By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers) –
This review will mark the first and last time you will ever hear me say that all wasps aren’t the EVIL FUCKING SPAWN OF SATAN I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL YOU WINGED DEMONS (except for Hope Van Dyne aka Evangeline Lilly- you’re a treat, sweetie). Ant-Man and The Wasp is exactly the soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of hilarious, action fur we all needed after the brutal, still-beating-heart-ripped-from-the-chest “Kali Ma!” that was Infinity War – Part 1. Well, mostly, more on that later.
Ant/Wasp 2 happens concurrently with events from Infinity War to give you a rough timeline and neatly explains why Paul Rudd sits that apocalyptic rodeo out. Using Pym Tech to throw down on behalf of Captain America got his ass on an extended, house arrest-y, naughty list by the Feds tasked with enforcing the Sokovia Accords. He could’ve gone rogue (I mean, Ant-Man here) but putting his daughter first, Scott Lang aka Paul Rudd aka America’s Bae, accepted a two-year suspended sentence with bonus ankle monitoring by a VERY intensely-into-his-job Agent Jimmy Woo (the insanely funny, scene stealing Randall Park).
With three days left before he’s a (relatively) free man, Hope and Hank call in their dues and recruit Scott to help them rescue the FOXY Michelle Pfieffer aka the OG Wasp, Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Zone. Which should be no problem (except for the gangsters trying to steal and sell Pym Tech, an out-of-phase Ghost assassin itching to slurp Janet Van Dyne dry of Quantum Zone energy, and the ever-underfoot Feds). Scott and Co. (the fantastic ex-con ensemble lead by Michael Pena thankfully return from Ant-Man) are on the job. Mostly. Kind of?
First off, big ups to Marvel for finally giving a female superhero equal (*cough* if not SOLO *cough*) billing on a film. I can’t believe you let that Xanax shit-show DC-verse beat you to it with Wonder Woman! Seriously, Marvel, are you feeling okay? Ant/Wasp 2’s script is clever and fast-paced quips fly from Paul Rudd’s beautiful mouth nonstop (enhanced by the oodles of chemistry he has with his co-stars). I’d pay to be a fly on the wall of their X-Con security business because two minutes of banter about oatmeal and a rummage sale desk had me DYING.
Seriously, I’m dead and my ghost is typing this review as we speak.
There’s ass-kicking and awesome action sequences galore and it’s stellar to see all the things that made Ant-Man great back in play for Ant/Wasp 2. I can’t tell you how much I needed this after Infinity War but it hovers around a metric fuckton. Shout-outs again to Michael Pena’s “storytelling” and Agent Jimmy Woo’s excruciatingly awkward social skills. Just superb work there, gentlemen. Some of the film’s best bits, though, center around Scott and his daughter, Cassie (future size-changing superhero Stature, if the comics and hints to the same in Ant/Wasp 2’s script are to be believed). It’s easy to forget with epic space battles and cataclysmic events happening in the MCU that the dynamics between a father and his daughter can be equally as compelling (and they are). In addition to slick action and even slicker quips, Ant/Wasp 2 has heart.
There are a few, tiny (no pun intended) details that don’t totally add up to perfection for Ant-Man And The Wasp, though. Please excuse this part of my brain that is FOREVER cataloging things, and thoughts, that just don’t QUITE hit the mark, but here we go.
- There were infinitesimally small lags in pacing that were minutely noticeable, preventing a perfect flow of events in Ant/Wasp 2.
- There’s not really a sink-your-teeth-into-it villain in this one. Ghost assassin is largely, if sociopathically, misunderstood. The Feds stalking Scott’s every move are a filler annoyance at most and Walton Goggins’s gangster tech crime boss, Sonny Burch, is a middleman (at best) for a larger villain lurking in the wings. My money is on the rich client X-Con Security is trying to close a deal with the entire film as the real malice behind the machinations, but hints are subtle at best on that one if so.
- Why do the Feds have all this free time to chase Scott around? Did you not see shit get FUUUUUCKED UP by intergalactic genocide enthusiasts in New York about the same time as Ant/Wasp 2 is going down? Taking into account that they might not know about the EPIC shit happening in Wakanda (because secret country) y’all should be, at the very least, dialed in domestically.
- I would have loved for Hope Van Dyne to have had more screen time and hero focus as this flick was almost, at one point, solely entitled The Wasp, and, as this serves as Hope’s origin story, Ant/Wasp 2 could’ve used a bit more of The Wasp herself to really back that concept up.
- And finally, there’s a mid-credits AND post-credits scene (so stay for both) THAT I WAS NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR. FUCK, YOU GUYS. JUST… JUST BE READY. No spoilers, but the mid-credits (and to some extent post-credits) scene undoes a lot of what this flick helped to balance out in the Marvel-verse. The scene is an abrupt tonal shift from Ant/Wasp 2 that a lot of people may not have been ready for which, to be fair, helps it align in the MCU but for fuck’s sake WARN A BITCH NEXT TIME, OKAY?!
Don’t miss Ant-Man And The Wasp because Baskin Robbins always knows and Baba Yaga WILL FIND YOU if you pass on this size-mic sequel to (in my opinion) one of Marvel’s best all-around origin stories (Ant-Man).
Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Pym Labs gets passed off like a manic game of Hot Potato/anytime someone enters or exits the Quantum Zone.
Take a Sip: for every cut-shot to Ant Scott during his daily routine.
Take a Drink: whenever Scott’s house gets raided and/or Agent Woo says something slightly socially awkward.
Do a Shot: for each Giant Man you see.
Shotgun Your Beer: for Janet Van Dyne and her magic fingers.