Right off the bat, Ant-Man and the Wasp proves itself to be a great sequel, soaring beyond the mediocre narrative of 2015's Ant-Man in the first half hour of the movie. Unfortunately, this rise above mediocrity is short lived as the movie falls back into another predictable storyline during the third act, proving that maybe this is just another standard superhero movie.
There was one asset that was the driving force of Ant-Man and the Wasp, outside of Paul Rudd's always lovable comedic antics, and that is the emotion. A number of Marvel movies bank off of family relationships (Gamora and Thanos, Star-Lord and Ego, Black Panther and Killmonger, Thor and Loki, etc.). All things considered, this trope works great, and most people aren't tired of it quite yet. The family factor was brought up a number of times, with Hope and Hank missing Hope's mother Janet Van Dyne, with Scott wanting to be with his daughter, and even a rather tragic backstory for the new villain Ghost. Even for people who still have both of their parents, the tragedy of losing a parent still sounds devastating, which puts nearly every character in the movie on an emotionally personal level for the audience members.
The shining star of the movie is, obviously, Paul Rudd, who for the third time has proven that he was a great choice for the role of Scott Lang / Ant-Man. Unfortunately, one star who did not get the chance to shine was Evangeline Lilly, who played the character Hope Van Dyne / the Wasp. However, this really isn't at the fault of the actress, who once again brought a truly badass performance to the table. Regrettably, despite the movie being titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, the movie still felt like a movie just about Ant-Man, with Hope once again taking a backseat as a supporting character. While Hope certainly did have a clear motivation, she did not have much development throughout the movie, which was incredibly disappointing considering on the movie's title and marketing campaign.
However, the biggest stumble for Ant-Man and the Wasp came in the last 15 to 20 minutes. Up until this point, the stakes of the movie kept raising, building up to some sort of enormous finale. Unfortunately, this finale came in the form of a brief scuttle between the two heroes and the villain that lasted about one minute, with every problem being easily solved shortly thereafter. Though this worked for the narrative, it still felt rather disappointing. While we certainly didn't need an enormous fight between the heroes and villain at the end of the movie in the style of Man of Steel, there still needed to be stakes, consequences and risk in the final fight of the movie. Raising stakes and bringing up more problems are essential to a great third act, but only the first half of the third act included this, with every problem being easily solved with no issues during the act's second half.
Besides these two glaring issues, the latest movie from Marvel Studios was an all around worthwhile trip to the theater. The action, the incredible visual effects, the emotion, and the comedy kept Ant-Man and the Wasp a truly entertaining superhero movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp was certainly an improvement from 2015's Ant-Man, but unfortunately, there is still room for improvement should we get an Ant-Man 3.