Big6 Blog: Ant-Man And The Wasp Review

By Jason Martin, July 6, 2018

Sometimes it’s okay for a movie not to try to change your worldview or really assault your senses with anything other than pure entertainment, and after a heavy-handed, yet wildly successful turn to the dark side for Marvel with Avengers: Infinity War, Paul Rudd steps back into his sometimes tiny, sometimes gigantic super suit and brings the laughs one would expect from the still young Ant-Man franchise.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is not going to save the universe, but it’s worth the price of admission and then some because it’s so enjoyable, and through the process of its story, it doesn’t wear out its welcome. The original Ant-Man hit theaters in 2015, and, despite not being one of the more recognizable, glitzy, A-list heroes, did well at the box office and in the reviews. If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll enjoy the second almost as much, or perhaps more, dependent upon whether you’re okay with much of the humor being telegraphed and dumbed down.

The story is both razor thin and obnoxiously complex. What does that mean? It means the mythology behind things like the Quantum Realm and some of the technological definitions are beyond what the audience is going to be able to grasp in specifics. Luckily, none of it matters. As long as you realize the difference between our world and another one where things are less stable, far more mysterious, and people can be lost inside this alternate plane of existence, you basically get the gist of it. So, when things start to sound wonky, just tune it out, because it’s irrelevant to the entertainment value of the movie.

Generally, the story is anything but deep, and calling the movie “light” isn’t out of place, especially in comparison to some of the more elaborate MCU entries of the past few years.

This is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film since Infinity War and the 20th overall, but the Ant-Man sequel takes place prior to the events of that movie. At this point, if you don’t know how that movie ended, you’re probably not interested in this one, but needless to say, it relied upon an open-ended villain-centric victory, at least temporarily, and left more questions than answers. Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t really touch on these issues at all, instead focusing on the story of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) as they search for her mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Paul Rudd reprises his lead role as Scott Lang, or this generation’s Ant-Man, and just as he was in the first entry, he’s very good and was a perfect casting choice for the character. However, the first half of the film suffers due to some rudimentary and surface dialogue that comes across as contrived and unnecessary. It leaves more of a campy feel, and that may have been writer Chris McKenna’s intent, but at times it does have a tendency to bring out a few eye rolls due to just how obvious and then over-explained the jokes are, particularly early in the film.

For as predictable as the conclusion is, the road to get there is much more joyride than slog, and benefits from the chemistry of the cast, as Rudd and Lilly work exceptionally well together and Douglas plays the aging, pessimistic, cantankerous Hank Pym beautifully. The real star of the movie, however, is Michael Pena, whose Luis is consistently and uproariously funny. He was the breakout hero of the 2015 original, and he’s even better this time around, as are his X-Con Security co-workers Tip “T.I.” Harris and David Dastmalchian.

Another treat comes in the form of the always great Walton Goggins, who was born to play a blatant antagonist, and in Ant-Man and the Wasp, he’s up to the task yet again as the ruthless businessman, Sonny Burch. Basically, anything this guy touches is worth seeing just for him if nothing else, and I highly recommend both Justified and The Shield to anybody looking for great television, but he’s getting more and more opportunities on the big screen and regularly takes full advantage of the chances.

In addition, Laurence Fishburne adds a bit more gravitas to the cast as Hank Pym’s former friend and colleague, Bill Foster. He has wanted to be a part of the MCU for quite some time, and he certainly doesn’t phone the performance in. Randall Park steps back into movies and away from Fresh Off the Boat on ABC to play FBI agent Jimmy Woo, and as usual, is funny in both a deliberate and deadpan way.

If you like Marvel films, see this one. If you like good summer popcorn fare, see this film. If you haven’t watched the original, you can survive without it, but I would strongly suggest heading to Netflix and remedying that problem before buying a ticket to Ant-Man and the Wasp. First, the 2015 entry is very good and worth your time, but it will make the 2018 experience and the story much more meaningful to you, which is additionally important because the script is relatively flimsy on its own.

One more note: Stay through the credits. This is one of those where you’ll be extremely disappointed if you find out afterwards that you left and missed what Marvel has in store before closing the curtain on the movie.

