Ant-Man and The Wasp Goes Quantum

L to R: The Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp. Photo: Ben Rothstein.

After the darker Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp brings some much-needed comedy to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Scott Lang was nowhere to be seen during Avengers: Infinity War because he was on house arrest.  This came as a result of traveling to Germany during Captain America: Civil War.  Both Hawkeye and Lang had taken deals with the government.  Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have a stronger father-daughter relationship over the past two years.  Now that you’re caught up, let’s get down to business.

The film’s prologue takes us back to the late 1980s when Hank and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) were working to stop a Soviet missile.  Unfortunately, the only way they could stop it meant shrinking down to subatomic size.  Janet chose to sacrifice herself.  Hank hid the truth from his daughter for so long that it fractured their relationship.  All of this said, they do a great job between CGI and makeup in making the two actors appear much younger than they are.

Scott, confined to his house, has a great relationship with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson).  Cassie looks up to Scott so much that she wants to be his partner.  Cassie Lang gets more screen time in the sequel.  She’s still a bit on the young side but make no mistake, Marvel is certainly grooming her for Young Avengers.

With Luis (Michael Peña) running X-Con Security Consultants during the day, Scott just lounges around at him, watching TV or playing drums.  There’s nothing much else he can do aside from play with Cassie when he has custody of her.  With no contact over the last two years, Scott calls up Hank out of the blue after having had the strangest dream.  Sooner than he realizes it, he’s seeing Hope for the first time in two years.

After Scott came back from from Quantum Realm in 2015, Hank and Hope start researching into bringing Janet back.  It’s brought the two as close together as they’ve been since Janet was thought to be dead.  Bringing her back isn’t easy.  They’ve been at work on a Quantum Tunnel but they need a part from Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), which is easier said than done.  He’s clearly the film’s main antagonist.  While Hope is working on a deal with Sonny, someone else decides they want Hank’s lab even more: Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen).  Ghost has an incredible backstory that plays into the whole father-daughter theme of the film.  She’s also not the classic villain that is hell-bent on taking over the world.  It’s somewhat of a relief after the battles with Thanos and Killmonger.

This is where Hank’s ex-partner and former SHIELD agent, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) comes into play.  Having worked with Hank, he’s the only person who can figure out how to find the lab.  It’s a funny interplay watching him and Scott interact while Hank and Hope definitely mean business.

There’s some nice references here to Civil War and fighting with the Avengers.  Hope is clearly upset that she was never asked.  Who could blame her?  It wouldn’t have hurt to say, “Hey, Hope, I’m off to a secret mission, wanna come?”  The two of them trained together for crying out loud!  We’ll never know what may have been.

Hope is every part Scott’s equal in Ant-Man and The Wasp.  When Hope tells her dad, “About damn time,” upon the discovery of the unfinished Wasp suit, she spoke for a countless number of women across the globe.  Black Widow has felt more like a sidekick in the Captain America films even though she deserves a stand-alone franchise for herself.  The two work together and it’s just a shame that we couldn’t see this side of her in the first film.  Even though Marvel’s first female-led superhero film won’t be until early 2019, I suppose that it’s better late than never.  Regardless, Hope kicks enough ass to more than make up for the wait.

The Hank Pym that we see in the film is closer to that of what’s depicted in the comics.  Pym wasn’t easy to work with in the comics.  The abusive nature is well-depicted on screen.  We see it in his relationship with Scott, Bill, and how he interacts with some of the others in the film.  Hank only has one mission in mind and that’s reuniting with his wife after 30 years.

There are two post-credits scenes.  One is serious and shows how the film ties into Avengers: Infinity War while the other one is lighter in tone.

Every bit as fun as Ant-Man, Ant-Man and The Wasp lives up to the title.

DIRECTOR:  Peyton Reed
SCREENWRITERS:  Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari
CAST:  Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas

Marvel Studios will release Ant-Man and The Wasp in theaters on July 6, 2018. Grade: 4/5

Avengers 4 is set to be released on May 3, 2019.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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