Ant-Man and the Wasp came out shortly after Infinity War in 2018 and was difficult to watch for a few reasons. First, watching something much more relaxed and humorous after Infinity War was difficult and felt wrong. Second, I felt it didn’t have the same energy as the first Ant-Man film and wasn’t as good. While I did enjoy my rewatch of it, it still feels out of place following the intensity of Infinity War. The villain, Ghost, felt very flat and Hope didn’t have much character development or emotional range. The only saving grace in this film was Scott because of his goal to be a good father and make the most of his house-arrest. I think we should all take a page from Scott’s book when it comes to finding things to do while stuck at home and staying positive!
The film begins with a flashback of how Janet got trapped in the Quantum Realm. Her face is shown for the first time and Marvel used impressive CGI to deage Michelle Pfeiffer (who plays Janet) and Michael Douglas (who plays Hank Pym). Following the normal Marvel intro, we move into current times where we see Scott and his daughter having fun at home. We learn that he’s on house arrest because he violated the Sokovia Accords in Germany and the events of Infinity War have not happened, yet. This film takes place right before the tragic events and ends by tying everything together in the end credit scenes.
The first end credit scene is Janet, Hope, and Hank sending Scott into the Quantum Realm to collect particles to help heal Ghost. As they’re counting down to bring him back, their radio cuts out and we see that all three of them have been dusted. Scott was protected by being in the Quantum Realm, but has no idea what is going on. The next scene shows the news station has cut out, but the large ant that learned his schedule is playing the drums unaware of the events in the world. Right after a phrase appears on the screen that left the audience in shock: “Ant-Man and the Wasp will return?”
There were a variety of hilarious moments and a few easter eggs worth noting! Stan Lee made his traditional cameo as a man watching his car get shrunk; he comments about everything he did in the past catching up to him. Scott’s ex wife comments that the FBI stands for “Forevering Bothering Individuals,” which seems accurate. Scott later comments that the postal service is very reliable, which I don’t think was intended to be a joke but it definitely is one during the holiday season. Luis, Dave, and Kurt return and bring their hilariousness back to the audience as they attempt to grow their small security business. Luis especially is a great character with the way he tells stories and speaks in general (rapidly and with way more detail than necessary). Unfortunately, there were some things in this film that were not funny nor done well.
Ghost. She is introduced later than normal villains in Marvel films, has a somewhat weak backstory, not much personality, or motivation. Her backstory is only loosely connected to Hank and what happened to her seems to be somewhat on her father rather than Hank’s fault. Her motivation makes sense since she is in constant pain, but I find it difficult to believe that she was willing to kill Janet when they all could have found a solution together. Also, they had to bring in a second bad guy because she was not strong enough on her own to be the villain of the movie. For more dedicated comic book fans it was most likely frustrating to see such an interesting comic book character completely rewritten. In the comics Ghost is a man who’s name is never revealed, takes down large corporations, and is technically an Iron Man villain. Overall, she was a somewhat poorly written villain who strayed a bit too far from the comics for me to get on board.
The best aspect of this film was Scott. He is one of my favorite characters because he has a fun and relatable personality. He continues to try and be a good father for Cassie and has developed a good friendship with his ex-wife and her husband for Cassie’s sake. One of my favorite moments was when he was talking to Cassie about giving up being Ant-Man for her sake. It’s a shame that he lost five years of watching her grow due to the events of Infinity War. He is also starting up his own business with his friends which is a difficult but impressive thing to do! He makes the best of his time on house arrest and is a great example of trying to stay positive when you can’t leave your house. A particularly amusing moment was when he gets “possessed” by Janet. That does leave me with a question though: what are Janet’s new abilities?
As for Hope’s character I’m not impressed. While her hair looks much better now, she still lacks personality or character development. There are small moments of emotional expression, but they weren’t enough for me to get on board with her character. She fell very flat and I believe she has a lot of potential but they’re not letting her grow. I believe part of this difficulty in her character spawns from how strong of a character Scott is. With his big personality, it’s tough to place a character next to him without them getting overshadowed. Hopefully in the next film she’ll be a new person who expresses more emotions and grows into a likeable character.
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