Ant-Man and The Wasp is a fun little movie that is much more focused on the lives of its characters than world-ending events, and it’s better for it.
Director: Peyton Reed
Summary: As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
Not long after Avengers: Infinity War came out we posted an article arguing that Ant-Man and The Wasp was the perfect movie to follow the extremely harrowing recent Marvel films. It turns out that was right — Ant-Man and The Wasp isn’t going to change the Marvel universe in any big ways, and there isn’t a moment when the universe is at stake, but the characters are so well done that it doesn’t matter.
This is the Marvel movie that has focused the most on family, as Scott (Paul Rudd) is trying to make his way through the last days of his house arrest. He doesn’t want anything to jeopardize that, but a strange dream pulls him back into being a superhero with the help of Hope Van Dyne, aka the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly).
If there is someone who walks away with this entire movie, it’s Lilly as the Wasp. While Scott does get his own pretty awesome action scenes, it’s quite obvious that she’s much better at this than he is. The best part is that Scott seems completely okay with this. In fact, he often looks at her like she’s hung the moon and would do anything she asked. It’s a look we don’t get often in superhero movies, and it’s fun to see how well a lot of this movie is handled.
The little details are the things that make it work, like how well Scott gets along with his ex-wife and her new husband. They are a functioning family unit, and there doesn’t appear to be any resentment from anyone. It’s refreshing, because we don’t get to see relationships like that on screen in this sort of circumstance. We also avoid the cliché of the deadbeat divorced Dad, and the movie opens with Scott playing with Cassie in a truly adorable way that needs to be seen.
The villain is probably the best part of the movie. The marketing has done a good job of avoiding any spoilers about Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, and we won’t be spoiling it here. However, the role is very well done and seems to be continuing the trend of excellent Marvel villains in recent films. There is another much more generic villain played by Walton Goggins, but he’s mostly there to move the plot along in a couple of different ways. Aside from that he’s pretty forgettable, but what they end up doing with Ghost is so good that it’s easily overlooked.
While Ant-Man and The Wasp is funny, the humor never feels like it’s getting in the way of everything else. A lot of it comes from character interactions that feel genuine and are a lot of fun to watch. There is a moment in the second act with Hank, Scott, and Hope that is sidesplitting, and it also shows off some fantastic acting from Rudd. It’s not until the end that we really see the implications for how this could affect the Marvel universe going forward. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene, with the former being the important one and the latter being the joke one.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is a better movie than its predecessor thanks to taking the things that worked in the first one — the characters and using the shrinking technology in fun ways — and amplifying them both. It makes for a fun summer blockbuster that isn’t going to change your life but will have you leaving the theater with a smile on your face.
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