Two months after Avengers: Infinity War premiered in theaters, critics have just gotten a look at Marvel Studios’ latest, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
You probably have a lot of questions about the movie, and we’re here to provide some spoiler-free answers. Here’s what you’ve been dying to know about the sequel.
How is it overall?
It’s great! The movie is laugh-out-loud hilarious, it has thrilling and creative action sequences, and it gets more emotional than you might expect. It’s not as big or epic as something like Infinity War or even Black Panther, but if you liked the first Ant-Man, you’re in for a great time at the movies.
How is it compared to the first one?
Ant-Man and the Wasp is overall even better than the original Ant-Man. That first movie was great too, but this one fixes some of its predecessor’s issues. For one, the villain here isn’t a complete cartoon, and the film doesn’t feel bogged down by trying to tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director Peyton Reed also allows himself to get a lot weirder and more wacky with the shrinking and growing gimmick, and the movie is better for it.
Will the movie answer everyone’s Infinity War questions?
Not exactly. The film takes place before Infinity War, so for the most part, it exists in its own little bubble. That being said, without spoiling anything, there’s definitely a reason Marvel chose to release this move after Infinity War, and it’s not something you’re going to want to skip if you plan to see Avengers 4.
Wait, when does it take place, exactly?
The trailers for the film were not exactly clear on the timeline, just vaguely showing us that it’s set sometime after Civil War. In the movie, Scott is under house arrest, but he’s towards the very end of serving a two-year sentence due to his actions in Civil War. Since Civil War took place in 2016, this would mean Ant-Man and the Wasp is set in 2018. The action appears to be unfolding either immediately before or during Infinity War.
How are the post-credits scenes?
There are two post-credits scenes, and the first is absolutely spectacular. Under no circumstances are you going to want to miss that one, and it’s definitely the scene that’s going to generate the most discussion out of anything in the movie.
The second scene is amusing, but it’s basically just a throwaway little moment. You should still stick around through the full credits, but don’t expect to have your mind explode both times.
How’s the 3D?
It’s actually really good! Unlike the last few Marvel movies, where the 3D was fairly forgettable, there are a few sequences in this movie that make impressive use of it. Seeing it this way isn’t totally necessary, but if you tend to like the format, you may want to spring for a 3D showing.
Are there any major surprises?
Especially after Infinity War, don’t expect the most jaw-dropping MCU twists ever, but there are definitely a few surprises in here that the marketing department wisely avoided hinting at in the trailers (if only Universal had taken a similar approach with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). The post-credits scene is certainly a surprise, too. Overall, though, this is more a movie about having fun with the main characters and less about bowling over the audience with the plot.
How’s the action?
The action is downright fantastic. As we mentioned before, Reed takes full advantage of the shrinking and growing technology to construct some sequences that could not exist in any movie other than this one, and each is kinetic and electrifying. There are fewer actual fight sequences than you might expect, though. The two highlights would be the scene of The Wasp fighting in a kitchen and a lengthy car chase; both scenes were teased in the trailers.
How’s the villain?
With Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel continues its streak of strong and memorable villains, and Ghost is a big upgrade from Darren Cross. At least, this is the case with the main villain. There’s also a secondary villain played by Walton Goggins, and unfortunately, his character is fairly cliche and doesn’t amount to much.
Where does it rank compared to the rest of Phase 3?
All of the Phase 3 movies so far have been trying to do something a little different, and your ranking of them will largely depend on personal preference. But overall, this movie is a smidge better than Thor: Ragnarok and about on the level of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Do I need to rewatch the original Ant-Man before seeing this?
As long as you’ve seen the movie once and remember the basics of it, you’re good. In fact, Ant-Man and the Wasp starts with what is essentially a recap of the events of the original Ant-Man, so you get a refresher on the main things you need to remember right off the bat.
Was it worth the wait to see Evangeline Lilly in action as The Wasp?
For the most part, yes! It’s incredibly satisfying to see Hope van Dyne getting to shine in this movie after being sidelined in the original. That being said, she doesn’t really have as many fight scenes as you might be expecting based on the marketing. But the action she does have is great, and Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp is a welcome addition to the MCU.
Are there any major flaws?
Yes, the movie definitely isn’t perfect. One of the big disappointments is that the Walton Goggins character is wasted, as we mentioned. But in addition, certain developments towards the end feel a bit rushed. Some things just sort of happen because they need to happen, and it would have been nice if the movie had been able to spend more time dealing with the emotional consequences of these developments and making the motivations of at least one of the characters clearer.
Overall, though, Ant-Man and the Wasp delivers in exactly the ways you would want it to, and after the major downer that was Infinity War, it’s a welcome dose of pure joy.
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