down-to-earth and enjoyable to listen to. There are definitely some enjoyable lines of dialogue to be found. 🙂

It was amusing and somehow sweet when Paul Rudd assumed Michelle Pfeiffer’s character for a bit when interacting with Hank Pym and Hope. It was also amusing when Scott grew to giant size, coming up out of the sea in order to get back Pym’s portable shrunk lab stolen by Sonny Burch here.

Evangeline Lilly is great to watch as Hope van Dyne/the Wasp in this film. I know I said it before in the first ‘Ant-Man’ film review, but for me, Evangeline Lily played Tauriel in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy. It was great to see her in this film compared to seeing her playing an elf warrior in ‘The Hobbit’ films.

Hope’s hair style has changed since she’s grown it to be longer instead of having a shorter haircut. Apparently she had a wig in the first movie. Hmm! 😀 It was interesting to see how Hope’s relationship with Scott Lang got played out in this film and how she resented him at the beginning. 😐

The tension is there since Scott went off to be involved in ‘Civil War’ without Hope and Hank Pym’s consent. Whilst the tension’s there, there is still the possible romantic thing going on between Scott and Hope. I’m sure the romance is there especially as she kissed him towards the end of this film. 😀

There’s also Michael Peña as Luis, who was Lang’s former cellmate and he once again provides the comedy relief in this film. It was fun to see Luis in the film, especially when he and Scott were running a business, despite Scott being made house-bound. Luis is in touch with Scott throughout. 🙂

Luis founds and runs X-Con Security Consultants, which is interesting compared to how he; Scott and others were former cat burglars once. Luis becomes of use to Scott and Hope when they have to try and steal back Hank Pym’s lab from the villainous Ghost in order to send Hank off to rescue his wife.

During the car chase sequence, Luis gets to drive a ‘Hot Wheels’ car that grows to full-size and works like a perfect car. Unless of course the car was originally normal-sized before shrunk down to a toy! 😀 There is a scene where Luis riffles through a long story when he has a truth serum given to him. 😀

Walton Goggins stars as Sonny Burch, who is a low-level criminal type who wants to have Pym’s technology to sell on the black market. Honestly, at the time of seeing this film, I didn’t think much of Sonny Burch. I thought he was only going to appear in one scene of this film and that would be it.

As far as I was concerned, his job was done in that first scene of his. But no! He kept coming back at numerous points throughout the film and he just seemed to be annoying, getting in the way of our heroes’ goals. I did wonder what was he doing coming back into the film now and again throughout!

Sonny Burch could’ve just been in one scene of the film. Why was he included in more scenes in the film to drag it out? Or…did I just answer my own question? It was amusing when Ant-Man in giant form managed to get back Hank’s shrunk lab from Sonny Burch and pushed him over with his finger.

Hannah John-Kamen stars as the villainous Ava Starr/Ghost in the film. Now her character is intriguing since she came out of nowhere to get Pym’s lab by distracting Ant-Man and the Wasp. She also has a tragic backstory in which her father died and she got caught up in some terrible explosion.

Ava Starr/Ghost is a woman with a molecular instability. She can phase through objects and is attempting to use Pym’s lab in order to restore her body to normal reality. She had Bill Foster, one of Hank Pym’s colleagues, helping her to cope with her unusual powers as she was growing up in life. 😐

I could argue that the Ghost’s story arc and background seemed to be weak, especially when her issues were resolved by the end. But I enjoyed watching her as a character and enjoyed trying to understand her motivations. Intriguingly, the Ghost was originally a male character in the comics. 😀

Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Janet van Dyne, Hank Pym’s wife, Hope’s mother and the original Wasp. Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman in ‘Batman Returns’ and she was in the 2017 film adaptation of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. It was great to see Michelle come full circle in doing a Marvel movie.

After all, she did do a DC film with ‘Batman Returns’. 😀 Janet appears almost towards the end of the film when Hank finds and reunites with her in the quantum realm. The reunion is touching, especially as Hank hasn’t seen her in a wife in a long time. She’s also changed quite significantly. 😐

This is due to being in the quantum realm where she seems to have acquired healing powers. This is when she comes into contact with Hank as well as the Ghost. Michelle Pfeiffer also appears in scenes where she’s a younger Janet and she’s saying goodbye to Hope as a little girl before he disappears. 🙂

Laurence Fishburne stars as Bill Foster, an old colleague of Hank Pym’s. Laurence Fishburne has also been in ‘The D.C. Extended Universe’ as Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet with Superman. He also did the voice for the Silver Surfer in the ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ film in 2007.

Bill Foster and Hank Pym used to work together on Project Goliath before Pym fired him. It’s soon revealed that Bill Foster is in cahoots with the Ghost as they both capture Ant-Man, Wasp and Hank Pym when they try to get the lab back. Bill Foster has protected Ava Starr since she was a little girl. 🙂

But there comes a point when Bill Foster sees Ava Starr as Ghost going too far in her plans to get what she wants, even if it means the deaths of people like Hank Pym and such. Will Bill Foster help Ava in her plans or will he find a way to stop her going too far? Will he still protect Ava after all this?

And there’s Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. At the beginning, Hank is not pleased to see Scott Lang again and considers him the last person to talk to due to Scott’s involvement in ‘Civil War’. Hank had to give up his house in order for him and Hope to run away and avoid being caught by FBI.

