Ant-Man and the Wasp Review:
2 Palm Trees out of 4
by Manuel Reynoso
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 superhero film based on the Ant-Man and the Wasp. The sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Peyton Reed and written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. Starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly.
Still riding high off the wild ride that Avengers: Infinity War was, I was actually looking forward to watching another Marvel movie, but perhaps going in expecting things like impactful themes, nuanced villains, and meaningful dialogue was unreasonable for an Ant-Man movie. It certainly was a fun watch with plenty of witty jokes and well done action scenes, but it felt like just more of the same Superhero movies we’ve been going to see for the last decade. Along with some questionable directing and massive overuse of sci fi techno babble, I walked away painfully underwhelmed.
Now that isn’t to say Ant-Man and the Wasp was a complete disappointment. The manipulation of size lead to some fun fight scenes and car chases. Paul Rudd continues to be his hilarious self and really has the only redeeming dialogue in this film. There is enough here for me to not completely write this film off. Ant-Man and the Wasp could be especially fun for families with small children, but that’s where my praise ends.
There were plenty of strange directing decisions that threw me off, but none more than the director’s strange over reliance of Chekhov’s gun. Chekhov’s gun is a pretty basic storytelling device: essentially you introduce an interesting item, and then the audience gets the payoff of seeing said item move the plot along. Usually used sparingly in a film, apparently Ant-Man and the Wasp find this this technique hilarious, because they do it over and over and over again. So many times our attention is put on a random item, like there is going to be some incredibly clever usage of it, with the resulting payoff being completely vapid.
I wish my complaints ended here, I really do. I should have enjoyed the film more, but so much of the dialogue is just a slog to get through. I just couldn’t get myself through all the sci fi mumbo-jumbo speak. Hearing whole conversations consist of random science terms with the word quantum slapped on is just not engaging at all. Usually I expect a film to lay it all out in the beginning and get it out of the way, but instead we have to hear about quantum this and quantum that. The amount I cared by the end was literally at the quantum level itself.
Don’t get me wrong if you can look past my gripes, you can still have a good time. Perhaps I went into this with the wrong mindset; maybe I should have just enjoyed it for what it was, a light hearted action romp with some witty jokes, but it really wasn’t all that special of one.
Rated PG-13 1h58m