Paul Rudd

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

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain American Civil War

Oh they fuckin

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Starring:

Chris Evans

Sebastian Stan

Robert Downy Jr.

Scarlett Johansson

Anthony Mackie

Don Cheadle

Jeremy Renner

Chadwick Boseman

Paul Bettany

Elizabeth Olsen

Paul Rudd

Tom Holland

Emily VanCamp

Plot:

Political involvement in the Avengers’ affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Review:

S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more, technically, but that doesn’t stop the Avengers from fighting crime. Captain America, Chris Evans, has a team together and they’re trying to stop a biological weapon from being stolen. They’re in the middle of a bustling city and the bad guys don’t care about collateral damage, the Avengers aren’t as good on that front as they should be either, one thing leads to another and the side of building is destroyed. In the end the Avengers stopped the biological weapon from being stolen, but civilians died, namely Wakandan citizens died.

Cue General Ross, William Hurt, who has managed to fail upward and become the Secretary of State. He convinces a struggling Tony, Robert Downey Jr., that the best form of oversight for the Avengers is the United Nations. Tony is desperate for someone to take away the responsibility so he jumps right on it. Cap, on the other hand, is used to this side of war and has seen enough of the world’s government to know he doesn’t want to dance to their tune.

Thus the Avengers Civil War is born.

The team is fairly evenly split. War Machine, Don Cheadle, and Vision, Paul Bettany, side with Tony. While Falcon, Anthony Mackie, and Scarlett Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, are with Cap. Though Scarlett Witch had some doubts and was ultimately swayed because Tony basically put her under house arrest.

On top of all of this a new bad guy is in town and he’s decided to destroy the Avengers. He knows the great lengths that Cap will go to save Bucky, Sebastian Stan, and uses that knowledge. He plays the Avengers like a fiddle and it’s truly remarkable what he’s able to accomplish. He rips them apart and even though he’s caught in the end the damage is done.

Cap and Bucky are able to escape, but the others that chose his side are all put in the Raft, a floating prison. Tony knows that’s where they are, he goes and visits them and Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, calls him out, but Tony just leaves them. Cap is the one that breaks them out. Tony has come backs for everything everyone says to him, but they’re so weak. He knows it, but he never acknowledges it. He knows that Bucky wasn’t in control when he killed Tony’s parents, but he loses control and doesn’t care.

This movie birthed my absolute hatred of Iron Man. I had almost forgotten exactly why I hated him, but I was very clearly reminded. I felt like the movie did a poor job backing why Cap was clearly in the right. They didn’t want Iron Man to become a bad guy so they went too weak.

The fight scenes weren’t as poorly shot as Winter Soldier, so that was nice. They’re still not good, but they weren’t nearly as bad.

There were a couple big reveals in this movie, two of them being the amazing introductions to Spider-Man, Tom Holland, and Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman. Even though this was the first introduction to these characters in the middle of an ensemble movie, they didn’t get lost. They got just enough exposure leaving you wanting more, which is exactly what they needed.

It was also revealed that Sharon, Emily VanCamp, is Peggy Carter’s niece. I hated that reveal. I was never a fan of her, but she was sort of just there so it didn’t really matter, but making her related to Peggy felt cheap. It’s like she’s a conciliation prize for Cap and I hate that. It takes an already weak character and weakens her, in my opinion. They don’t bother giving her, her own backstory, they just tac her on to someone else. Frustrating.

Captain America: Civil War is a poor title for a great movie, maybe Captain America vs. Iron Man: Poor Bucky.

4.5/5

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man.jpg

Ant-Man (2015)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Michael Douglas

Evangeline Lily

Corey Stoll

Michael Peña

Plot:

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Review:

Scott Lang, Paul Rudd, is a real life Robin Hood. He stole from a rich ISP and gave the money back to the consumers. He is the hero we deserve. Sadly, much like the real world, he was put in jail and is only now getting out. Optimistic that he’ll be able to find a new job fast, he’s shocked to learn that even as a really smart white man being an ex-convict closes a lot of doors, especially the Baskin Robins door. Broke and desperate to see his daughter he returns to a life of crime.

In perhaps one of the most realistic parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Dr. Hank Pym, Michael Douglas, is yet another white man with a galactic size ego. He picks Scott out to carry on the mantel of Ant-Man, though, conveniently leaves out the damage the suit has done to him that makes it so he’s unable to continue using it. He also is adamant that the Avengers not be contacted even though the world is in danger.

Alright, we’re like eleven movies into this re-watch and it’s clearly starting to get to me. I love the movies, I really do, but watching them back to back like this is really, really, highlighting their flaws. Namely, the fact that almost everyone is a freaking white man; they’ve got their little things that make them different from each other, but still… Also, most of the female characters are bad asses with a large portion of them having a tragic past.