Hank’s past catches up with him when people like Bill Foster turn against him as well as what happened to Ava Starr when she becomes the ghost. I enjoyed the banter and camaraderie shared between Hank, Scott and Hope as the film progressed. Some of Hank’s one-liners were very funny. 🙂

This includes Hank’s ‘chimp’ line to Scott when he became chimp-sized to get the miniaturised Ant-Man suit from a trophy in her daughter Cassie’s school bag. There’s also Hank noticing Scott being enamoured with Hope. Hank gets him to snap him out of it to get on with an undercover mission. 😀

The film also features Bobby Cannavale as Jim Paxton, Cassie’s stepdad and Judy Greer as Maggie, Cassie’s mom. Unlike the previous ‘Ant-Man’ film, Paxton and Maggie are more supportive of Scott Lang and welcome him into their family. They also protest to the FBI for rummaging about his house.

There’s also Tip ‘T.I’ Harris as Dave and David Dastmalchian as Kurt, who were in the previous ‘Ant-Man’ film too. They were former cellmates with Scott Lang and they’re now members of the X-Con Security crew. Like Michael Peña’s character, they provide quite a lot of the comic relief for this film.

There’s Abby Ryder-Fortson as Cassie, Scott Lang’s daughter. I like Cassie since she’s very supportive of her father and looks up to him being a hero. She also protects him when the FBI suspect that he’s out of the house and being Ant-Man. She covers for him just in time before Scott Lang returns home.

And there’s Randall Park as Jimmy Woo, an FBI agent and Scott Lang’s parole officer. I enjoyed Agent Woo’s scenes in the movie, especially when he suspected Scott Lang was not in his home as he should be. Just when Woo is about to catch Scott out, Scott manages to get away with it, unseen! 😀

The film also features Michael Cerveris as Elihas Starr, Ava’s father; Riaan Steele as Catherine, Starr’s wife and Ava’s mother; Tim Heidecker as a whale boat captain called Daniel Gooobler and how can we forget Stan Lee making a cameo in this movie? Stan Lee’s outtake scenes on the Blu-ray are great!

Like I said, I enjoyed the blend of action, comedy and drama in this film, especially when Ant-Man and the Wasp grow giant-sized and miniaturise to become ant-sized. The Wasp has the ability to fly whilst Ant-Man still has to ride on an ant that can fly to get to places which must be very difficult. 😀

One of my favourite scenes in the movie is when Ant-Man summons an ant to come to him so that he can fly somewhere, before a seagull eats the ant up. I can’t tell you how much I laughed at that moment. I did find myself having to replay that scene over and over as I just found it so funny in this.

There were also some really good moments of strong character drama throughout the film. ‘Ant and the Wasp’ is a film that made me care about the characters, even though I saw it for the first time without seeing the first ‘Ant-Man’ film at the cinema. I don’t think many superhero films can do that.

The ‘MCU’ films can either be hit or miss when it comes to character-driven stories. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a film that definitely did it for me. Also, when you compare the Marvel superhero movies to the latest DC superhero movies, I find myself gearing more for the Marvel superhero films.

This is especially when characters do seem to be well-written in the Marvel films than the DC superhero films. Most films tend to be flash-bang-wallop and focus less on characters and more on story. Sometimes this can work in a film’s favour by doing that approach. Sometimes it can’t work. 😐

There is an argument that the Wasp’s appearance in this movie overshadowed Ant-Man’s appearance. There should be a balance between the two I agree, but I still enjoyed the interaction Ant-Man had with the Wasp and after seeing both ‘Ant-Man’ films, I found the two gelled well together.

The Blu-ray special features of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ are as follows. There’s the director’s intro by Peyton Reed. There are making-of featurettes including ‘Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang’, ‘A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp’, ‘Subatomic Superheroes: Hank & Janet’ and ‘Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’. There’s a gag reel and outtakes section which includes a gag reel; Stan Lee outtakes and Tim Heidecker outtakes. There are also deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Peyton Reed as well as an audio commentary for the film by director Peyton Reed.

‘Ant and the Wasp’ is a great superhero film from the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. I enjoyed seeing it at the cinema and I’m glad I’ve seen both ‘Ant-Man’ films to get a clearer idea of the story along with ‘Captain America: Civil War’. I need to watch all the ‘Ant-Man’ movies to see them as a whole. 🙂

The performances of the cast are brilliant and the action sequences are amazing, well-balanced with the comedy throughout. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are excellent in their roles of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Who knows where the ‘Ant-Man’ tale will go next after seeing the conclusion of this film?

Speaking of conclusions; in the mid-credits scene; Scott, Hank, Janet and Hope plan to harvest quantum energy to help Ava Starr remain stable. Scott gets sent into the quantum realm before Hank, Janet and Hope get turned to dust as a result of Thanos’ finger-clicking in ‘Infinity War’. (gasp) And there’s a giant ant playing a drum-kit in Scott’s house. What?! How long has the ant been there? 😀

‘ANT-MAN AND THE WASP WILL RETURN?’ Yeah! I hope Ant-Man will return. Whether Wasp will return…Hmm! Not sure why Ant-Man and Wasp weren’t summoned to join in the fight in ‘Infinity War’. Hopefully it’ll be resolved when it comes to Captain Marvel’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ soon. 🙂

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ rating – 9/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Great review Tim i enjoyed this film & it blends action & comedy nicely, great cast, good character arcs letdown slightly by the lack of a threatful villain.

    Ghost started off great as a advisory but as soon as you give her a emotional backstory you make the character vulnerable & to be honest Sonny Burch is hardly Thanos material.

    However despite this minor flaw this a great sequel that delivers 2 hours of entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’.

      This is a great film to watch and I like how the comedy and the drama blend nicely in this film. I’m looking forward to getting the chance to see all two ‘Ant-Man’ films in one go someday. 😀

      Yeah, I can appreciate how you feel about Ghost starting off being great as a villain before becoming vulnerable and less threatening. But honestly, I found her character journey in this movie fascinating. And no, she can’t compare to how Thanos turned out as a villain.

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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