'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Review

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The more zany corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man and the Wasp follows the game-changing events of Captain America: Civil War. The twentieth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe impresses.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The character of Ant-Man was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. The character would become an unlikely box office hero for Marvel Studios. Ant-Man and the Wasp is the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man. A lot has occurred since the first film.

The film starts off with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) describing the day Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) shrinks between the molecules destroying a soviet missile, but the cost is being trapped in the quantum realm. Pym realized once Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was able to go into quantum realm and return there was hope of saving his wife. During this time Lang and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) begin a romantic relationship, even training together to someday be Ant-Man and the Wasp. All is going great until Lang secretly helps Captain America fight the Avengers in Germany. Lang is then put on house arrest.

Pym and Hope then go to work on a tunnel to the quantum realm. Lang feels a message from Janet van Dyne. Despite his house arrest ending in two days. He calls Pym to discuss the phenomenon. Lang is then kidnapped by Hope, and our plot is officially set in motion. Hope and Pym continue to build the tunnel in their "portable" facility. The trio eventually travel to a meeting where Hope meets with Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), a black market dealer who is getting them the correct equipment for the quantum tunnel. We finally get to see the Wasp in action. Plus Ghost, the villain of the film, makes her grand appearance.

Ghost
Ghost

Ant-Man and the Wasp is creative in scale. The ability to enlarge and shrink various items lead to comedic action sequences. Ant-Man and the Wasp have a distinctive spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in Marvel films that are comedies. Once again the larger MCU mattered in this film yet you could still follow if you didn't see the first 19 films.

Director Peyton Reed pulls out all the stops for Ant-Man and the Wasp. The film is larger in scale and funnier than its predecessor. There is also great balance within the film of drama and humor. Serious moments like the heartbreaking search for Janet van Dyne is mixed with the comedic duo of Dave (Tip "T.I." Harris) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) , members of Scott Lang's X-Con security group. Also the film was a true blue Marvel comedy. Marvel knows it comedy with Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man: Homecoming[/i], and [i]Thor: Ragnarok so having Ant-Man and the Wasp still deliver its own zany style is very impressive.

My favorite scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp is when Hope asks Scott why he didn't ask her to go to Germany. Scott says that she never would of come. Hope replies saying if she did go they wouldn't of been caught. Scott stays in the van for a couple minutes in a daze. Hank Pym then begins to talk to Scott telling him to stop daydreaming about his daughter. A good summary of the film's tone.

Marvel continues its hot streak especially post-Infinity War. Ant-Man and the Wasp has a stellar cast. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Rudd dazzles as Scott Lang, the former convict turned super hero, who just wants to do right by his daughter. Rudd gives a dynamic performance from silly father to serious realization about his actions. Lilly was phenomenal in the first Ant-Man. Her enlarged role for the film was wonderful to watch. It was the proper build up and introduction to such a compelling character. Evangeline Lilly was my MVP for this film. I'm enthralled to see where the character goes for Avengers 4. Michael Peña is off the charts hilarious as Luis. Michael Douglas plays Dr. Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer debuts as Janet van Dyne. The possibilities for Douglas and Pfeiffer in the MCU are endless. It will be interesting to see if Marvel takes advantage and does a Pym cameo in Captain Marvel which is set in the 90's. Specifically having scenes at SHIELD. Speaking of possibly making a cameo, Laurence Fishburne is Bill Foster also known as Goliath. Fishburne gave a thrilling performance, and would love to see his arc continue. (Captain Marvel cameo maybe?) Abby Ryder Fortson plays the role of Cassie Lang. Although her role is small, there is some definite foreshadowing that Cassie wants to become a hero. In the comics, she became the super hero known as Stature, and a member of Young Avengers. Marvel is brilliant at long term planning, I wouldn't be shocked at all if they had Abby Ryder Fortson on a multi-picture deal (which would include future Ant-Man installments of course). The introduction to the super hero side of Cassie Lang could be coming.

Ghost played by Hannah John-Kamen
Ghost played by Hannah John-Kamen

Hannah John-Kamen was the villain Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Kamen had the insanely difficult task as being the villain to follow Killmonger and Thanos. Two really complex and deep villains. Like we saw towards the end of the film. Ghost wasn't a true villain especially with the guidance of Bill Foster. Yeah, her origin might sound familiar to stuff we have already seen before. Similar to Ivan Vanko and The Winter Soldier, it really just becomes sob stories from SHIELD.

Dave and Kurt
Dave and Kurt

Ant-Man and the Wasp also boasts solid performances from side characters. Tip "T.I." Harris and Dave Dastmalchian bring the laughs as Dave and Kurt from X-Con Security. Randall Park as Jimmy Woo was great. Judy Greer and Bobby Canavale play Maggie, Scott's ex wife and Jim, the affectionate husband of Maggie. Plus Stan Lee always delivers with his cameo.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of the more heartwarming entries in the MCU. Balancing humor and drama with imaginative visuals. Ant-Man and the Wasp is fast moving and a worthy Marvel sequel.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp

The mid-credits scene is remarkable. Although after the events of Infinity War people were expecting it. Scott, Hope, Janet, and Hank are on top of a roof. They are working on a smaller quantum tunnel. Scott who successfully returned from the quantum realm is doing the mission to get more quantum energy for Ava (who was Ghost). Before the mission takes place, Janet van Dyne gives Scott a speech about what to expect in the quantum realm. She briefly mentions a "Time Vortex" something that could be integral to the plot of Avengers 4. Scott becomes sub atomic, and Hank visibly panicking tells him to not mess around. Scott answers but it is silence from the other end. All three have been disintegrated. Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne all suffered the snap of Thanos. Scott is last seen screeching from the quantum realm.

The next post-credit left fans scratching their head. After witnessing the disappearance of more beloved characters. We are treated to a life-size ant playing the drums. Some might of not noticed a small detail. The TV screen has a "State of Emergency" broadcast on it. A subtle nod to what's to come in Avengers 4.

The writing team of Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari penned a stunning script. I like the writing teams Marvel Studios has been assembling. Peyton Reed's vision for Ant-Man's corner of the MCU is unique and that is a good thing.

The characters that have been built through the first two Ant-Man films should have larger roles in Phase 4. The future is bright for Paul Rudd's Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly's Wasp. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a gripping sequel. Marvel continues its superb storytelling and world building in this latest charming installment.

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Cultjer's one and only Disney Reporter. Expert in Disney and Pixar films. I cover all things related to the Walt Disney Company.