2018, Movies

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018, Peyton Reed)

I found the first Ant-Man mildly amusing but I can’t say I remember it very well now. But at least it wasn’t as complicated as its sequel.

One of the things that is to the MCU’s credit, but can also be annoying to casual viewers, is that they trust their audience to remember everything that is going on (or to look it up). And I must say that I had zero memory of the falling out between the three main characters. I was super confused. But given that I regularly call films and TV shows to task when they over-explain stuff – especially what happened in previous film and episode – I can’t be upset about that.

What I am kind of upset about is the sheer number of plot threads in this movie. I thought the Ant-Man movies were supposed to be one of the places within the MCU that people went for more fun, not more ambition. But there are three main stories – and few B stories in this movie competing for our attention. And two of the stories really strain our credulity in terms of the “science” behind them. Any time the MCU gets into “quantum” stuff, things get really dicey. But fortunately the movie is at least a little bit aware of this and jokes about it.

What’s perhaps most frustrating about the competing stories is that they are resolved in the climax in what feels like a matter of moments. One of the few virtues of the MCU, in my mind, is not everything is resolved at the end of a given movie, but this one ties everything up in a neat little bow. And that’s annoying.

However, much of this is redeemed by how silly and funny this whole thing is. I don’t remember enjoying the humour in the original movie as I did with this one, in part because there are some additional silly characters in this movie. So one benefit of so many stories is that there are more comic relief characters.

I was jumping back and forth between ratings for this one, trying to decide if the humour was enough to overcome the ridiculous ambitions. I guess the humour wins.


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