Chris McKenna

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Writers:

Chris McKenna

Erik Sommers

Paul Rudd

Andrew Barrer

Gabriel Ferrari

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Evangeline Lily

Michael Peña

Hannah John-Kamen

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michael Douglas

Laurence Fishburne

Plot:

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Review:

Scott aka. Ant-Man, Paul Rudd, is nearing the end of his two year house arrest. Once that’s over he’s just going to have three years of parole, which lets be honest is a pretty light sentence for the damage he did in Civil War, especially as he’s already an ex-convict. Putting that aside, he’s got plans and it looks like his life is finally getting into order. He’s got a good relationship with his daughter, his ex-wife and her new husband are on good terms with him, and he’s got a new business that looks like it’s going to do alright.

Hope aka Wasp, Evangeline Lily, and her father, Michael Douglas, are a bit pissed at Scott right now. Because of his actions they’re on the run, but it’s brought them closer together. With the knowledge learned from the last movie they are working to find Hope’s mother who has been lost in the quantum realm for thirty years.

Basically, Hope is a bad ass who kicks some major ass. She’s incredibly confident and smart, easily holding her own with her father even though he’s smarter than she is. She’s cunning, but not cut throat. Scott is the heart, I guess. He’s smart, though, that’s not very clear in this movie. He’s capable in a fight, but she’s got all the training. He is loyal, but he often makes the wrong decision, just not in a way that makes me hate him more in a dude I get where you’re coming from just use your brain sort of way.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is significantly better than the last movie. It’s got the wonderful Michael Peña in a much more prominent role than last time. It has two villains, but really only one. I have a hard time viewing the Ghost, Hannah John-Kamen, as a villain. She was used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to become a killer and was just trying to get help for herself. Yes, she was willing to do unspeakable things, but she was in constant pain, and she didn’t actually succeed in doing them. I wouldn’t necessarily trust her a tight spot, but I wouldn’t count her a villain.

I’m excited to see Scott in Endgame, I’m curious to see if he’s the one that saves the day. I’m also looking forward to an Ant-Man and the Wasp 3. I hope they don’t just set these heroes aside, I feel like they’re owed their own ending.

4/5

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

spider-man-homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Director:

Jon Watts

Writers:

Jonathan Goldstein

John Francis Daley

Jon Watts

Christopher Ford

Chris McKenna

Erik Sommers

Starring:

Tom Holland

Michael Keaton

Jon Favreau

Marisa Tomei

Zendaya

Jacob Batalon

Laura Harrier

Plot:

Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Review:

Peter Parker, Tom Holland, is not technically an Avenger, but maybe. If Tony Stark would just give him a chance he knows he could succeed. It’s not like he hasn’t already proven himself in battle against Earth’s mightiest superheroes. Of course, Tony couldn’t even give him that telling him that Cap would have beat him if he wanted too. I’m really glad that Peter has Aunt May, Marisa Tomei, she is a much better parental figure than Tony.

Using his new suit Peter fights crime, discovers weapons being made with alien tech, and tracks down the people responsible. When he botches a sting operation put in place to take the bad guys down Tony takes his suit away. Probably the best and most hypocritical move that Tony could have done since it’s easy to forget that Peter is only 15.

Without his suit, but desperate to do good with his abilities, Peter finds himself in a dangerous position, he calls all the people he can, is ignored, and so does what heroes do. He pushes himself, learns his limits, and pushes himself past them to save people. He is a hero, but by not taking Tony up on his offer he proves that he’s also very self-aware. Honestly, having never enjoyed Spider-Man, this movie made me excited for the character. It is easily the second best Spider-Man movie (Into the Spiderverse is first).

As much as I enjoyed the Spider-Man character, the movie wouldn’t have been nearly as good without his villain The Vulture, Michael Keaton. Awarded a huge clean up job by the city of NY Keaton takes out loans, hires people, and is looking at a bright professional future, when Tony Stark swoops in and takes it all away. Honestly, it’s kind of disheartening that in a universe with superheroes the politicians still manage to fuck shit up. Who in their right mind awards a clean-up project to the very person that made the mess? Did he give them an amazing deal? Should it have mattered? He better be doing it for free, but I doubt it.

I would be right on board with The Vulture if he’d just not had to go and kill people. That one little step is my step too far. I could have probably forgiven killing his flunky, but trying to kill a teenager? A teenager that you know saved your daughter from death? Nope, can’t root for you. I was happy that he didn’t give Peter up at the end though, it showed that he wasn’t completely evil, maybe.

As to the impact on the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter gets a new fancy suit, but I think that’s pretty much it. It’s a nice suit…

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great superhero movie, but it was lacking in a couple areas. First, and the one that impacts my rating the least, it’s ties to the overarching plot. It builds the character and relationships, but, so far, it doesn’t seem to mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Second, and actually impacting my rating, the lack of female characters and representation, both in front of and behind the screen. Aunt May was awesome, what little Zendaya was in the movie she was great, the only other significant female character was Liz, Laura Harrier, and she was really just there as a romantic interest for Peter and didn’t even speak in a lot of her time on screen. Everyone was a dude and I’ve just watched, how many movies, where it’s the same way, and it’s really starting to weigh me down. It’s one thing when it’s spread out a couple times a year, it’s another thing when it’s every day. I’m just a bit…tired.

Side note: sorry for the little break in reviews, I moved and that is time consuming.

Original Review

4/5