#REVIEW: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

ant_man_wasp_posterI wasn’t super excited to see the first Ant-Man movie when it came out back in 2015 and generally found it to be a pretty pleasant surprise.  Three years later, I was actually quite a bit more excited to see Ant-Man and the Wasp, but somehow it managed to be one of the very few Marvel films that I didn’t see on opening weekend.  Life basically intervened last weekend and I didn’t have time.

Here’s the thing, though: I’ve always loved the Wasp as a character, much much more than Hank Pym, and although I’d have preferred to have the classic Janet van Dyne version of the character I can’t really get upset about using Hope instead.  Scott Lang as a character has really never even registered.  But the Ghost?  The Ghost has always been an Iron Man villain– and a dude, to boot– but he’s one of my favorite Iron Man villains, so if you tell me the Ghost is gonna be the bad guy in a movie I’m gonna be there to see it.

tl;dr: Go see it.  It’s got some flaws but in general I think I liked it more than the first one and it’s a pleasant palate-cleanser for the unrelenting misery and horror that was Avengers Infinity Wars.  Mostly, anyway.

That’s long enough for the Facebook people, right?  Okay.  Spoilers ho!

And bullet points.  This is gonna be a random stream-of-consciousness bullet-point style review.

  • Let’s start with the Ghost, actually.  She’s awesome, and a fascinating character, even if this version has little to do with the canonical Ghost other than look (which is amazing) and powers.  That said, she’s ultimately kind of unnecessary to the movie as a whole and her part actually could probably have been cut and still left us with a decent movie.  But that’s the script’s fault, not the character’s or the actress’ fault.  I’ve never seen Hannah John-Kamen in anything before and I want more of her.
  • Actually, let’s just get all of the griping out of the way first: every problem with this movie is a problem with the script.  In particular, the movie could really have used a couple of science advisors.  Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne and Bill Foster are supposed to be geniuses; this movie is stuffed with them, and at one point they actually let Scott say “Are you guys just putting the word quantum in front of everything?” and unfortunately it’s supposed to be a joke but the answer is yes.  The science is Star Trek-level bad; at one point they literally reverse the polarity of something and Janet van Dyne takes over Scott’s brain for a moment to “rewrite an algorithm.”  Don’t ask, just understand that lazy-ass writers use “algorithm” to mean “sciencey thing that we don’t understand and don’t want to explain.”  It’s terrible.
  • On to the good stuff!  The actors across the board are great, even the ones with clearly bit parts, like the thug with no name who was always chewing on his rosary, or Truth Serum Guy.  Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun and they all made the movie really fun to watch.
  • The de-aging special effects, this time used on Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer, continues to be fucking amazing.  It’s going to be a big part of Captain Marvel since like half the cast will need to look 30 years younger than they are, and they’re getting creepily good at it.
  • When Fishburne’s Bill Foster turned out to be a sorta-bad-guy, I really wanted him to somehow end up being Lex Luthor, but it didn’t happen.
  • This is my favorite Evangeline Lilly role ever.  I liked her in the last movie but this one actually made me a fan of hers.  She can have her own movie anytime.
  • The fight sequences across the board, but especially anytime the Wasp or the Ghost were on-screen, were spectacular.  Very, very nicely choreographed action.
  • The repeated theme of dads and daughters throughout this movie, especially Foster and the Ghost’s pseudo-parental relationship, was really neat.  Much like the last one, this is a movie with much lower stakes than the rest of the Marvel films, and focusing on all the familial relationships everywhere was great.  The first few minutes, where a clearly out-of-his-mind Lang has constructed an apartment-sized amusement park for his daughter because he has nothing else to do, was great.
  • There were hints that I was going to get much more of my favorite version of Hank Pym (the gadget-obsessed, white-lab-coat wearing whacko of the West Coast Avengers) in this movie than in the last one and it absolutely came through for me.  The fact that the Macguffin for half of the movie was a literal multi-story office building shrunk down to the size of a piece of carry-on luggage was fantastic.
  • It also led to one of my favorite visual moments of the movie, where they shrink down the office building to reveal an army of FBI guys sneaking up on them behind it.
  • There were only one or two moments where the CGI was wonky, mostly in the scene where they’re infiltrating the elementary school (don’t ask) and Scott gets stuck at about three and a half feet tall.  They were using a lot of practical effects for that bit and it actually didn’t work very well.
  • And then, after all that good shit throughout the movie, that ending.  You bastards.

So.  Yeah.  Go see it!  We’re one movie closer to Captain Marvel!

In which I live to serve, but not for much longer

butler-rhettActual Fiction has happened today; not much, but nonetheless Actual Fiction, so I feel pretty good about the universe right now.  I was supposed to spend the morning taking care of my last Act of Ridiculous Customer Service (why, sure, I’ll drive to Michigan and pick up the seat of your armless chair and drop it off at the leather reconditioning place so you don’t have to do it!  Why not?) but the timing ended up not working out so I’m probably doing that tomorrow.

This will be the last time I drive anywhere for a customer, which pleases me.  It probably seems slightly more unreasonable than it actually is, at least in my head; I don’t always have a lot to do on my days off and if I’m just going to spend the day on the couch playing video games or staring at HGTV I may as well drive for a bit and listen to some podcasts instead, y’know?  Yeah, gas costs money, but so does everything else, so I’m not going to worry about it all that much.

Anyway.  The world seems to be a bit more on fire than usual this week and there’s a Big Corporate Visit coming next week at work so I’ve been mostly keeping my head down.  Anything going on out there that doesn’t involve disaster?

I give up

giphy-1Last night, I completely cracked the plot of the Skylights sequel wide open, for about the fourteenth time since finishing the original book– only this time it involves going back to the original draft of Sunlight that I got like 40,000 words into and then had to bail on, because I finally figured out how to make it work.

At this point the sequel to that book is going to be a foreword, 300 blank pages, and then the words “And then they all died” on page 301, because I am having that much trouble getting the plot to cohere.


In other news, despite the fact that I’ve put in notice at my job, there’s still a corporate visit next week and for some reason apparently I’m still expected to, like, do stuff around the store– I guess they don’t just pay me to sit on my ass and look at my phone for five weeks, or something nuts like that?  So I’ve been insanely busy at work for the last couple of days and tomorrow does not look like it’s going to be better.  I literally dusted every end table and coffee table in the entire store this evening.  Tomorrow I have to do the TV stands. I am crabby and sleepy and I have not had much brain left for bloggery when I get home.  I will, I hope, break myself of this habit tomorrow.


Seriously.  Email me some problems so I can do an advice column.  Otherwise I’m just gonna fictionalize the whole thing and that’s gonna lead to issues.