Fatigue quickly sets in when there is a lack of rest, of some kind, between the long stretches of going all out. Taking off half the day to run errands is a respite worth acknowledging for being necessary in framing a cumulative narrative.
There is no pretense about waiting for bigger things to happen in Ant-Man and the Wasp as the friends and family around Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) go about their normal existence. They wake up, eat breakfast, avoid/skirt the law and generally keep the day going. This is a story about filling the rest of the week when you’re not working full-time.
The characters revel in the time away from being too ensconced with the global drama crumbling all around them. They represent the struggle of the part-time workers. The people who fill out the casual job appointments and keep the rest of the day chugging along. People with skills that hustle a lot more than they work and take less time in the spotlight by their nature.
Events keep falling back to the bedrock of family. The strong unit of trust that shields us from wayward things attacking that sense of waking up with purpose. In the same vein of going weeks or months without meaningful employment, the net of having people to fall back on and have your back is what separates, or at least shows, the differences between their mindsets.
There are three main pockets of family that circle one another, the Langs, the Pyms and the X-Cons, granting each other circle a sparkle of spirits and daylight. They work toward the next day and keep each other in check. They may not have the same exact goals, but they are of the same effort in going for the good in life. They are that buzz that comes from working in a place that creates ambiance such as a library or a train station.
Things gristle and rub raw against this quasi-triumvirate when another family unit (foiled by Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen)) tries to get into that sphere but hasn’t had the same time to foster that semi-codependency. They’re not outright bad but they do have conflicting means of finding their own peace. Circling back to the whole struggle of part-time and casual work, Ghost represents the dangers of shift work and the prolonged effects on the mind and body when your circadian rhythm is out of whack. While there is full-time work that happens on the graveyard shift, its effects to the overall health and well-being is detrimental.
In that mindset of the side mission, the hustle to make ends eke, they craft a lot of their time in the waiting hours. Case in point is when Scott Lang creates an underground world in his home so that he has a place to play with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), and not feel like it’s still within the same four walls drumming a beat banging a head against the door of being under house arrest.
The whole film is an exercise in making the best out of downtime and cultivating intrinsic motivation against extrinsic. There is an underlying narrative on the efforts of criminal rehabilitation back into unfettered society, but that too comes back to how one person is able to wake up in the morning and find a rightful, just, drive to make good in the world and carry-on whatever legacy they’ve brought.
Ant-Man and the Wasp knows how to play its part in the overall shadow of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Worry not about what else is happening. Worry more about the thing in front of your face because tomorrow is another day worth fighting for if you have the right motivation to roll out of bed and crank out a life worth living.
Reviewed on Wednesday, 25 July 2018