After a slew of serious, no-nonsense Marvel films, leading up to the catastrophic events in Infinity War, it was a welcome and refreshing change to see the comical Paul Rudd and tough, bad-ass, Evangeline Lilly, reprise their roles in the sequel to the 2015 film, Ant-Man.
Ant-Man and The Wasp, directed by Peyton Reed, is set a couple of years after the events of Captain America: Civil War and sees Scott Lang (Rudd) struggle to balance being the ‘hero’, Ant-Man, and a father to his young daughter. Having not spoken to Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) since the Civil War incident, Lang is forced back into their lives when a new discovery leads them to uncover past secrets.
Unlike other Marvel films, Ant-Man and The Wasp is a more light-hearted take on the superhero genre, much like that of the first Ant-Man film. Only this time, there’s a whole lot more butt-kicking courtesy of the bad-ass that is The Wasp.
While the film itself was entertaining, especially in terms of the action sequences and the rather peculiar ways objects were used throughout the film (cue the giant Hello Kitty Pez candy), it was The Wasp that really caught my interest.
Despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe having strong female heroines such as Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, these characters didn’t quite possess the same commanding presence and heroic stance as opposed to their male counterparts. Black Widow, despite being a highly-skilled assassin, doesn’t quite measure up to the likes of Iron Man or Captain America. Her presence doesn’t overshadow theirs. Scarlet Witch, as well, was seen as a more unstable, back-up character, not exactly a heroine in her own right.
In Ant-Man and The Wasp, however, The Wasp is portrayed as a character who is equal to, if not more, adept to her male counterpart, Ant-Man. She is depicted as more skilled, versatile and intelligent, able to hold her own without any assistance. In many ways, she outshines Ant-Man in terms of combat and heroics.
Having such a strong female lead in a superhero film like this shows Marvel’s dedication toward diversity and acts as foreshadowing for the next prolific female superhero who will be dominating cinema screens worldwide: Captain Marvel (Bree Larson).
As a film, Ant-Man and The Wasp proved to be a different kind of superhero film, being much more relaxed and humourous, given the dangerous threat that the characters faced. Of course, Luis (Michael Pena) stole the show with his fast-talking, wild and tall tales. The entire cast gelled well together and their dynamic worked to create a fun-filled action flick that made for an easy watch.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also highlight Paul Rudd’s own brilliant brand of humour and the way in which he managed to portray both a ditzy hero and doting father at the same time.
As for visuals, the film was like any other Marvel film, with great special effects and CGI (giant ants and mini cars really were a nice addition to the film). It was actually rather cool watching giant buildings shrinking to the size of trolley bags, and the way in which The Wasp and Dr. Pym utilised Pym Particles to evade their enemies, was enjoyable to see on screen. Being able to see the bright and colourful world within the tiniest of spaces was also equally intriguing.
While Ant-Man and The Wasp was, to a large extent, an entertaining watch, I wasn’t a huge fan of the villain, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Compared to the colossal titan that is Thanos, the big bad in Infinity War, Ghost was nothing more than an inconvenience more than anything. In many ways, the baddies in the film were very much just your everyday terrible human beings, rather than souped-up villains.
Seeing that I attended the advance screening of the film, thanks to Dell Gaming, it made it all the more noticeable to see the subtle product placements of Dell’s latest range of devices. I have to admit, it is rather gratifying to see more variety in the products being used in films these days, as opposed to seeing the Apple logo everywhere.
All in all, Ant-Man and The Wasp was a great Marvel film to sit back, watch, and have a few laughs to after the bittersweet Infinity War. With little hints given at the end credits of the film, I’m incredibly curious as to what Marvel Studios has in store going forward.