Ready For Endgame: Ant-Man And The Wasp & Captain Marvel

When I think about these movies, it’s in the shadow of The Snap, and how they even more than the others, reinforces that one of the strength of the MCU is that the journey counts as much as anything. We all knew that Ant-Man And The Wasp and Captain Marvel were hurtling towards the inevitable destruction of half the population.

But they handle it very differently. First of all, as I talked about both when I reviewed Ant-Man a few years ago, and when I talked about Ant-Man And The Wasp last year, I find these movies completely and utterly charming. I smile the whole way through all of them. Paul Rudd is wonderful. Evangeline Lilly is wonderful. Michael Douglas is wonderful. The whole supporting cast is wonderful.

Scott’s main motivation is his love for his daughter, which binds him with Janet Van Dyne, who just wants to get back to Hope. Oh, and she’s Michelle Pfeiffer, which is awesome. Seriously, you guys, I love this movie a lot, and I’m very worried about how Scott is going to feel after he returns from the Quantum realm and finds that his new family is gone. (Also, I hope Cassie is OK, I get the feeling it will be his ex wife, Judy Greer, who got snapped in that scenario.)

And then we have to talk abut Captain Marvel, which Aless and I went to go see again last weekend, so that one, we could see it again, and two, I could write about it intelligently. I love this movie. I love Carol Danvers, I love that she’s so powerful, that she doesn’t let people define her, that’s her arc. She’s in charge, she’s going to do what she wants, and it’s wonderful.

Like Ant-Man hinging on Paul Rudd, so much here is because of Brie Larson’s low key and charming performance. She’s smirking, quipping and pushing the boundaries at every moment, but it always feels like she’s a fully formed person, even when she’s Vers, and she isn’t.

Both movies end on a triumph for their heroes and then in the post credits brings us post snap, Scott in the quantum realm with Hope, Janet and Hank dusted, and Carol responding to Fury’s page,ready to join the Avengers.

One thing that’s great about a few key movies in The MCU is that they make for an inescapable status quo for the others. Because Ant-Man And The Wasp and Captain Marvel came out in between Infinity War and Endgame the snap had to be dealt with, it couldn’t be ignored. But the movies manage to stand on their own, even without that hook. We knew that they’d answer the questions of “Where were those guys when Thanos hit?” but we also knew that wasn’t going to be the point.

OK, that’s it. We rewatched the whole deal. Isn’t that crazy? It’s crazy.

Next time we touch base with The MCU, it’s going to be for Endgame, and the beginning of movie season. Taking this Monday, sometimes Tuesday when I’m busy/tired, will be the final seven (eight maybe) Game Of Thrones winners. And after that…well..we’ll talk after that.

He’s In A Rough Place, Emotionally

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I finally saw Ant-Man And The Wasp last night! Hooray! (I’ve also decided to sign up for Sutbs A-List, so that I can get through the rest of movie season with relative ease. Double hooray!)

I really, really loved Ant-Mana lot, it’s probably the most rewatched MCU movie for me. (At least post Avengers…) due in no small part to Paul Rudd’s lovely performance, it’s heart being about fathers and daughters, and Michael Pena as Luis. (Sadly not as well used here)

Ant-Man And The Wasp is not as good as Ant-Man, but it’s still quite good, and makes use of a Partridge Family song, which is a delight. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are delightful in both their kinda creepy de-aged versions (prep for a full movie of this effect in Captain Marvel folks…I wonder how it will sustain?) and as their distinguished perfect selves. (Lawrence Fishburn is also good.)

I didn’t think the villain, Ghost, was as disconnected as I’d heard (She’s pretty well tied in to Pym, his legacy and SHIELD.) (Also, like, I love Howard and Peggy, but DAMN, SHIELD SUCKS you guys.) And Evangeline Lilly does well enough, and Paul Rudd is still great, but this is a lower tier one. (This seems to be happening with the second parts of Marvel trilogies regularly. The Winter Soldier being the exception that proves the rule…)

Worth seeing, as it stands alone in a few ways, and it has a damn charming cast, but not going to move mountains or anything.

POST CREDITS!

First in the mid credits, as everyone gets ready to enter the Quantum Realm for some experimenting, only Scott makes it before Janet, Hank and Hope all get poofed. So…yeah…we’ll see what happens there.

Rankings:

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  2. Deadpool 2
  3. Ocean’s 8
  4. Infinity War
  5. Ant-Man And The Wasp

Trailers

The House With The Clock In The Walls: This looks like a delight, and since I now have A-List, I will likely actually see it. (I discovered if I even only go to one movie a week, not even the 3 allotted, the thing will pay for itself.)

Creed II: I would have gone to see this even if it wasn’t about Adonis avenging his father’s death by fighting Drago Jr. But since it is about that, well, now I’ll go see it seventeen times.

Alpha: This movie looks so dumb, but PUPPIES!!!!

