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Well, after being forced to sit through a good half hour straight of ads for some of the worst looking, creepy-ass kids movies ever lensed (thanks, Disney!), we just saw Ant Man and the Wasp.

And while a damn sight better than low-bar trash like Thor Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Part 2 and the Avengers films (pretty much any of ’em), it was definitely a letdown from the original.

Most of the film felt like a regurgitated, lesser highlight reel from the last Ant Man film (and Captain America: Civil War for good measure), as the trailer may warn. His ex-con pals were more Stooge-like and their lines weren’t very funny, and the “baddie” (the UGLIEST damn thing I’ve had to look at onscreen since having to suffer through multiple, stomach churning close ups of Michele Rodriguez in Resident Evil) was pathetic and annoying (every time she shows onscreen, you just want to smack her and send her back to her corner…same goes for the huge-foreheaded Southern “black market dealer” aka baddie #2, who’s just plain annoying).

Was also not happy to see Larry Fishburne taking on Black Goliath (a fun hero from the mid 70’s) and turning him into a bitter old baddie (though they try to spin it to make him pseudo-sympathetic), or the utter destruction of the Jimmy Woo character (who was pretty cool back when he was chasing down the Yellow Claw…here reduced to a stiff loser who may further be closet homosexual, from his last scene…talk about pissing all over comics history!) and Michele Pfieffer was a non-presence, for those expecting something on that end.

On the plus side, while visibly aging, Evangeline Lilly looked a damn sight better in a ponytail than with that absurd Louise Brooks/Valentina flip she sported last time around, and while there were more duds than successes overall, some of the humor did work, with a fully suited up Lilly something fans of the original have been waiting for with baited breath (yours truly inclusive).

At least their titular pairing did not disappoint, only to be let down by the rest of the film, which couldn’t decide if it was about

  • Scott’s sex offender-like house arrest,
  • his daughter’s idolization of him (which leaves them open for the New Avengers Cassie at some point),
  • the Pym’s quest to find Janet
  • and, most centrally, (or so you’d expect!) his “redemption” and return to the good graces of his de facto girlfriend (Lilly)…
  • …or the whole misguided schtick with the parts dealer,
  • Bill Foster turning traitor
  • and his pal Captain Uglybitch…er, “Ghost”, of whom the less said (not to mention seen!) the better.

Every point does get resolved eventually, but not quite satisfactorily, as the solutions seem to fall into everyone’s lap far too easily, as if by deus ex machina.

Shouldn’t Lilly, at least, have shown more resistance to Scott’s return and attempts to go on the make?  Nope, she’s a grinning, fawning fangirl for the entire last third of the film, for no reason whatsoever…

Winners: Lilly…maybe Fishburne, who did the best he could with a thanklessly misguided part.

Losers: fans of the first film, who were expecting something more akin to that film, the first Deadpool or the first Guardians: i.e. more intelligently written “outsider” films about finding and creating your own family and support group who accept and stick with you despite everyone’s respective foibles – something blood relatives simply never do.

And anyone forced to look at so many extended scenes with “Ghost”…blecch!