Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp
The final Marvel film for 2018 has arrived in theaters with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp. The movie was directed by Peyton Reed and written by the teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers along with Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. In this miniature-sized sequel we see the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne. The film picks up two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War as Scott Lang has almost completed his two years of house arrest. In addition to Rudd and Lilly, the film boasts a magnificent cast with the inclusion of Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Laurence Fishburne, and Randall Park.
The film begins with Hank Pym speaking to Hope in more detail about what happened to her mother, Janet van Dyne, back in 1987. He explains how Scott reemerging from the quantum realm in the events of the first film makes him believe that they can bring back Janet alive. From there the story picks up in the present day, where Scott Lang is spending time with his daughter, Cassie. Lang is under house arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and he is subject to a home search by the FBI after his ankle monitor accidentally trips the alarm. During their search, it is revealed that Hank and Hope are both on the run since Scott violated the Sokovia Accords, and they have not been in contact with Scott for two years. Whenever Lang has a vision of Janet van Dyne, though, he is pulled back into another adventure with Hank and Hope as they try to locate Janet in the quantum realm.
I have to begin my review by saying that Ant-Man and the Wasp is the hilarious, light-hearted film that I was hoping for after the intense stakes in Avenger: Infinity War. I am sure the amount and type of humor in this movie will be hit or miss depending on the person watching it, but I really enjoyed all of the humor. The film utilized its musical choices well to highlight the often over-the-top hilarity, and they have several running gags throughout the film that worked well for me. This sequel continues in the same tone and humor as the first Ant-Man, and I genuinely loved the storyline that they give Scott in this movie. The filmmakers put him in a position where he has to risk what he loves most to help Hope and Hank recover one of the people they love most, and while it is much smaller in scale than Thanos destroying half of the universe, it was the perfect amount of stakes for this character.
One of the areas where this movie excels is in its casting and its performances. In terms of newer additions to the story, Michelle Pfeiffer does not have a lot of screen time, but in that short amount of time, she has fantastic chemistry with both Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly. Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster adds another layer to the history of Pym’s time with S.H.I.E.L.D. and I think that his character is an interesting addition. Randall Park as the Mr. Magoo of the F.B.I. also completely worked for me, and I genuinely thought Hannah John-Kamen gave a great performance as Ghost. The returning cast members are all fantastic with Michael Pena’s Luis still being one of my favorite characters in this franchise. His retellings of previous conversations are the best, and I was glad to see them utilized just as well in the sequel. Evangeline Lilly is a powerhouse in this movie, and frankly, she is the perfect lead to accompany Paul Rudd. Also, her performance as Wasp makes me even more excited to see what the Marvel team will do with the character of Captain Marvel. However, Rudd and Fortson are the two that I cannot praise enough. They perfectly capture the father-daughter dynamic in this movie, and it is their dynamic that makes me love the character of Ant-Man so much. We do not have many superheroes in this universe who are parents, and I think that additional role gives us a different insight into the superhero world and it costs.
Overall, I think that Ant-Man and the Wasp is an incredibly fun film and a worthy sequel to the first. It has the same villain problem that many of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe experience, but as a character, I really liked the inclusion of Ghost. In fact, I would make the argument that she is not truly a villain, but that is a conversation for another day. This film is not only fun and hilarious but also manages to make the intricacies of the quantum realm not so overwhelming. The cast is amazing, and I think that it leaves us in an interesting place as we anxiously await the release of Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 next year. I highly recommend giving Ant-Man and the Wasp a watch in theaters, and I must advise everyone to stay seated at the end of the movie for the first post-credit scene.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.