BEIRUT: ANT MAN seems to be the only hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who doesn’t have a massive fanbase.
When the first film was released, its box office numbers were not great, though when push came they did garner a sequel; but was the sequel good enough?
Picking up post the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR - yes, the MCU timeline is starting to get as complex as that of STAR WARS - Scott is under house arrest, opening a new security business, and hasn’t spoken to neither Hope Van Dine nor Hank Pym since the events at the airport in Germany.
Promising to stay away from hero matters, Scott tries to sever ties with his superhero persona only to be dragged back in due to a discovery that Janet Van Dyne placed a message inside Lang’s brain, when he went subatomic in the first film.
So, now Lang and co. are on a race against time to find and rescue Janet from the beyond, all the while battling foes who are also after the same tech and Pym’s lab.
The thing that stands out the most in this entry is the incessant need to show off the character of The Wasp, in what is supposed to be a sequel to Ant Man.
Yes, having a female superhero appear for the first time in the MCU is fun and exciting - The Wasp’s fight sequences, car chase sequences, etc… steal the show; but it’s done at the cost of Scott.
He is given a malfunctioning suit and literally becomes the laughing stock of the entire film.
Lang is certainly no Tony Stark, but he is a hero in his own right, and making him the butt of every joke does a massive disservice to both characters.
When issues like this are handled in this manner it only shows that Van Dyne, The Wasp, is a good hero only because Lang, Ant Man, is not; the reality should be that they’re both good because they are who they are: Ant Man and the Wasp.
Putting the ideological elements aside, the film is a fun time at the movies.
Upping the ante with the shrinking and the growing, ANT MAN AND THE WASP creates a very engaging and entertaining visual treat.
The events of the film don’t take place in outer space or Asgard, they take place in the real mundane, normal world.
But, the audience gets to experience it from these weird, radically different perspectives.
This is what makes the Ant-Man films enjoyable, and it almost reminds you of the days when you used to play with action figures and your imagination used to be larger than life.
An easy to understand and light-hearted narrative, the events of ANT MAN AND THE WASP don’t truly have radical consequences on the macro-level, though the scene after the credits does hold an interesting twist, due to it catching up with the events of AVENGERS INFINITY WAR.
Returning to the director’s chair, Peyton Reed, who helmed the first installment, brings the audience back into the world of ANT MAN with great ease, yet doesn’t recycle.
He and screenwriters Chris Mckenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari - why this film needed five screenwriters is beyond confusing - raise the bar by infusing the sequel with great sequences, chuckle-worthy jokes, and heart.
The performances here are nothing special and all actors do a good enough job to carry the film, though young Abby Ryder Fortson, who plays Lang’s daughter Cassie, is pure magic.
ANT MAN AND THE WASP is an amusing film, but the amusement begins to fade into the depths of the quantum realm.
It’s strange how Marvel can deliver unforgettable films, and then at the same time, can bring us the instantaneously forgettable entertainment films as well, yet can never actually deliver a horrible film.
Filled with lighthearted entertainment, brilliantly choreographed shrinking fight sequences, and witty jokes, ANT MAN AND THE WASP is a perfect way to chill for a couple of hours this summer before moving on to other matters once the film is over.
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