Warning, there be spoilers ahead mate.
Ok, now that that is out of the way, let's talk about "Ant-man and the Wasp". It will come as no surprise that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has released yet another highly anticipated and financially successful blockbuster. For the past ten years, Marvel Studios has masterfully created and marketed an intricately interwoven universe of films. Planning an overarching plot that spans years of films, and creating an ever-loyal fan base in the process.
As a longtime fan of both the comics and the films, I will unashamedly eat up every teaser they release and brave the herds of sticky children and spilled soda to see just about every film in theaters. That being said I was admittedly a little…skeptical when the first Ant-Man film was announced. The hero was one of the ones I had never gotten around to reading in the comics, and the concept seemed rather…cheesy.
Oh, boy was I wrong.
The first Ant-man movie was not only comic genius carried brilliantly between Paul Rudd (Scott Lang) and Michael Peña (Luis) but has a well-planned plot. This film created an action-packed comedy goldmine, using pop culture and physical comedy (a.k.a. giant Thomas the Tank Engine) to create surprisingly well rounded and interestingly believable characters. Well, as believable as a man who can shrink to the size of an ant and stop supervillains can be, but hey it's a superhero movie that's the point.
When the sequel was announced I was ecstatic, I would pay to hear Luis' rambling stories alone. Then came "Avengers: Infinity War. Ouch. I saw it coming, but ouch. After a brief, or not so brief, mourning period I was even more ready to see "Ant-man and the Wasp". I desperately needed something a little less soul-crushing to carry me over until the next Avengers film.
Luckily, it delivered. The film in typical Marvel fashion was closely tied to the events of other Marvel movies. That gave this film a heavy backstory to draw on and gave it a real sense of time and place. As with the first film, the sequel provided a lot of sidesplitting moments beautifully woven into an action-filled plot.
And yes, Luis did his rambling story thing, though not nearly enough.
I will say, however, the plot was not as strong as its predecessor and it was quite a bit more serious. The overall tone of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been intensifying and speeding towards the apocalyptic nightmare that is Infinity War. So it is likely the tone of "Ant-man and the Wasp" was deliberate to help it blend in with the overall narrative and prepare the audience for that horrific post credit scene.
All I can say is...bring the dustpan.
Like I said I loved the movie, it definitely hit the spot after "Infinity War". But I did feel like the plot could have been better. It wasn't bad, but it had the potential to be a lot better.
The whole scheme felt a bit drawn thin and overcomplicated. The resolution was quite satisfying at the end at least. If not a little too satisfying. Happy family reunions. Lot's of tears. The whacky "villainess" that we all felt sort of bad for, got the help she needed.
And then poof. Literally. I knew that somehow this film would tie into "Infinity War" to bring Ant-man on to the scene for the next installment. However, the cliffhanger that left me feeling sympathy claustrophobia for Scott was not how I was expecting to go.
With the Pyms dust in the wind (sorry) and Scott trapped in the Quantum Realm, this film managed to bring you from a neatly packaged impossibly happy ending to dread and anticipation.
Overall, I loved this film. It may not be Marvel's strongest film but it was hilarious and intense. It was far and beyond better than other superhero offerings this year (I am looking at you, DC). I may have returned to my pre-film state of dread, anticipation, and denial, but it was well worth it.
I would definitely recommend seeing this one in theaters while you can.