Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

And the 2018 catch-up continues. Admittedly I don’t have a super specific series set up, but catching up on the year’s movies is what one have to do when nearing the end of said year. Enough rambling, let’s shrink.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has to once again don the Ant-Man suit, but instead of using it to steal some shit, he has to use his abilities, as well as the assistance of his ally Hope (Evangeline Lilly), to get hold of some tech to try and pull Janet Van Dyne out of the Quantum Realm. But this quest will prove challenging as opposing forces want this technology for their own purposes. So now we have our “Ant-Man” sequel plot. And it’s good, a fun comic book romp. Has a few decent dramatic moments. Not much I can say, it’s just a fun superhero plot. Doesn’t do much, but doesn’t do little either. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow while expanding on a few of the ideas set up in the first movie. It doesn’t do anything special, but it also doesn’t need to. It’s just an easygoing and fun plot.

The characters in this are colorful, interesting, and really entertaining. Paul Rudd of course returns as Scott Lang, the charming ex-con/superhero with a heart of gold. He’s fun, he’s someone I care about, and he is just generally an enjoyable protagonist. And Paul Rudd is great in the role. Next we have Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp. She was just sort of a tough sidekick/teacher in the first movie, but here she gets to do a lot more, especially since she now has her own super suit to play with. And she’s quite an enjoyable character to follow. And Lilly is great in the role. Michael Peña returns as Scott’s best friend, Luis, and he’s just as hilarious as he was the first time around. Michael Douglas returns as Dr. Hank Pym, and he’s once again pretty great. Newcomer time! First up, Hannah John-Kamen as “Ghost”, a mysterious new villain with a pretty compelling arc that I won’t say more about here, but I found it to be pretty cool. And John-Kamen is really good in the role. We also get Walton Goggins as some shady black market dealer, and he’s as Goggins-y as ever, and while his character doesn’t have much to actually do, Goggins is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, T.I., Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

Like with the first movie, Christophe Beck did the score for this one. And it’s just as fun and enjoyable as the first time around. It’s bouncy, irreverent, and just overall fits the lighthearted tone that the movie generally goes for. The added use of synth and (for lack of a better word) bouncy percussion really helps keep the pace up. It’s just fun. And there are a few licensed tracks used throughout that work well enough in their respective scenes.

As with the first movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was directed by Peyton Reed and I think he did a good job with it. His directing is fun, fast-paced, and just generally has a certain energy that makes it all quite enjoyable to watch. The action scenes too are quite solid, giving us some good close quarters combat, as well as the shrink/grow superhero stuff we came to see. There’s of course also a lot of comedy throughout this movie, and I found most of it to be quite funny. A few jokes weren’t the best, but none of them made me want to tear my brain out. Some mild nose-wrinkling, some chuckles, a few out loud laughs… yeah, it’s funny.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a fun movie… not one of the best of the year, but an enjoyable romp nonetheless. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and funny comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an 8,76/10. So while not perfect, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is now completed.

Baba Yaga…

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Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

I know that I’m late with watching/reviewing this, but hey… Better late than never. So shut up… let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Blade Runner 2049”!

Set 30 years after the first movie, we follow a Blade Runner named K (Ryan Gosling) as he works a case. And during this case he stumbles upon a really old secret that will lead him onto a dangerous quest to find former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and hopefully get some answers. And once again we have a deep plot that at first just sets up an intriguing mystery, but soon also starts to ask questions about humanity and what makes you human or not… like the first movie. But while it does pose some of the same questions as the original, it isn’t really anything like it. Sure, it’s a familiar story with some similar themes, but it mostly does it’s own things, feeling like a proper, expansive continuation rather than a retread of the first movie. I should also mention that it is quite slow-paced, which will put some people off. But for me it worked, taking it’s time to develop the story and it’s developments. The plot here is unpredictable, tense, emotional, philosophical, filled with twists and turns, and I absolutely loved it.

The characters are layered, flawed, and really interesting. Also, forgive me if I’m a bit brief with some of these descriptions as I don’t wanna spoil too much. Ryan Gosling plays K, our protagonist.  Like Deckard before him, he’s a Blade Runner, and while Blade Running he stumbles upon the plot. Within the first couple minutes you get a good feeling that he is a bit of a troubled man, and he goes through a lot of emotions through the movie as he learns more and more. And Gosling is great in the role. Robin Wright plays K’s boss, a tough and smart lady. And Wright is great in the role. Ana de Armas plays Joi, the girlfriend of K. She’s a likable and kind-hearted lady that we quickly learn something interesting about. And de Armas is really good in the role. Then let’s talk about Harrison god damn Ford who returns in this as Rick Deckard. When we meet him you can tell that he’s damaged on the inside after stuff that’s happened in his life (both during “Blade Runner” and between both the movies). He’s grumpy, troubled, and tired. And I have to say that Harrison Ford was great in the role, giving one of his best performances ever. Jared Leto plays Niander Wallace, the menacing creator of the newest Replicants. He’s our villain who is suitably weird and menacing, and Leto is really good in the role. Really, all actors in this movie range from really good to great, brief appearance or lengthy role. ’tis a very well acted movie.

The score was composed by Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch and it is absolutely amazing. It manages to emulate the stuff that Vangelis composed back in 1982, while also doing enough things differently to make it stand out. Yes, the synth sounds are still there, but there are also a whole bunch of modern touches to it as well, making it a very epic, emotional, tense, and exciting score that is a feast for the ears. Also, there are a couple of licensed tracks used throughout (which came as a surprise), and they were used well in their respective scenes. Yeah, this movie had some solid music.

Ridley Scott was supposed to originally direct this, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. So instead Denis Velleneuve took over the reins. And holy crap, he did a fantastic job. His directing here (as with most of his movies) is sweeping, taut, suspenseful, and thought-provoking. And let’s not draw this out for too long, Roger Deakins’ cinematography is absolutely fucking spectacular, and if he doesn’t win the Oscar for Best cinematography, then I will get furious and stomp around the house (too lazy to riot). Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. And the mix of practical effects and CGI here is seamless, it all blends together so well that I never questioned what I was looking at. This feels like “Blade Runner” while still updating it a bit. And for those wondering if there’s any action here: There are a couple of action scenes, but they’re few and far between. That said, when they happen they are awesome. Violent and hard-hitting, but awesome.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #61 on the “Top 250” list.

“Blade Runner 2049” exceeded all my expectations (which were decently high), and turned out to be one of the best sequels of all time. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Blade Runner 2049” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Blade Runner 2049” is now completed.

This further cements my mantra “Villeneuve can do no wrong”.