Marvel is 3-3 this year with its stellar films. The 20th film of the ever-growing franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp, ties up loose ends, proves that Marvel is ready to put female superheroes at the forefront, and shows that smaller can be bigger. If you haven’t seen 2015’s Ant-Man, then you have been missing out on a comic gem. The sequel is a pure comedy adventure and tons of fun to watch. Two is definitely better than one in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Fans of the MCU know that Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has not shown up since 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. When we last saw him, Scott was locked up in the undersea prison with the rest of Cap’s crew. However, he has not been forgotten and the opening minutes of Wasp explain exactly where he has been. Surprisingly, this film takes place in 2018 presumably a few months prior to the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Don’t worry, Wasp also goes full-circle and ends on the day Thanos comes down to Earth.
Wasp leans more on the action-adventure genre than Ant-Man, which played out like a heist film. This time around, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) recruit Scott to help them travel to the Quantum Realm to save Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the previously thought dead mother of Hope and husband of Hank. Since Scott is the only person to go to the Quantum Realm and survive (aka the end of Ant-Man), Hank and Hope reluctantly see him as their one true hope. However, the tides have turned, and Scott is needed as a sidekick to Hope’s Wasp.
It appears that Hope has been donning the Wasp suit for the past few years, considering how easy she makes being a superhero look. For those not familiar with the Wasp suit, it is essentially the same as Ant-Man’s suit, but includes blasters and wings for flight. The very jealous Scott allows Rudd to use his signature charm and humor. His comedy and uber-ego pair perfectly with Lilly and Douglas’s deadpan you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me looks and eye rolls. Rudd’s best comedic moment occurs early on in the film at Hank’s shrinkable laboratory when he goes from being Scott to another character for a few minutes.
Lilly stands out more as the Wasp this time around, considering she is now more of a co-lead. She steals the show from Rudd several times and is a glimpse into how future female-led Marvel films will look. Wasp’s standout is once again Michael Peña, who pops in every scene he is in. He keeps Ant-Man’s running jokes going and keeps Wasp from getting too serious. New cast members Pfeiffer and Walton Goggins don’t add much, but Pfeiffer could have a larger role to play down the road. Wasp also sets up Laurence Fishburne’s former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dr. Bill Foster and “villain” Ghost/Ava (Hannah John-Kamen) for potential arcs in future installments.
The best part of the film is how enjoyable it is. The CGI and visual effects are fantastic and make you think that it is totally normal, natural, and realistic to shrink and enlarge people and items whenever and wherever. The look of going from normal size to very small to massive is perfection. The fight choreography is also great and should leave you with a smile on your face. The only way to describe Ant-Man and the Wasp is fun. It’s a truly enjoyable summer film that just happens to be about superheroes that can shrink. As per all Marvel films, stay through the credits for the two cut scenes. Wasp manages to contain an original story while wrapping up older plot lines and branching into the future. There are a lot of potential hints of what Marvel’s Phase 4 will look like in this film, so keep your eyes peeled!
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