By Bru-Hed (with help from Mike Pascale)
All original written content is (c) 2018 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
Marvel’s smallest superhero is back–with a stinging second! Ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), nearing the end of his house-arrest sentence for helping out in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, has to decide whether or not to help Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man, aka Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly, aka the new Wasp, aka THE HOBBIT’s hottie elf) find out if their Mom Janet (the original Wasp, aka Michelle Pfeiffer) is still alive, before evil hottie Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen, aka the baddie from READY PLAYER ONE and TOMB RAIDER) ruins it all. All while being harassed by a gangster and the F.B.I.
Written by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari. Directed by Peyton Reed.
- Decent action and great shrinking/growing effects. Some of the uses, as in the first ANT-MAN, are clever and fun. Plus we see a young Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer through digital magic..
- As before, you’d expect some genuine laughs and funny dialog. You get it.
- [FROM MIKE: Guest appearance by “Bronze Age” Marvel hero Black Goliath! Not in costume, unfortunately, but the same guy.]
- The great supporting cast is back: the hilarious, speed-speaking Michael Peña as Luis, along with his “Ex-Con Security” partners Dave (Tip Harris) and Kurt (David “GOTHAM, THE FLASH” Dastmalchian), plus Lang’s ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her huggy hubby Paxton (Bobby Cannavale). Daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) steals all her scenes. New additions Walton Goggins (TOMB RAIDER) is a good baddie and FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), is light-hearted perfection.
- Peña by far has the best comedic moments; his flashback explanation is the standout of the movie.
- Stan Lee has another cameo with a nice line.
- We get a believable reason why Ant-Man was not in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
- Again, plenty of family dynamics. There’s all kinds of relationship stuff, between Lang and both Pyms, some budding romance, two different father-daughter interactions, husband-wife stuff, mother-daughter, buddies, you name it. Thankfully fer real guys like me, at least half of it is done humorously. (Pay attention to Rudd changing personalities–great gag.).
- Best brand placement ever–Hot Wheels and Pez!
- Some very cool shot visuals, tech, chases and battles. The Wasp’s fighting baddies in a restaurant and during a car chase and Giant-Man’s romping through Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran are rewind-replay worthy. (The Wasp’s butt in tight spandex doesn’t hurt either.)
- An actual happy ending! The main credits were some of the best of any Marvel movie! If any of those things exist, I want them for my man-cave. [MIKE: Dude, your entire house is a “man-cave.”] Exactly!
- Two buttons, one after the main credits (tie-in with INFINITY WAR and possibly setting up another Ant-Man sequel) and a quick humorous button at the very end.
- FROM MIKE: Great to see “Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby” get main credit again, plus “Thank yous” to EC Comics/MAD magazine great Al Feldstein (who created Jimmy Woo), Tony Isabella (Black Goliath), my convention pal, aka Comichron.com creator/NY-Times Bestselling Author/IRON MAN, STAR WARS and STAR TREK scribe John Jackson Miller, and several other writers and artists who contributed to the source material.
- There didn’t seem to be as much funny stuff or dialog as the first ANT-MAN. I thought of the character as kind of “Deadpool light,” sarcastic but not crazy. I wish there were more of that. After two years on house arrest, maybe he was just worn out.
- Again, the giant ants are “obviously” CG, looking too robotic and just fake in parts. Not that anyone would know what a “realistic” giant ant would look like, but they just didn’t look that real. And I still don’t know how you train them better than dogs!
- The Wasp costume at the end of the first ANT-MAN is different than the one here and no explanation is given that I could remember. Only super-nerds would notice, which is why I found out from the idiot Pascale who helps me write these.
- The climactic end battle with the baddie didn’t have the same impact as with Yellowjacket in the first. The San Francisco and waterfront stunts help make up for it, but I was expecting more at the final confrontation.
- SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF DEPT.: I’m pretty sure physicists and biologists would have a field day with the impossibilities and dangers and stuff regarding people and objects shrinking, growing and going back-and-forth so quickly. For instance, even yer pal Bru knows that ants have exoskeletons that would be crushed by gravity if they were as big as us. (Hey, sometimes when you’re up at 3am sucking brewskies and flipping channels, a PBS documentary can look interesting, okay?) So you will definitely have to turn your brain completely off for this one.
- When he’s huge, Ant-Man is never once referred to as Giant Man. A guy like Lang (and especially Luis) would think that is a much cooler name and for sure would have at least mentioned it. And I didn’t notice any reference to Michael Douglas’s first TV show, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, which would also have been funny and perfectly appropriate (unless I just missed it somewhere; let me know in the “Comments” section below).
- Most of the best scenes/fights were shown in the (2nd) trailer! Wish they had saved more for the film. The “You go high, I’ll go low” scene was not in the movie. And worse, the end-of-the-credits gag was also in the previews! Bad move.
Considering everyone (including me) expected the first ANT-MAN to be a point-and-laugh failure, it’s great to see the much-better-than-expected hit earn a sequel. Unlike most other Marvel movies, this doesn’t involve saving the globe for a welcome change. It’s very “small” and self-contained; other than the Giant-Man scenes and some car chases, doesn’t really need to be big-screened to be enjoyed. (Definitely no reason for 3D IMAX dough.) But it is a fun way to get out of the summer heat, and since I’d like to see another one, feel free to show it some theater love.
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