Ant-Man and the Wasp, the latest film in Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a welcome relief from the overstuffed, heavy superhero epic that was Avengers: Infinity War. There is lots of action, trademark Marvel humour and great acting from both its charming leads. Pretty much every MCU staple.
Most of all, it was a very down-to-earth (literally, after the action on Titan in Infinity War) movie with limited stakes. Instead of the whole universe’s fate hanging in balance, there was just a matter of saving a woman (albeit a brilliant woman played by Michelle Pfeiffer) who had been stuck inside the quantum realm for three decades. It felt fresh and fun, a movie that you could enjoy without nibbling on your nails.
But my experience of watching the film was marred by the fact that the film did not have a decent villain. Perhaps I felt this especially because last few Marvel movies have had pretty fantastic and charismatic villains. Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have traditionally lacked in this area. But Marvel honchos seemed to have solved the problem last year. Consider this. 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming had Michael Keaton’s Vulture. Thor: Ragnarok had Cate Blanchett’s Hela. Then this year’s Black Panther had Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger. And Avengers: Infinity War had Thanos.
And now we have Ghost? Hannah John-Kamen’s Ava Starr is a woman whose body is broken and built on a molecular level daily. She has the ability to phase through solid objects due to her quantum instability. It is less an ability and more of a curse. She, working with Hank Pym’s former associate Bill Foster, is after the tunnel to the quantum realm that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have built to bring Janet van Dyne back from the quantum realm where she disappeared more than 30 years ago.
Ava and Bill believe Janet van Dyne’s quantum energy will heal Ava and restore her stability. She is certainly sympathetic and her abilities are impressive. But her character is paper-thin and she is not given any personality. Also, she is ultimately not such a threat. She is at most an annoyance in the larger scheme of things. Come to think of it, the movie is mainly about Scott Lang, Hank and Hope’s quest to rescue Janet van Dyne. Everything else is padding.