Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp ★★

Most of the time when a movie improves on second watch it’s because their complexity becomes more comprehensible and more rewarding with closer scrutiny. That’s not the case with Marvel movies, where I find that I sometimes do find them more appealing on further viewings, probably because they are almost invariably working overtime to satisfy their many, many franchise commitments on their first viewings. I’m not just talking about their tiresome continuity subplots and excessive interconnectedness with the rest of the shared universe, though that’s here in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and it accounts for the most tedious parts of the overly long runtime. There’s also the obligatory, relentlessly noisy action, the overbearing soundtracks and the desperate humor, all of which are apportioned in seemingly precise amounts in order to qualify as “Marvel.” What a second viewing affords, for me, is a better opportunity to tune all of that out. In fact, rather than better appreciating these movies’ complexity, I’m just trying to absorb their broader contours, accept their blunt edges, just go along for the ride. That’s what I did this time with this movie, and it came off as moderately less shambolic than it did on my first watch. It’s still pretty underwhelming though; I realized as it unfolded that I remembered nothing about its story or even characters from previously. I wonder if I’ll even remember anything about it in a couple weeks from now.