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Funtime: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' shows Marvel's lighthearted side

Ant-man and the Wasp (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Ant-Man & the Wasp
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director:
Peyton Reed
Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence

Synopsis: Following the notorious events on a German airfield, Scott Lang is given two years of house arrest for his role in Captain America’s failed revolution. Lang’s actions have also forced Dr. Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne into hiding.

Review: I enjoyed 2015’s “Ant-Man,” but there was this lingering desire to find the seams of where Edgar Wright’s work ended and Marvel’s tinkering began. I don’t mind politics in my movies, but behind-the-scenes drama should be the last thing I’m thinking about while watching a film about an incredible shrinking man.

I went into “Ant-Man and the Wasp” feeling deflated. I needed an enjoyable distraction. Fortunately, the film delivered nearly 2-hours of gleeful action lined with a sugary coat of silliness. Sure, the rapid-fire jokes occasionally miss their mark and there’s very little real tension to speak of, but as far as cotton candy cinema goes, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” tastes just fine.

While the initial casting of Paul Rudd raised some eyebrows, I’ve become more and more taken with the casting and the idea of Scott Lang being an accidental superhero. He’s not incredibly smart, which occasionally comes across as bravery. Fortunately, Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne is smart enough for the two of them. Just please, don’t call Wasp a sidekick, she’s so much more than that.

The film has two antagonists, but really there is only one villain. Ava (Hannah John-Kamen), or Ghost as she is more commonly known, is a roadblock of sorts, but she is motivated by a sense of survival. Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), he’s the quintessential wealthy man with connections to crime. His motives are opportunistic and money driven. On his own, Burch and his henchmen wouldn’t be much of a threat; inserted into an already chaotic situation amplifies Burch’s ability to do harm.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” doesn’t ignore “Avengers: Infinity War,” but it is a much smaller and more isolated story that takes place outside of the major galactic events. This allows the film to be more lighthearted and offers a more traditional superhero cinematic experience.

Of this summer’s blockbusters I prefer “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” but “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is certainly more satisfying than “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

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