In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the Marvel Cinematic Universe Takes a Goofy, Low-Stakes Break from Existential Threats | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the Marvel Cinematic Universe Takes a Goofy, Low-Stakes Break from Existential Threats 

As a second-tier superhero movie with modest ambitions, Ant-Man and the Wasp works just fine for what it is. It's the opposite of epic: a goofy, fun sci-fi ride with the spirit of old-school pulp fiction, the kind of adventure you might find in a beat-up copy of Amazing Stories circa 1953.

Paul Rudd returns as Ant-Man, a good-hearted ex-con who can shrink down to the size of an insect thanks to technology developed by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Evangeline Lilly reprises her role as Pym's daughter, Hope, aka the Wasp, who now has a super-powered suit of her own.

Appropriately enough, the movie keeps the stakes small. There are no planet-devouring villains to fend off, no existential threats to the multiverse. Instead, our heroes endeavor to rescue Pym's wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has disappeared into a subatomic dimension known as the quantum realm.

These excursions provide the film's best visual moments; this is one of the very few times when seeking out the 3-D version of a movie is warranted. The effects team has great fun playing with perspective and toggling the micro/macro switch so that caroming quarks and bosons appear as colossal organic geometries.

The visual designers also deliver some clever riffs on standard-issue action movie scenes. A car chase through San Francisco takes on a new dimension, quite literally, as the vehicles flip to Matchbox size and back again. The usual fight scenes go pleasantly haywire as our heroes dispatch the goons using radical shifts in scale.

Such conceptual design flourishes power the movie's old-fashioned science-fiction appeal. The featherweight tone keeps everything agreeable so that, for the most part, you won't even notice the rickety script underneath. Like those old pulp magazine stories, Ant-Man and the Wasp is good, dumb American fun, exuberant and disposable.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Good movie. That showed a career service member can be sold out by BS politicians

by Darin Thigpen Sr on Only military guys can understand (Film Review)

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation