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Wick's Review

Created Jul 13, 2018 12:52AM PST • Edited Jul 15, 2018 11:36PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first superhero movie to equally feature men and women, with the Wasp being Marvel’s first featured female superhero. As pop culture iconification goes, that’s pretty marvelous.

    Equality’s great and all, but fortunately it’s not the only reason to recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp.

    This first sequel of Marvel’s insectoid duo is a better movie than the very good origin movie from 2015. Better villains, if still not first rate. Plus, its shtick works better: still goofy, but now often actually funny.

    Terrific stars light up the screen, Evangeline Lilly most of all. She deserves an enormous amount of buzz. Her Hope Van Dyne / Wasp is fearless, formidable and very feminine. No wonder Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is somewhat intimidated by her. Plus he has to deal with Michael Douglas as her dad, aka the first Ant-Man.

    Twenty movies in, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows no sign of flagging. Heck, Ant-Man and the Wasp adds a terrific wing to the core Avengers canon. Per the title card after the second post-credits scene:

    Ant-Man and the Wasp will return.

    We can hardly wait. Next sequel aside, we’ll see Scott & Hope in the 2020 Avengers Movie. Buzzzz!

  3. Great 4.0

    Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly make a marvelous couple in the Marvel style. He’s self-deprecating and cool, she’s self-contained and cool. They’re both well into the second acts of their stellar careers, so neither is a surprise. Yet Scott Lang / Ant-Man & Hope Van Dyne / Wasp suits each to a T. Let’s see lots more.

    Michael Douglas & Michelle Pfeiffer play the original Ant-Man and Wasp, which is not only great casting, but the first time these two great moviestars have ever played together. That said, Douglas mostly shares scenes with Lilly, his onscreen daughter.

    • Abby Ryder Fortson is precociously sassy as Rudd’s onscreen daughter and perhaps future Wasp.
    • Michael Peña is more effective as a lovable nitwit in this episode. Better lines makes better acting.
    • Walton Goggins is less than usually transfixing in one of his patented brilliant-baddie personas.
    • Judy Greer is fine as Rudd’s onscreen ex.
    • The estimable Bobby Cannavale is his usual aggressive charmer as her boyfriend.
    • T.I. & David Dastmalchian mug a bit as lovable ex-cons.
    • Hannah John-Kamen way underwhelms as a tortured baddie.
    • Randall Park mugs acceptably as a dense FBI agent.
    • Laurence Fishburne carries suitable gravitas as Michael Douglas’s onetime associate.
    • Stan Lee’s very funny cameo harkens back to San Francisco in the Sixties.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Great 4.0

    The creators of the first Ant-Man movie returned to create Ant-Man and the Wasp. They really got the hang of it the second time around! Their first sequel is funnier and more affecting than the origin movie.

    As to that latter, they first introduce us to a bereft little girl, and then show how she grew up to be an ass-kicking woman. Childhood trauma leading to adult heroism is a classic Marvel story arc, albeit I don’t recall it ever before being applied to a female character.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    San Francisco provides a perfect location palette for this Marvel movie. Sixty foot tall Ant-Man arising out of the Bay is an extra special treat.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.6
  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Fierce 1.7
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Supernatural 3.7

    Not just Conservation of Energy, but most other laws of physics, not to mention basic biology, get twisted out of shape in super-heroic fashion.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Fantasy 4.1
  21. Physical Fantasy 4.1

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