Ant-Man and the Wasp reminded me a lot of Solo: A Star Wars Story. This isn’t in the sense that they have similar plots or characters, but just in the sense that they were sort of letdowns after the colossal *hits of Infinity War and The Last Jedi. (*The Last Jedi was a box office hit, but a highly divisive film in terms of its quality.)
This is a watchable and enjoyable movie – it isn’t great and it isn’t terrible – but similar to another movie recently released by Disney, I think it will be mostly forgettable.
There really isn’t any sort of standout action sequence, set piece, or theme. But the humor is there, the way it is with every MCU movie and Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily have excellent chemistry and are able to play off one another very well.
In fact, this movie may have had a more accurate title if it was called The Wasp and Ant-Man. Lily steals every action scene that she is in and is mostly the reason the biggest missions get done. But Rudd’s heart and humor are still what carry the film at its core. Fortunately, we don’t need to decide who was more important. Because after all, they’re both titular characters and they are both important to the story in their own right.
The third main character, though… I don’t really know what was going on with Michael Douglas and his performance as Hank Pym. Douglas appeared in the mentor role in the first Ant-Man and he was fine. But in this installment, I don’t think there was a scene where he wasn’t overacting. He almost seems like a different character in some scenes. Yes, there were about two years between the two films, but that was no reason for the character to act that differently.
Fortunately, there was another actor named Michael who did an excellent job: Michael Pena. Pena stole the show in the original Ant-Man because of his spot on comedic timing and naturally charming personality. Now, for the second time in a row, he plays the lovable Luis who tells stories and is afraid of truth serum. Again, he is one of the best parts of the whole movie.
But the one area where this movie really falls short is with the villain. It has been common knowledge for a while now that the MCU has a villain problem, but with Vulture, Killmonger, and Thanos, three out of their previous four films had legitimately good villains. What made them so good was either their ideologies/motivations, their connection to the main character(s) or both. Ghost, the villain in AMatW, had none of that. She was more there just to bring more conflict for the main characters. The positive aspect about her, though, is the same as the positive aspect that having the Wasp as a main character brings. It gives the film and the MCU as a whole more diversity. Ghost is played by a non-white female.
Hopefully this movie and Captain Marvel are able to set a good trend of more diversity in the MCU going forward.