Ant-Man and The Wasp
This film is unlike any other previous MCU films and that is a double-edged sword for the audiences, it was more of a straight-up action-comedy rather than an action-comedic superhero film. For one there was no clear villain and the characters that served as the main antagonists were so badly written and fleshed out that they were really just time-fillers for the A-plot.
Regardless, AM&TW was an enjoyable film albeit its predictability, lack of emotional complexity (or even plot-complexity) and absence of any conflict of worth. But where it succeed was in its actors - the effortless charisma and easy chemistry of both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily - and the comedic chops of its supporting cast, especially Michael Peña, and Judy Greer, Bobby Canavale and Randall Park. It was fun watching the cast interact and that helped the 118 minutes move along.
Some of the action sequences by repeat director Peyton Reed were visually exciting and he definitely used 3D and VFX to good effect here. However, this film still paled to the first instalment which had heart, great laughs, and an effortless energy in the story-telling which was so lacking here. Edgar Wright's and Joe Cornish's influences are greatly missed.
Rudd is the star of this franchise. His effortless charisma helped connect the audience to his story. The only thing is that this film was marketed as Ant-Man and The Wasp, and although Lily is ostensibly the co-lead, her emotional arc is lacking despite doing lots more butt-kicking. And this had nothing to do with Lily who was equally charismatic on-screen and had good chemistry with Rudd. Maybe they ought to have a female writer amongst all five of the credited screenwriters. And this has nothing to
Peña again stole the film like in the first and he is definitely a side-kick worth recurring.
Michael Douglas added gravitas to the franchise and it is hard to tell if he is enjoying this role or not; and Michele Pfeiffer really needs a better comeback film ASAP after this film and Murder on the Orient Express. Laurence Fishburne deserved better.
And again, the music and cinematography here were both serviceable and forgettable.
One of the best scenes of the film was actually the mid-credits scene (and that is saying a lot). The post-credit scene was good for a chuckle.
IMAX was not really necessary for this, but 3D was fun.
In the end, AM&TW felt like a place-holder in the larger context of the MCU, but for what it is, it was an alright film - fun and entertaining enough for a summer, popcorn flick. If it did not have the Marvel weight hanging off it, this could have been a really good, almost Edgar Wright-esque action-comedy film.