Ant-Man and the Wasp: Peyton Reed and the fans of the title characters have a lot to thank the Marvel corporate overlords: instead of having what would likely amount to a glorified cameo in a bloated mess of a film, they got a sequel that is a slight improvement over the first film. The story is insulated (mostly) from the remainder of the MCU, its scale small (but that also means it has a pair of weak villains); it’s also nothing special, but at least it was not aiming to be. The humor moments are hit-and-miss, but Michael Peña makes some of those work. He is the standout of a cast that is very fine on paper but has barely anything to do (nevertheless, it’s always good to see Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas and Laurence Fishburne.) What really makes this film stand out are the action sequences; like the story, they have a very limited scale, but are entertaining and unlike anything else on the cinematic universe. The film has a snappy pace (thanks to editors Dan Lebental and Craig Wood) and a polished look (to be expected given the stature of cinematographer Dante Spinotti).
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