Wasp, badass with a tragic past, mother died and her father was a dick.

Black Widow, badass with a tragic past, raised to be an assassin from a very young age.

Scarlett Witch, badass with a tragic past, though, personally badass is kind of a stretch her powers are impressive.

Maria Hill, badass.

Peggy Carter, resourceful, intelligent, badass.

Pepper Potts, rich secretary who is briefly a badass, past unknown.

Betty Ross, scientist, not a badass, father’s a dick, only in the universe one movie before never really brought up again.

Jane Foster, science badass, but mainly science. Backstory unknown and disappears after two movies.

Lady Sif, badass, past unknown, disappears after two movies is in a couple episodes of SHIELD.

Gamora, badass with a tragic backstory.

Nebula, badass with a tragic backstory.

Valkyrie, badass with a tragic backstory.

It’s not until we get to Black Panther that we get a character that’s a bit more with Shuri and she’s been in two movies so far, so hopefully she’s not disappeared. Also, I could be forgetting someone and I didn’t include Captain Marvel because she’s got her own movie, and I don’t consider her backstory tragic, it’s a pretty normal backstory for a woman of her age.

It’s just…it’s really obvious and it really shows how much the series has changed, but I hope it continues to grow. I want more. They’re superhero movies so every main character or supporting character is going to be some level of badass, for the most part, but I want some diversity in their backgrounds. I’d like them to not just be forgotten or never mentioned again. I love the universe, I hope it continues to do better, and be like the heroes they’re telling stories about.

Here is my original review of Ant-Man, after further consideration I think I’ll actually bump it up rating wise. Ant-Man is a good character, but the movie is fun because of Michael Peña.

3.75/5

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)


Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Evangeline Lily

Michael Peña

Michael Douglas

Michele Pfeiffer

Laurence Fishburne

Hannah John-Kamen

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:

Clearly the person to see here is the Wasp, Evangeline Lily. Sure Ant-Man, Paul Rudd, is the known hero, but come on, Wasp is where it’s at. She kicks ass, keeps her cool in all situations, makes the right decisions, and is smart enough to keep up with her genius father. She is the total package.

Ant-Man who?

Oh yeah, Paul Rudd, America’s sweetheart, a man who is both hilarious and attractive (though sadly no ab scenes in this movie), the man my husband has a crush on, one of the titular characters of the movie. The hero that’s on a first name basis with Captain America, Cap, Steve Rogers. The adorable father or an impossibly precocious little girl.

Ant-Man.

Together the two work well. Wasp is the brain, Ant-Man the heart. I did feel that Ant-Man wasn’t as smart as he was in the first movie. He’s not an idiot, but he’s definitely outshone in the brains department and they didn’t really give him an opportunity to display his smarts.

Michael Peña had an opportunity to tell another story, which I loved and it was great to see the other side characters from the first movie have their moment. I love Hannah John-Kamen from Killjoys so I was happy to see her here.

SPOILERS!!!

What I liked most about the Ghost was that her ending is really unknown. Like Nebula from the Guardians of the Galaxy, she’s still alive and her future motivations are unclear. Is she going to return to being an assassin? Is she never going to be seen again? Is she going to be a hero now? We don’t know! It’s nice to not end the movie with killing the villain.

I do wish we’d had more of the beautiful and talented Michele Pfeiffer, and with that first end credit scene we have no idea what’s going to happen and if we’ll see her again. She has powers, she’s smart, who knows??

That first end credit scene…damn. I’m more excited than ever to see what happens next in the Marvel universe. They have been on a roll lately and while Ant-Man and the Wasp wasn’t amazing, probably not in my top five favorite Marvel movies, it’s still a solid addition to the series and brings me a female hero that I absolutely love.

4.5/5

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man

Ant-Man (2015)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Michael Douglas

Corey Stoll

Evangeline Lilly

Plot:

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Review:

The movie had some pacing issues and was nowhere near as funny as I thought it was going to be. I was actually pretty disappointed in everything. I feel like this keeps happening with the most recent additions to the Marvel franchise. It was an introduction to the character but they were hamstrung by the universe that’s been built. The issue facing Ant-Man couldn’t be too big because they didn’t want to call in the Avengers and it ended up having problems because of it.

The action was lacking and there was a lot of downtime. There were a few funny moments but the dialog that was supposed to be funny felt forced.

There’s been a lot of buildup in the last two movies toward, I guess, Captain America: Civil War, and because of that the story for movies like Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron felt like they were filler.

I’m being a little unfair, Ant-Man wasn’t that bad, but it certainly didn’t live up to my expectations.

3/5