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Arts Entertainment

Review: "Ant-Man and the Wasp"

Marvel's smallest Avenger returns for a second installment.

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Review: "Ant-Man and the Wasp"

After the events of "Captain America: Civil War," our favorite insect-friendly superhero is put under house arrest. That is until he is recruited by his old allies Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne to save Hank's wife from the mysterious Quantum Realm. But this is easier said than done as the FBI, gangsters, and a new villain calling herself Ghost are hot on their tail.

Easily the strongest aspect of this film is its characters. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man is a joy to watch with both amusing quips and a genuine, fatherly heart. Rudd may have began as an odd choice to play a superhero, but he plays the little guy, perfectly. The same goes for Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Without getting into spoiler territory, not everyone thinks highly of Dr. Pym and he might have some skeletons in his closet, and Douglas plays this surprisingly layered character masterfully. But easily the standout of this movie is Michael Peña as Ant-Man's friend Luis. Peña stole the show in the first film and he is back in full force here as a bumbling ex-con turned businessman with some of the funniest lines in the whole thing, including a callback to his narrated flashback from the original "Ant-Man"

But heroes are only as strong as their villains, and the baddies Ant-Man is up against are certainly...there. They're okay. The clear stand out is Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost if only because of creative use of her power to phase through solid objects, but she's no Killmonger or Thanos. Aside from that, the rest of the bad guys here are generic mobsters and government spooks. It seems that Marvel Studios just can't quite shake their bland villain curse.

Sorry to say, but some of the character chemistry is lacking as well. Now, Rudd and Evangeline Lily as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp make for a fun crime fighting duo, but I did not buy them as a couple for a second. That spark simply isn't there, which is frankly shocking given director Peyton Reed's background in romantic comedies.

Speaking of which, this movie unfortunately continues the Marvel tradition constant quips. While the jokes here mostly land, they often happen in emotional scenes and just break the immersion as a result.

At least the action sequences on display are fun. Ant-Man and Wasp's size-changing along with Ghost's phasing make for some really creative brawls. From running on knives to battles with tardigrades, it's amazing what these effects artists could accomplish.

Overall, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" is a fun time at the theater, but falls far short of being the phenomenon that "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War" were. Still, it's a pleasant enough time-killer with enough creativity and comedy to make it worth a watch.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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