Notable Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Hannah John-Kamen, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, TI, David Dastmalchian, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer
As much as I thought the first Ant-Man film was, you know, ‘just fine,’ the choice to drop the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, after Avengers: Infinity War was inspired. The last Avengers film inherently took the Marvel formula and undercut it by inverting the role of the protagonist and taking the series into some shockingly serious and darker territory, but Ant-Man and the Wasp represents the polar opposite. This is a film that doubles down on the Marvel formula instead of trying to subvert it and the film changes the pace from the last MCU film. It's a welcome maneuver after the impact of the last film. Like the first Ant-Man film though, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a mixed bag of execution, once again being a film that’s certainly enjoyable, entertaining, and easy to consume, but it’s also a film that falters from some of the same problems that prevented its predecessor from hitting its potential heights. Fans will definitely find plenty of things to love in the light-hearted demeanor and outlandishly silly premise, but compared to some of the more intriguing paths of the MCU in the last handful of films it does pale in comparison.
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Fortunately, Ant-Man and the Wasp has a lot of charm up its sleeves to appeal to fans and in these regards the film has the upper hand on the original. The film’s brisk pacing and fantastic casting only add to the entertainment that it provides. In particular, an increased role for Lang’s right hand man played by Michael Peña brings with it a welcome sense of comedic timing. Walton Goggins appears as a rather underutilized but always welcome villain and Laurence Fishburne is always a bright spot in any film. The action is crisp and dynamic, balancing the visual fun of the concept and finding new ways to recreate the size shifting action with new levels thanks to the addition of The Wasp, and the film combines this all with quick wit and a slick pace that benefits it all. On the surface, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a very fun and enjoyable popcorn superhero film that fans will definitely eat up for its bright, colorful, and twinkle-in-the-eye approach.