I’ll give it a B. It was good, but it was predictable and thin. I liked it very much and it’s an extremely easy watch, but it’s inessential overall to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s absolutely worth seeing and is plenty of fun. Another successful foray for the Ant-Man character, which you may have overlooked, but need to revisit. These movies are two for two folks, and batting .1000, even in just two installments, is still an accomplishment.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a solid, albeit unspectacular effort from Marvel. But that’s more than enough reason to shell out the dough to have a good time. That’s what this movie brings with it. Pure entertainment.

Blogs

Big6 Blog: The Sinner – Part VIII (Season 2 Finale) Review

Big6 Blog: The Sinner – Part VIII (Season 2 Finale) Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 19, 2018) Remember me saying last week that it was shot and timed to make it appear like Julian killed his mother, but that I didn’t buy it? Remember me also saying to anticipate one more twist and that there HAD to be some deeper reason for us spending…

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E10 “The Gold Coast” Review

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E10 “The Gold Coast” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 20, 2018) Season 2 of Ozark has been far more interesting than its predecessor, but it follows the usual pattern of a new installment, because virtually everything has grown bigger, especially the body count. We lost Jacob Snell in the penultimate and Mason Young a few episodes ago, but…

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E9 “The Badger” Review

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E9 “The Badger” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 20, 2018) Here’s a little story about a pair of hopeless, adventurous romantics named Jacob and Darlene Snell. From the moment Ozark showed us the day they met, and especially once Darlene talked Jacob into leaving his girlfriend at the table and going with the gal that “will at…

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E8 “The Big Sleep” Review

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E8 “The Big Sleep” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 18, 2018) Darlene Snell man, this woman is diabolical when she feels disrespected, isn’t she? She leads to Rachel’s overdose, Amos the friendly heroin supplier’s death, and all sorts of other health issues and other deaths in multiple areas. She decided what she needed to do to teach the…

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E7 “One Way Out” Review

Big6 Blog: Ozark: S2E7 “One Way Out” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 18, 2018) How far is too far? When has a road been traveled where it’s impossible to backtrack and fix the mistakes of the past? These are questions we can begin to ask about Marty Byrde, because he’s starting to consider them himself. While his wife is busy trying…

Big6 Blog: Better Call Saul: S4E7 “Something Stupid” Review

Big6 Blog: Better Call Saul: S4E7 “Something Stupid” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 17, 2018) The opening sequence of tonight’s episode was the very epitome of a LITERAL “cold” open. It ended with two people increasingly on different paths, taking different roads, and growing apart. This season for Jimmy McGill has been about deciding to take the low road, rather than simply…

Big6 Blog: Big 6 Takeaways (Titans vs. Texans – Week 2)

Big6 Blog: Big 6 Takeaways (Titans vs. Texans – Week 2)

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 16, 2018) The Tennessee Titans, without their starting quarterback, both starting tackles, their stud TE…no sweat, right? Well, not exactly. It took some bad football from Houston early, some inventive, almost high-school like offense from Matt LaFleur’s offense, and an inexplicably terrible finish for Deshaun Watson on the final…

Titans vs Texans: Everything You Need To Know For Gameday

Titans vs Texans: Everything You Need To Know For Gameday

The Tennessee Titans are set to kick off their 2018 home opener at Nissan Stadium against their week two opponent the Houston Texans. Titans Radio coverage starts at 10am CST with the Lee Company Countdown to Kickoff with Mickey Ryan, Kevin Dyson, Mark Howard and Blaine Bishop LIVE from the Pinnacle Titan Up Tailgate outside…

Big6 Blog: Big 6 Takeaways (UT vs. UTEP)

Big6 Blog: Big 6 Takeaways (UT vs. UTEP)

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 15, 2018) 24-0 sounds good, it really does, until you take a look at the opponent. UTEP, with the loss, has dropped 15 consecutive games. That’s the longest active losing streak in FBS, and the Miners were obliterated by UNLV (Not Larry Johnson, Anderson Hunt, and Stacey Augmon either)…

Better Call Saul: S4E6 “Pinãta” Review

Better Call Saul: S4E6 “Pinãta” Review

By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – September 17, 2018) In another terrific episode, Better Call Saul foreshadowed its own future, as well as the events to come in the Breaking Bad story we’ve already seen. It wasn’t an extended hour or anything overdone, but instead relied upon our knowledge of a certain series of outcomes to…

Headlines