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We can learn a lot from ants’ intelligence at work from the way they coordinate with such precision by second nature, although can we learn similarly from Ant-Man and the Wasp? Well, think of it this way: we’re focused right now on one of those films that utilizes the actors’ blocking to signify sexual tension in a dumb way that leaves nothing to the imagination. Likewise, no true written or directed coordination puts anything at stake here, its excessive jokes left to treat ants more humane than any actual humans on screen. Maybe if the humans’ motivations were realistic, then these absurd circumstances could turn somewhat believable?
Here are some examples. The foul script particularly turns Hope’s (the Wasp) father, Hank, into a dislikable boss who throws everything beneath his feet without compassionate support, serving a small part of bland stereotypes. Another part of those stereotypes includes the FBI worker who suddenly searches Scott’s (Ant-Man) home, resembling an evasive insect as opposed to a legitimate character. The same describes the leads: while Hope does get to kick butt, she later becomes nothing beyond a slightly sex’d down love interest to the male lead. Thus, you’ll get the feel of mental pests plaguing your brain nerves, ants sent through your eyeballs to break apart your cerebrum for nest eggs.
So what does Ant-Man and the Wasp succeed at? Well, one early scene shows Scott entertaining his daughter Cassie in a cardboard recreation of his previous adventure, alongside his magic tricks that keep up its own consistent story arc. Yes, the father-daughter instances satisfy enough to make you want to see these two together, especially once spur-of-the-moment FBI searches interrupt their time together. To further sentimentalize the personal touches, he nicknames her, “Peanut,” much like how Hope’s parents call her “Jellybean,” and Cassie calls her dad, “World’s Greatest Grandma.” Besides the main families, the key villain, Ava (or “Ghost“), whose cells suffer molecular disequilibrium, connects to heartbreaking results with her adopted dad.
Of course, being a Marvel property, you should expect laughs aplenty; memorable gags turn small things giant and vice versa, chuckles a guarantee when Scott gets stuck to half his size in an elementary school. Michael Peña (American Hustle, Crash) delivers some nice rapid-fire comedy too during his funny narration on truth serum. Plus, Peyton Reed’s (Ant-Man) direction meets expectations based on how he utilizes the Wasp’s powers to memorable results against bad guys. Then inside the quantum realm, colossal tardigrades lunge toward you, creating a surreal environment Michelle Pfeiffer’s (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys) acceptable portrayal complements satisfactorily. Yet let me say: she looks ridiculously young! Not a wrinkle anywhere! Do they have an anti-aging salon in the quantum realm because she looks just like one of those formerly famous Hollywood actresses who’s trying to hard to stay relevant! Oh wait…
I know you hate it when I trash on Marvel, but it still fails to be art because of how much a lazy corporate product it is. Marvel may be tremendous at the whole marketing strategy, yet its familiar shiny flaw-free world comes off inauthentic under its excessive, random pop culture references. Not to mention it will not make this film age well, considering the products of the cinematic universe will last far longer than the company’s profits. These producers trying to make stuff cool takes priority over practicality, forcing chuckles from scientifically educated viewers by the carelessness of how the science talk is treated. Heck, a shrunken car matches the speed of regular sized ones for crying out loud! So even though slight emotional doses ground the viewer’s optimism, the willful suspension of disbelief runs way off track.
Yeah, I understand, I must avoid overthinking a summer popcorn movie, except the nauseous editing by Dan Lebental (Ant-Man, Iron Man) and Craig Wood (Guardians of the Galaxy, Pirates of the Caribbean) ramble on lame humor rather than slowing down to linger on the pain. It’s not enjoyable when desires inappropriately go to quick plot point progression, the only hint of deceleration present when slow-motion knives are thrown.
It appears even the performers themselves didn’t want to get to know their roles well. Instead of acting jittery, Paul Rudd causes serious discomfort as Michael Douglas’ (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street) weak motivation spurts out unintentionally funny angry outbursts towards his colleagues. Worst above all, not one single believable relationship holds up the entire feature, that includes the necessary fear of a family crisis built between Ant-Man and Ava.
But good news! You have need to set sail through Marvel’s shipwrecked celebration of American pride. It’s summer for crying out loud, ride a bike! Go for a swim! Enjoy the sun! Live for today!
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
“Ant Control & Extermination Information.” Pest World. National Pest Management Association, Web. <https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ants/>.
Ant-Man and the Wasp. Marvel. Web. <http://marvel.com/movies/movie/245/ant-man_and_the_wasp>.
McLean, Thomas J. “Paul Rudd returns as Ant-Man -- and sometimes Giant-Man -- in 'Ant-Man and The Wasp.'.” Digital image. AWN. AIDB, 30 Jan 2018. Web. <https://www.awn.com/news/watch-marvel-teases-ant-man-and-wasp>.