You may or may not remember me mentioning that before Infinity War came out, I wanted to rewatched a few of the Marvel films. But not included in my epic binge watch was the first Ant-Man movie. I always considered that the lesser of the MCU movies.
I believe it was the first MCU film to have production issues, dropping Edgar Wright in place of a more cooperative director like Peyton Reed. And I always thought maybe it was his fault the film wasn’t as good as it could or should have been. I mean, we are talking about Edgar Wright here. He’d be the perfect person to tackle this superhero.
You can even see some of his style still left in the final product, especially during the action sequences.
But unfortunately, things about that film just didn’t work.
The humor was kind of off, finding Michael Peña’s character more annoying and unfunny than anything else.
The action wasn’t as cool as the trailers promised it to be, what the trailers showed was about it. The only creative thing they really did with the whole shrinking thing was setting the final showdown on a little girl’s play area in her room.
The story was also lacking, hell I don’t even fully remember what the plot was. For some reason whenever I think about it all I come up with is the plot to Innerspace.
And biggest crime of all, Paul Rudd was kind of boring.
You knew it wasn’t his fault once you saw him reprise his role in Civil War, next to Spider-Man he was the best part of that movie.
So what happened?
Then I watched the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp. This time with zero Edgar Wright influence and… I have to say, this film is great.
Just about every problem that plagued the first film has been corrected here.
The story structure is better paced, giving you a ticking clock to get your goal accomplished. It had way better humor this time around, actually making the Michael Peña character Luis funny and not annoying. I’ve always been a fan of his. To me, he has always been this cross between John Leguizamo meets Chris Tucker. Feel free to disagree with that assessment.
And hey, Paul Rudd is funny and charismatic as hell this time around, much like he was in Civil War.
I really don’t know why they felt the need for a comic relief character like Luis, since Paul Rudd pretty much already has that handled. But the two worked well off each other.
His other two friends however, completely forgettable. I’d forget they were even in the film, so when they would randomly just pop up, I’d get slightly confused as to who they were.
It has been about two years since the events of Civil War. If you remember from that film, Ant-Man teamed up with Captain America and was arrested along with the rest of his team. But if I remember right, Captain America broke back in and freed everyone but Scott. What a dick.
Since then, Ant-Man or as his character is called Scott Lang, has been under house arrest, where if he even thinks about stepping foot out of the designated perimeter of his ankle bracelet, the FBI shows up to raid his house.
And if you were wondering, yes this takes place before the events of Infinity War. It almost has to. I believe from now on until the second half of Infinity War comes out, the MCU is doing nothing but prequels.
Captain Marvel, their next film will be taking place in the 1980’s.
Now under house arrest and forbidden to be in contact with Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym and his daughter Hope, who are equally pissed at Scott since getting arrested threw their lives out of order as well, now having to go on the run. I ain’t never ran from nothin’ but the police!
One thing I enjoyed in the first film was the romance between Hope and Scott. The only time you saw them get intimate was very briefly at the end when Hank opens the door to catch them making out.
Mostly all you saw was her being cold to him. In anime terms that is what you’d call a tsundere. I’ve been binge watching the food competition anime Food Wars lately and one of the female characters reminds me a lot of Hope in this. I got through 3 seasons of Food Wars in a week, so I’m pretty sure just about anything would remind me of anime right now.
Anyway, while still on house arrest, Scott has started a security business with his three ex-con pals that we met in the first movie. Scott is the security expert, while Luis handles the business side of things. They have one client and if they don’t impress them, they might have to close up shop.
While trying to run a business from house arrest, Scott is also trying his best to be a good dad to his daughter Cassie.
He built her her own cardboard maze with interactive giant ant models and everything. Even finishing the maze off with a daring escape using a slide. He might have overshot the slide part as it rockets him a bit too far from the house perimeter, alerting the FBI.
In kind of a funny way, we get an exposition dump handed to us by the lead FBI agent in charge Agent Woo. But he’s telling all this exposition to Scott’s child but he’s kind of looking at the audience when he’s doing it, so really he is talking to us like a child while giving us a 30 second rundown of the last two years.
It’s like they knew they needed to get this out of the way, so what better way to convey this information than to act like you’re a baby. Maybe that’s a bit too condescending, but I think that’s the point.
One night, Scott has a vision of his time in the quantum realm. The time when his suit fucked up and kept shrinking so much that he entered a whole new universe.
It’s also the place Hope lost her mom, as the same issue happened to her suit way back when.
But with Scott’s return from the quantum realm, Hank has hope (not his daughter) that his wife might still be alive. So he and Hope have been trying to find a bridge between our world and the quantum realm, not to mention finding a way back safely. I didn’t notice this at first but the machine they built has enlarged items grafted to it. Like a giant volume level from a guitar amp. Just these cool little touches that you’ll most likely never even notice in your first viewing of the movie.
Scott’s vision coincides with the same moment Hank and Hope turned on their quantum realm machine. Seems that maybe Hank’s wife Janet, aka the first Wasp, has been trying to communicate with them, using Scott’s body.
Very briefly she is able to pinpoint her location and what is needed to help rescue her. But to do that, they need to do some shady business with a black market dealer played by Walton Goggins. He has the piece needed for their machine, but he isn’t going to just hand it over, especially since he knows he can now make billions off the tech.
Also interested in this technology is Ghost, a Stormtrooper looking character that can phase through things, kind of like a ghost. Hence the name.
She manages to steal the package and by package I mean the whole building Hank and Hope have shrunken down and are using as a carrying case.
Scott and Hope team up, reluctantly on her part as she still can’t forgive him for taking off to join Captain America’s fight.
Scott is also somewhat reluctant to help out as he is still under house arrest and if he gets caught breaking his parole, he goes back to prison for the rest of his life. It’s kind of weird that Hank and Hope can’t empathize with that. I get they are pissed at him but this isn’t really his problem and he is risking never getting to see his daughter ever again. You’d think these two would understand. Hope trying to see her mom again, Hank his wife.
It seems Ghost needs this quantum realm machine as well, as her powers to phase through things are killing her, the result of a freak accident caused by her father, who used to work with Hank years back before firing him.
With the help of Laurence Fishburne’s character Bill Foster, he taught her how to control her ability, building her a suit to harness it. At least I think he built it… I’m not sure on that one. As a young child Ghost was taken in by S.H.E.I.L.D. and used as an assassin.
But now that the suit can’t help her control her ability anymore, she needs to find a solution to help cure herself, hence the need for the quantum realm machine.
The idea is she can siphon off some of the… I don’t know. Engery maybe? Let’s go with that. Since being trapped in that place for so long, Michelle Pfeiffer has soaked up a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, the same mumbo-jumbo needed to correct Ghost’s problem. Only issue with that is, doing so would kill Michelle Pfeiffer.
There’s also a limited amount of window time they can do all this. Things get even more complicated once Walton Goggins shows back up, trying to steal the machine.
I wasn’t really sure why his character was still needed after a point. My guess is they needed a more traditional villain as Ghost wasn’t evil or anything, she was just sick and was willing to do whatever she needed to do to save her life.
So to counteract that, we needed someone to root against. And if Walton Goggins knows how to do anything, it’s play a villain. He almost, ALMOST made the new Tomb Raider film watchable. Almost.
While Scott and Hope hold off Ghost and the other bad guys after them, Hank uses the machine to go into the quantum realm, where he finally finds his wife waiting for him.
But she has changed a bit, now gaining special powers from soaking up all that mumbo-jumbo. With her new found abilities, she is able to save Ghost, correcting her of her symptoms.
And that’s pretty much the end… oh, you want to know about the end credit scene don’t you.
Well… I’m debating if I should talk about it. So maybe spoiler warning if you don’t want to know what happens.
Just know this film gets a big happy SEE IT rating.
Now, that end credit.
You had to know it was going to deal with the events of Infinity War. Up until now, this film was kind of a great palate cleanser. It has been funny, kind of uplifting… Scott finally got off of house arrest, him and Hope are a thing now, Hope has her mom again and… Thanos snaps his fingers and half the population in the universe dies. Including Hope and Hank. But to make things even worse, Scott was dicking around in the quantum realm, trying to harvest some of that delicious quantum energy when Hope and Hank disintegrate, leaving him stuck in the quantum realm with no way back.
It was kind of like you just had this really great birthday party then your mom decided to take a shit on your birthday cake. It’s a pretty hard gut punch.
It’s actually exactly how I thought the last season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should have ended. Phil Coulson and Agent May are on the island, finally together when she slowly starts to disintegrate. But instead the show just ends in this overtly happy ending. Which would have been fine if not for the fact Thanos just killed everyone!
I really enjoyed this film, not really having too many complaints. I’d put this one above Black Panther, but not as high as Thor: Ragnarok. I think I might have even enjoyed this more than Homecoming. This one is really worth checking out.
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