Bumblebee: I hope it’s good, since it’s writer is now making the Batgirl movie, but I’m not super confident…

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms: I’ve talked about how excited I am for this movie before, but the new trailer makes me even more so. Seriously, it looks kind of wonderful.

Dumbo: “Baby Mine” will make me cry no matter what, so there’s that, I guess?

Have you heard of me? You probably haven’t heard of me

Ant Man

OK.

I can admit when I’m wrong.

I can admit when it’s time to let go of my preconceived notions and think something that I previously thought wasn’t going to work is actually really really freaking great!

And Ant-Man, is really, really freaking great.

OK, from here on in we’re into spoiler land.

You have been warned.

Ant-Man opens with a CGI younged up Michael Douglas as Hank Pym walking into a half built Triscallion in 1989 to tell Howard Stark, Peggy Carter and some other guy that they can’t have his tech.

Oh, and John Slattery is back as Howard.

And Hayley Atwell in old makeup.

Right, so, if you were worried, at all, Peggy Carter is in this movie.

We jump forward in time and see Scott Lang getting out of prison. Scott’s an expert cat burglar, but he’s planning on going straight for the sake of his young daughter Cassie. He gets sucked into one last score by his old cell mate, but it turns out to be a set up by Pym and his daughter Hope, who want Scott to stop Pym’s former protege from creating weapons tech from the shrinking technology Hank created back in the day.

Paul Rudd is great, Evangeline Lilly is great, Michael Douglas is great. The guys on Scott’s crew are amazing. A fight sequence between Scott and Falcon (yup!) is stellar. All of the ant stuff is awesome.

The movie is great in a way that we haven’t seen from Marvel in a while. It’s fun the way Iron Man was fun, but is also not at all like Iron Man, if that makes any sense?

Go see the movie!

Rankings

  1. Ant-Man
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (You had a good run, may you ride shiny and chrome, you live, you die, you live again.)
  3. Inside Out
  4. Tomorrowland
  5. Jurassic World
  6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  7. Minions
  8. Terminator: Genisys
  9. Entourage
  10. Pitch Perfect: 2

Trailers

The Walk: I look forward to watching this on HBO some day. Aless is annoyed because the documentary about this was already great. I’m inclined to agree.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Alright, ok, I’ll go.

POST CREDITSSSSSSSSSSSS

Seriously, I don’t want these spoiled for anyone at all. They’re that good. In the “mid-credits” as it’s been called, we see Hope and Hank, a large bit of the tension in the movie comes from the fact that Hank doesn’t want Hope shrinking, as her mother, Janet VanDyne was lost in the micro world. But he finally understands that he needs to let her go, and shows her the Wasp Suit. Hope smiles and says, “Well, it’s about damn time!” To which Aless and I shouted, “HELL YEAH IT IS!” About damn time for The Wasp, about damn time for another female super hero in the MCU, about damn time for all of this shit. 

And then it got even better as the credits faded out, we see Sam walking down a dark hallway and greeting Steve, they walk over to another space and there’s Bucky, glaring at them and breathing heavily, you know, like you do when your best friend and his new best friend have you chained to a thing, probably because you were brainwashed to kill them, or whatever. So BUCKY ALIVE AND FOUND, and then Steve says, “We can’t tell Tony, we don’t know what he can even do because of The Accords.” Sam looks at Steve and says, “I might know a guy.”

WE SEE YOU ALL AT CIVIL WAR! (I’m freaking out. Seriously, we were squeeing all over the place.)

So is Ant Man going to be a comedy?

From the minute it was announced that Ant Man was going to be directed by Edgar Wright, it was always pretty clear that it was going to be little bit cheekier than the rest of the MCU. This is the man who managed to turn a zombie gore fest into one of the best romantic comedies of the new millennium. He’s all about subverting expectations.

Then he casts Paul Rudd as Hank Pym.

We’re really big fans of Paul Rudd in my house. If you’ve sat in a hotel room and listened to an almost word for word recitation of the scene where he and Seth Rogen are on mushrooms from Knocked Up then you might have some idea of how much my sister loves Paul Rudd.

I'm high up! I'm up high!

I’m high up! I’m up high!

If you’ve ever rented Role Models on a family vacation, you might understand how my mother feels. And if you’ve ever written a paper on how Clueless is the best adaptation of any Jane Austen ever, then you know how my best friend feels.

As for me? I’ll never forget his memorable turn as Phoebe’s husband Mike on Friends, and the impact of “Do you wanna know how I know you’re gay?” from The 40 Year Old Virgin has yet to leave me.

I’m guessing that Ant Man is going to be subversive, a little bit dark and hugely funny. Because if there’s anything that describes the collective work of these two men, it’s “a little dark and hugely funny.”

And also those 5 lines in Romeo + Juliet that Rudd had, because Paris is the most ridiculous excuse for a character William Shakespeare ever farted out.

Also apparently Rashida Jones is going to be The Wasp? Who else wants to see Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler and the rest of the Pawnee gang get in on the MCU action? I know that I do.