Ant-Man continues to be the most mediocre franchise in the MCU, perhaps second only to Black Panther. That is not to say the movie is bad. At this point, Marvel hasn't made a veritably bad movie since The Dark World - 5 years and 12 movies ago. We lived in a blessed age when anything short of very good by the studio is a disappointment.
It is nice to take a break from end of the world stakes and giant sky beams with a more intimate, low scale story, with a villain driven by a more relatable animus than a penchant for genocide. Certainly the motivations of the characters in AM&TW are more imaginative than the usual MCU fare: staying away from prison, a quest for a lost loved one, self preservation. Yet Lang's house arrest feels more like a pretence for gags and forced plot constraints ; Janet's mode of rescue is so absurd it distracts from any possibility of pathos ; Ghost, for one who knows the original comic book character, is the substitution of a rare interesting villain, in his hostility to big businesses and institutions, by a poorly executed sob story.
I did not care much for the first movie. Among other things I thought Reed should have dropped the entire ant-controlling side of Lang's powers and focused on the size shifting, and the science talk, even by MCU standards, was too nonsensical to swallow. The sequel shatters that ceiling. In a moment of self-awareness, the writers have Lang ask « Do you people just put quantum in front of every word ? ». But the movie is not as clever as it thinks it is, and all the compounding of ludicrous quantum talk is more reminiscent of Deepak Chopra than Scott Pilgrim.
There are some nice scenes of action. Hope is a kickass character that outshines Lang in any rumble - why we couldn't get the Wasp in the first movie is beyond me. Often however, the script eschews the somewhat interesting physics of tiny people jumping around with bullet like strength and the acrobatics for much less compelling stuff. At times the characters seem to flat out forget they can change sizes - the first fight with Ghost. The car chase scenes and the like, interesting though the choreography might be, removes the movie from its superhero nature. I expect car chases in MI movies. I buy Marvel tickets to see wise asses in metal suits punch each other.