Cody Beckman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let's start with the bad. This is the first Marvel Studios movie to blow all of the cool moments in their trailers. For some reason it's like they felt no one was going to show up for the sequel so they had to show every cool thing that happens. Those moments are still really awesome within the film itself, but it just sucks because it means there's no surprises left.
It hurts even more because the movie doesn't have a whole lot of action to begin with. There's a bad ass fight in the beginning and a huge finale, but there's a stretch in the middle where not a lot goes on in terms of action. That's disappointing when this was supposed to be Wasp's huge coming out movie. She has some great moments, but again, we saw them all in the trailer. There wasn't anything left for her to leave my jaw on the floor which what I was really hoping for.
On the plus side, Evangeline Lilly continues to fully flesh out Hope and make her a such a great character. If Paul Rudd ever wanted to stop playing Scott, I'd totally be okay with just seeing a Wasp movie. Not only that but, based on how bad ass Lilly is in and out of the movie, I'd totally be cool with her taking the mantle of Captain America. Just saying...
So now we're getting into what the movie does well, which is basically everything else. Ant-Man and the Wasp may not be the most action packed Marvel movie, but it's certainly the funniest. Paul Rudd once again kills it as Scott Lang and he has so many moments that had me in tears. There's some moments with the size changing that is some of the funniest stuff I've seen all year, especially a sequence that takes place in a middle school.
Scott's crew of friends are also utilized a lot better in the sequel, with all of them feeling like more essential parts of the ensemble. Michael Peña though was again the standout. He stole most scenes, and there's some stuff involving him and a truth serum that was just incredible. I also love the growth of Scott's family and how proud of him they are, and there's once again some really adorable scenes with Cassie as well as some VERY strong hints to her future as Stature.
Michael Douglas once again proves to be one of my favorite parts of these movies. Hank Pym used to be a full fledged super hero, so I LOVE that they don't just make him a mentor but make him an essential part of the team. At first I was bummed that we wouldn't get to see Pym in his prime, but Marvel has honestly made Older Hank Pym feel like his prime, to the point where I could still see him becoming an Avenger. I really hope we get to see him help out in Avengers 4.
The story of Ant-Man and the Wasp is pretty fantastic. What I love most is that nothing feels like a coincidence, like Hope and Hank's reasoning for recruiting Scott. The script is extremely tight, and everyone felt like they had really strong motivations. Even the villain Ghost, who was translated from the page wonderfully by actually pulling off making her creepy, had great, simple reasons for going after the heroes. And Bill Foster, an old friend of Pym's had some excellent motivations within the story as well. There's a fantastic scene where he stands by his morals and we see how far he can be pushed and Laurence Fishburne nails it. I really hope we see more of him in the future.
What I also love was that this was the closest we'll get to seeing a movie take place during the Dark Reign era of the comics, with the heroes on the run and operating undercover. It's fun to see what it's like working with the Accords in Spider-Man: Homecoming and then to see what it's like going against them with Ant-Man and the Wasp.
I guess the only other issue I have is that I wish we saw more of the Quantum Realm. I don't fully understand how Janet (who Michelle Pfeiffer is perfect as) could have lived there for 30 years. It still feels like this abstract realm as opposed to the Microverse in the comics which felt like a physical place that you could inhabit. It's hard to be too upset about it though because it's clear that it'll be explored more in the third film. I just thought this was going to be the movie where they do it.
Overall, I'm really just bummed that everything was spoiled in the trailers. But the fact remains that everything we saw is still so awesome that it's fun to just watch it again but now within the context of this great story that's also incredibly funny. Ant-Man and the Wasp continues the great trend started by the last one at being one of the crazier and stranger corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's incredible that these totally bizarre and out there characters have gotten their own franchise and that they are as insanely fun as they are. I cannot wait to see what comes next for this whole group and I hope their adventures never end.