Something about the Ant-Man movies just seems… small. And that isn’t just a pun, the scale of these movies, both the original and this sequel, just come off as, insignificant. Not to say they are bad, in fact, I quite enjoyed both of them, they just lack gravitas. I feel like if you were going to skip one of the franchises in the MCU, you could skip this one and be completely fine.
Well, let’s talk about what I liked. It is very funny. Perhaps sometimes too comedic, but still, the movie consistently made me laugh. Which at this point is to be expected. Marvel movies definitely love to lean hard on the comedy. Michael Pena’s character once again was a solid source of comedic relief. These types of characters, meaning comedic relief, can tend to be very annoying, but in this case, him and all of the XCON crew, were funny, without being distracting.
The villain was compelling. I do not want to spoil too much, but her motivations made sense, and every action she took was understandable. She is someone who is incredibly desperate. She is not a bad person, but willing to do awful things to accomplish her goal. She was also very formidable and felt like a serious threat. My problem with her is how clean the ending was though. Felt like everything came together too simply.
They tried to show the darker side of Hank Pym, but I feel like they could have gone further. They used the fact he is hard to work with to help set up the villains motive, but never took it further than that. They imply that he had stepped over people to get to where he is, but then just dropped that plot once we learn of how it is connected to the antagonist.
The action is all well done. It was yet another car chase which feels all too common in these movies, but the shrinking of the cars did make it feel unique. As did weaving fight scenes in between the car chase scenes. It had a lot of layers, with so much going on, that it did not feel like a retread of the Marvel car chases scenes in the past.
The effects were all good. The quantum realm stuff was specifically beautiful. In general, like most Marvel films, all the film craft stuff was quality. Standard, and perhaps uninspired, but quality.
The story was fine. Generic, but with just enough originality to keep from getting bored. As I said, there is a lot going on, despite the stakes and the scope both being small. There is a heist component, a revenge component, and a rescue component. There is also the usual side plot of the hero screwing up a bunch, but rising to the moment when it matters. It is all by the numbers, but it works well enough in this movie.
Overall, the movie is fine. it works for what it is. A quality summer blockbuster. I enjoyed watching it. It did not drag on too long, I was never bored, and it was well made. It is what I have come to expect out of these Marvel solo movies. There have been a few that stand out, but most of the time, they are in the solid B range. Nothing exceptional, but quality. They mix it up enough to make the movies feel unique but keep it similar enough for the movies to feel like they fit together.