‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is Twice the Fun [Review]
If you’re wondering what Ant-Man was up to during the events of the epic Avengers: Infinity War, the answer is in the new sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, which doubles down on the lighthearted fun of the original while giving the winged Wasp room to kick ass.
In case you forgot, the last time we saw Paul Rudd’s small-time crook turned part-time superhero Scott Lang was in Captain America: Civil War, where he was getting tangled up in Spider-Man’s webs while trying to help Captain America (and half of the Avengers) in his fight against Iron Man (and the other half of the Avengers). In the two years since those events, he’s been laying low and trying his best to follow the rules of his house arrest.
On his final weekend before he is to be released from house arrest, Lang is reunited with his mentor, the brilliant Hank Pym, the original “Ant-Man” who created the technology used in the suit that can shrink (or enlarge) whoever wears it, and his feisty daughter, Hope van Dyne, showing off a sweet new suit of her own with wings and blasters.
Pym, portrayed once again by Michael Douglas, is a much more likable genius inventor than Tony Stark, and his suits are arguably even more useful in more imaginative ways than Stark’s Iron Man suits. In this sequel, on the run from law themselves, Hank and Hope are on a singular mission to bring their long lost wife and mother, Janet van Dyne (the original Wasp) back from the sub-atomic quantum realm she’s been stuck in for decades. And they need Scott’s help.
So while the rest of the Avengers are presumably engaged in the Earth-shaking Infinity War with Thanos, this team of good guy outlaws are telling a much smaller story, quite literally, but the stakes for Hank and Hope, and for Scott after his own young daughter Cassie is threatened, are no less life-or-death.
Also returning from 2015’s Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne is given much more space in which to shine, and, as hilariously recapped by Michael Pena’s Luis, her new badass attitude is totally warranted and more than welcome.
The always stellar Michelle Pfeiffer makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut as Janet van Dyne, first introduced in a touching flashback scene that uses CGI to digitally de-age the already ageless actress.
Aside from the trippy danger of being trapped inside the beyond-minuscule quantum realm forever, the biggest obstacle between our heroes and Janet’s rescue is a scary new villain, really more of an antihero known as Ghost, played by newcomer Hannah John-Kamen, who is mesmerizing in a star-making performance.
And be sure to stick around for the post-credits scenes, which tie in directly to the events of Infinity War and will surely confuse anyone who hasn’t yet seen it (so see Infinity War first), setting up what is to come in next year’s Avengers 4. Of course it’s also possible that we may see some of these characters even sooner, perhaps in Captain Marvel, which will hit theaters a month prior to the next Avengers film and is set in the ’90s, when Hank and Janet were regularly doing secret government missions.
While many of Marvel’s customary post-credits segments are somewhat inconsequential to the bigger narrative, the final moments of Ant-Man and the Wasp are of the highest importance to the ongoing overall story arc of the MCU.
With the same tone as the first Ant-Man film, also directed by Peyton Reed, the addition of the wickedly cool Wasp and the fittingly female Ghost kicking ass just adds to the fun of what is already Marvel’s funnest and funniest movie franchise.
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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Ant-Man and the Wasp (rated PG13) is playing locally at RC Theatres in Kill Devil Hills.
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