Ant-Man and the Wasp Early Reviews: A Light, Fun Follow-Up to Infinity War

Critics so far say the latest Marvel adventure is a hilarious good time and the perfect complement to the darker Avengers movie that came before it.

by | June 26, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

After the epic scope of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel’s latest is taking it down a few notches. Ant-Man and the Wasp, like the previous Ant-Man (Certified Fresh at 82%), is lighter fare, a comedic superhero blockbuster with smaller stakes and a bigger heart. And that seems to be just what we need at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to the critics. Plus, depending on which ones you ask, the sequel is an improvement in many ways.

Here’s a breakdown of the first reviews of Ant-Man and the Wasp:

How is this movie in the wake of Avengers: Infinity War?

If the results feel a little slight, well, maybe we could all use a breather after the heavy stakes of Avengers: Infinity War.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Ant-Man and the Wasp is decidedly not a must-see event… it’s the perfect antidote for the gravity of Infinity War.
Caroline Siede, Consequence of Sound

After the emotional rollercoaster juggernaut that was Avengers: Infinity War, we needed something that would cleanse the palate. Thankfully, Ant-Man and The Wasp delivers.
Garrett Green, Black Nerd Problems

Ant-Man and the Wasp provides a blithe, forgettable antidote to the sprawling apocalyptic circumstances of Avengers: Infinity War.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Is it better than the first Ant-Man?

Ant-Man and The Wasp is bolder, funnier, and far more daring.
Conner Schwerdtfeger, CinemaBlend

[It’s] tighter and more confident in its execution — a rare feat for a sequel.
Laura Prudom, IGN Movies

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a superior lark, dumb and clever in equal measure.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

Strangely, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a sequel that improves upon the original, while at the same time somehow feeling less essential.
– Caroline Siede, Consequence of Sound

Ant-Man and the Wasp has its moments, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the original.
– Rafer Guzman, Newsday

How does it relate to the rest of the MCU?

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the funniest movie Marvel has made yet.
– Susana Polo, Polygon

Marvel’s most hilarious and fun film yet.
– Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles’ Movie Files

Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t the funniest Marvel movie ever made, or the deepest or the coolest or the most creative. But it just might be the nicest.
– Angie Han, Mashable

Is Paul Rudd still an enjoyable hero?

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Rudd’s performance has only gained in confidence…he’s direct and witty and alive.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

But how well does Evangeline Lilly match up?

This is most definitely the Wasp’s movie to own, and the smirking, enjoyably no-nonsense role fits Lilly well.
Brian Truitt, USA Today

Lilly’s Hope steals the movie from the word go… she is damn good at this hero thing, and it should have been her in the costume from the start.
Meg Downey, CBR

[This is] the first time I’ve seen women receive truly equal representation on Marvel’s big screen.
Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue

Who else stands out in the movie?

[Michael] Peña is a national treasure, and the sequel knows how to use his expositional comedy for maximum effect.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

A totally unexpected but fantastic addition is Randall Park… every time Park is onscreen, the movie gets better.
– Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue

Does it avoid the Marvel villain problem?

Ghost is a surprisingly well realized villain.
– Susana Polo, Polygon

Ghost does fit neatly into the MCU’s recent trend in inventive and memorable antagonists… like Michael Keaton’s Vulture, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger and Daniel Brühl’s Zemo.
– Meg Downey, CBR

I wouldn’t say Ghost is a step back to those dreaded old days, but she wasn’t as strong a villain.
– Garrett Green, Black Nerd Problems

Is this really the funniest Marvel movie yet?

Ant-Man and the Wasp mines comedy (and pathos) from just how much its characters care for one another. That makes the film a consistent pleasure to watch.
– Caroline Siede, Consequence of Sound

Every scene of dialogue between Randall Park and Rudd is comedic gold. It’s like a Vaudeville routine.
– Mike Ryan, Uproxx

For every joke that connects, there are probably three jokes that fall flat.
– J.R. Kinnard, PopMatters

How is the spectacle?

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

[It has] some of the most inventive action scenes attempted in any movie franchise, not just Marvel’s.
Laura Prudom, IGN Movies

The action is smart, taking what made the first movie great by playing with changing sizes and perspective and turning it up to eleven.
Garrett Green, Black Nerd Problems

The special effects team should receive weekly massages and decades-long vacations.
Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue

Was keeping Peyton Reed as director a good idea?

Peyton Reed again excels at exploring the comedic possibilities of playing with scale.
– Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Peyton Reed seems much more comfortable balancing wacky antics, familial bonds and over-the-top superhero set pieces this time around.
– Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Are there any major criticisms?

One area of the movie that could’ve used a little more creativity is the Quantum Realm… after the psychedelic beauty of Doctor Strange, the trippy subatomic landscape feels a tad underwhelming.
– Laura Prudom, IGN Movies

The subplot of an empathetic antagonist proves to be a tedious distraction that can suck the energy from the rest of the escapades.
– Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

Final thoughts, anyone?

Ant-Man and the Wasp always keeps its eye on its particular prize: having a good time, creating laughs and entertaining its audience.
– Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

This movie ultimately feels like a fun Saturday morning cartoon, and it’s at its best when it goes all-in on that idea.
– Conner Schwerdtfeger, CinemaBlend

It’s comfy. It’s easy. It’s as warm as an old blanket knit by your grandma, and as chill as a Sunday afternoon spent catching up with your longest friends.
– Angie Han, Mashable

Ant-Man and the Wasp opens everywhere on Friday, July 6. Read all the reviews for it here.

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