Filled with Gags, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Struggles Under Too Many Narrative Parts

It’s fun when a movie can make fun of itself and have fun, but not at the story’s expense.

It’s always going to be tough for the first Marvel movie to come out after ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ People are still reeling from the aftershocks of that film and there’s still a meme or two that pops up here and there. So director Peyton Reed and the people at Marvel did everything they could to make sure that ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ could succeed: they set the story right after ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and right before ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and they kept the story contained, made it personal to the characters, and not some big battle to save the world.

And they brought in the laughs. A lot of it.

And this was a double-edged sword. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ suffers from having way too many moving parts in the narrative that there’s a whole lot of exposition happening at any one moment. It’s highly verbose, and often stopping the flow of the narrative to give way to gags from popular characters like Michael Pena’s Luis and his team of ex-criminals turned outsource security service.

It’s all well-and-good and makes for actual laugh out loud moments, but at the expense of the story. And there’s a lot of it.

The film revolves around Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who is now under house arrest for his involvement in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and he just wants to finish his sentence so that he can get a good job with Luis and be there for his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Forston). But he ends up getting dragged into Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne’s (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly) plan to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum universe.

Unfortunately, Hope and Hank Pym are now running from the FBI because of Scott’s involvement in Germany with Captain America. And to make matters even more complicated, a mysterious masked vigilante called the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) is after Hank Pym’s technology for an unknown agenda.

There’s a lot happening in this movie and it doesn’t always flow well because all the narrative points of each character don’t seem to resonate with each other the way they did back in the first ‘Ant-Man’ movie. In the first film, Scott Lang’s relationship with his daughter paralleled Hope’s relationship with her father, Hank. It’s the relationships that added meaning and depth to what they had to do, which also happened to be about saving the world.

In the sequel, Scott’s relationship with Cassie is its own story with no real strong connection to Hope’s or Hank’s need to reunite with Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp. And the agenda of the Ghost is just as detailed but also has no real connection or emotional bearing to the narrative as a whole.

Sure, there are so many gags, many of it involving the multiple ways shrinking and enlarging objects for various reasons, that are fun and funny and how people react to the open display of superpowers is hilarious. Michael Pena reprises Luis’ hilarious narration of past events with perfect comic timing. The action is good. But all of these elements don’t mesh in together that ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is better in parts than it is as a whole.

If anything, the film showcases Paul Rudd’s charm and comic timing. He steals your heart and you care about him. Evangeline Lilly is given a chance to show her leading lady presence, but as the film hits each of its emotional beats, it doesn’t take hold.

It’s great that they decided to give us something fun and zany after ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ They even make fun of themselves as there’s a lot of technological jargon being thrown around and Scott blurts out, ‘Are you just putting quantum in front of everything you say’ and you laugh because it’s true. There’s just so much exposition and because of the laughs, and the many moving parts — including a black market dealer who joins the fray — it’s hard for ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ to still land its emotional punches, the same way the first movie did despite all of its gags.

It’s fun when a movie can make fun of itself and have fun, but not at the story’s expense. What both ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films taught us, you can have fun without sacrificing the emotional payoff. Or take the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ path and just deliver a grand fun time and let it just be that and that’s cool too. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ just didn’t find that balance or fully commit to being all-out zany and wacky, which it could have been, and might have become one of Marvel’s lower-tier films, in my opinion.


My Rating:

Recommended Videos

Related Content

Movie Info

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Action | Adventure | Sci-fi


Bringing the Costumes to Life on "Ant-Man and The Wasp"
Clothes may make the man, but an extraordinary suit makes for a spectacular Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”
Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp Attracts Big Weekend Crowd of Moviegoers Filipino celebrities share their own renditions inspired by the film
Filipino celebrities also joined in the fun and have shown how they got inspired by Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyme to be big (or small!).
"Ant-Man and The Wasp" Connects Directly with "Avengers 4"
Don’t look now, but it appears 'Ant-Man and The Wasp,' aka Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, will have a major influence in the resolution of the events after last April's 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
5 Things To Know About Marvel's Newest Heroine, Hope Van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp
5 Things To Know About Marvel's Newest Heroine, Hope Van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp
Evangeline Lilly is Ready for Action as Hope Van Dyne in "Ant-Man and The Wasp"
Evangeline Lilly returns to her role of brilliant quantum physicist Hope van Dyne. While she’s as focused and determined as ever, a very different Hope van Dyne emerges in Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”
Paul Rudd Scales Up: Scott Lang's Heroism Looms Large in "Ant-Man and The Wasp"
For Scott Lang, there’s no shrinking from responsibility when it comes to family.  
New Posters of "Ant-Man and the Wasp" Prove that Size Does Matter
Marvel Studios has just revealed two brand-new posters for its upcoming action-adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer” that prove going bigger is always better.
"Ant-Man and the Wasp" Character Posters Spotlight Real Heroes, Not Actual Size
Marvel Studios has just released the six official character posters of its upcoming action-adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2015 hit, Marvel Studios' “Ant-Man.”
Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp" Reveals Brand New Trailer and Poster
Marvel Studios has just released the brand new official trailer and main poster of its upcoming action-adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2015 hit, Marvel Studios' “Ant-Man.”
WATCH: The 'Ant-icipated' First Trailer to Marvel's 'Ant Man and the Wasp'
So many good superhero films are coming out this year, and while everyone's gearing up for the release of Black Panther, Marvel drops the first trailer to Ant-Man and the Wasp! 
Title Characters Unite in New "Ant-Man and the Wasp" Photo
Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp is set for release in Philippine cinemas on July 4, and now a new photo has debuted showing the title characters together for the first time in full costume!

Share this story

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter