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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ant-Man and the Wasp

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  You know the drill by now.  Today, I'm doing Ant-Man and the Wasp.  This is originally in my notes at November 1, 2018.

And now it's time to take a look at the epic failure that is Ant-Man and the Wasp....

Oh, what's that?  You say it's not a failure?  Well, let me posit this.  It had about the same budget as Solo: A Star Wars Story, in its opening weekend it made about the same as Solo: A Star Wars Story, and in its box office run it made about the same as Solo: A Star Wars Story.  So how come Ant-Man and the Wasp was declared another winner for Marvel, while Solo is being written off as one of the biggest failures that ever did fail? 

Sorry.  It's something I'm still a little salty over.  Just one of those things I don't understand about Hollywood accounting. 

But now that that's out of my system, the truth is Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fun and breezy film, and following the real downer of an ending that was Avengers: Infinity War, it was a nice little pick-me-up. 

Turns out Scott Lang and the Pym family are currently on the outs, what with Lang "borrowing" the Ant-Man suit to go fight in Captain America: Civil War.  For participating in that civil war, Lang is currently under house arrest and Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyme are on the run.  But then, one night, Lang has a dream of Janet Van Dyne -- Hank's wife and Hope's mother -- and reaches out.  He's soon abducted by Hank and Hope and they reveal what they've been doing.

Last time, on Ant-Man, we saw that Janet gave her life to stop a missile by shrinking to a sub-atomic level.  After Scott shrank to a sub-atomic level and returned in Ant-Man, Hank and Hope began postulating a theory that Janet survived in that sub-atomic universe known as the Quantum Realm.  They've been developing a method to safely go to and return from to the Quantum Realm in the hopes of rescuing Janet.  And, thanks to Scott's dream, he just may hold the key to actually finding Janet. 

But, of course, there's doin's a transpirin'.  To get some of the tech they need to build their Quantum Realm device, Hank and Hope have had run-ins with organized crime, and now they covet Hank's technology.  And then a villain named the Ghost shows up.  An accident involving the Quantum Realm has cursed her with the power to phase through objects...I say cursed because this will eventually destabilize her and she'll fade out of existence.  And energy from the Quantum Realm is the only thing that can cure her. 

So, to fight off all these criminals, Scott once again suits up as Ant-Man, Hope dons her own shrinking suit and becomes the Wasp, and together they're off to save Janet. 

That's what I think adds to its more optimistic tone.  At the end of the day, it's not all doom and gloom as they try to save the world.  It's a rescue mission. 

That, and all the humour and charm from the first Ant-Man is back in full force.  Paul Rudd as Scott Lang is still charming AF, Evangeline Lily finally gets to loosen up a little as the Wasp. 

And let's talk about Michelle Phieffer as Janet.  The whole "digital de-aging" has become Marvel's signature special effect, and in the opening scenes, she looks just as she did in the late-80s.  And then, at the end of the film, when they save her, we see that age has been quite kind to her.  I just wish she had more to do in the film than a quick cameo at the beginning and an extended role in the climax. 

With everything going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a smaller film (no pun intended), making it light and fun.  Yes, it truly is another winner for Marvel.

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