‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ reviews: How does Marvel’s 20th film compare to the 19 that came before?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially turned 20 … and it only took 10 years. “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” whose title heroes can shrink to the size of a bug, opens on July 6, and though it doesn’t necessarily represent an epochal moment in the overarching Marvel story, it’s nevertheless a milestone. There aren’t many film franchises that reach their 20th title, and fewer where the vast majority of them earned positive reviews (sorry, DC Universe). But how does the MCU’s 20th film compare to the last 19?

The reviews are mostly positive thus far. As of this writing “Ant-Man and the Wasp” has a MetaCritic score of 69 based on the input of 41 critics. And on Rotten Tomatoes the film is rated 87% fresh with 126 reviews counted. The RT consensus says it’s “A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly.”

This “Ant-Man” sequel has even scored better than its 2015 predecessor, which received a 64 on MetaCritic and 82% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, which itself was impressive given that film’s behind-the-scenes shakeups. “Shaun of the Dead” and “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright had initially been tapped for “Ant-Man,” but left due to creative differences. He was replaced by Peyton Reed, whose prior credits included “Bring It On” and “Down with Love.”

Reed is back for the sequel, and critics appreciate his “confidence to unapologetically embrace weirdness.” He has “honed in on everything that made the first ‘Ant-Man’ so charming.” It’s “a breath of fresh air” after the intergalactic stakes of the recent “Avengers: Infinity War,” in which the villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) literally held the fate of the universe in the palm of his hand. This is a “midsummer tonic” that’s full of “trippy bursts of kaleidoscopic color.”

Are you excited to see “Ant-Man and the Wasp”? Check out some of the reviews below, and discuss this and more with your fellow movie fans right here in our forums.

Laura Prudom (IGN): “Returning director Peyton Reed has honed in on everything that made the first ‘Ant-Man’ so charming and doubled down on it, from the offbeat humor to the zippy energy radiating from every scene. It’s a smidge longer than its predecessor, but somehow feels tighter and more confident in its execution — a rare feat for a sequel.”

Tasha Robinson (The Verge): “Instead of taking in the fate of every sentient being in existence, it focuses on the attempts to rescue one woman who’s been gone for 30 years. And instead of enlivening suffocating dread with occasional banter, it fully invests in its silly sight gags and endearing humor. It’s a breath of fresh air after ‘Infinity War.'”

Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times): “Its zippy action scenes and trippy bursts of kaleidoscopic color look great in a theater, but in some ways its whimsical sensibility and playful, diverting story might feel just as well suited to the dimensions of your in-flight entertainment screen … [It’s] being rolled out as a midsummer tonic, something bright and cheery to chase away the apocalyptic torpor of ‘Avengers: Infinity War.'”

Alex Abad-Santos (Vox): “‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is an airy, nimble piece of filmmaking: Reed’s confidence to unapologetically embrace weirdness — like imagery of ants playing drums or responding to telepathic commands — gives the franchise its distinctly playful spirit. His stars, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, reprise their roles and further energize Marvel’s most lovable romance.”

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