Size related puns aside, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP isn’t as big in scope as the more recent outings from Marvel Studios. It doesn’t go into outer space, it doesn’t feature gods, monsters, or aliens. It instead keeps itself fairly grounded, compared to the likes of THOR: RAGNAROK and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and of course, the gigantic INFINITY WAR. It’s more akin to the excellent BLACK PANTHER, a more focused affair that keeps itself somewhat grounded in the world of that particular character. While ANT-MAN AND THE WASP doesn’t have the gigantic scale of those previously mentioned films, it’s still an incredibly entertaining and worthwhile addition to the MCU that serves as somewhat of a chaser after the crossover event that was in theaters only months ago.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP takes place after the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR but before INFINITY WAR, so Thanos’ assault on earth hasn’t started. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is nearing the end of his long stint of house arrest after taking part in the big battle during CIVIL WAR. Scott’s looking forward to getting back to normal life, running a security business with his partner Luis (Michael Peña) and getting to spend time with his daughter Cassandra (Abby Ryder Fortson) outside of his house. Scott suddenly has a vision involving Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) that hints that she may be alive after sacrificing herself to save thousands on a mission. After reaching out to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) about the vision he finds himself brought back into the world of size changing super science working with Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), taking up the mantle of The Wasp, to help them complete a device to find Janet and bring her back to her family. Of course it wouldn’t be a Marvel movie without a villain and this time you have the phase shifting Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) who has her own agenda requiring Hank’s technology, and the shifty black marketeer Sonny (Walton Goggins), who simply wants to steal the tech for a nice profit.
This might just be one of the funniest, if not the funniest, of the Marvel films. Even after the incredibly silly and enjoyable RAGNAROK, which was more of a comedy at times, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP has some genuine laugh-out-loud moments and some great gags. That isn’t to say the action isn’t high-quality though. Despite not featuring some of the Marvel stable’s heavy hitters, there are some truly great set pieces in the film that demonstrate the various powers these characters possess, similar to INCREDIBLES 2 — you get a feel that the team really got to have fun shooting and developing the various action scenes throughout the movie. It’s honestly fantastic to see The Wasp in action, and Lilly makes for a great action heroine, offering a more-lighthearted-but-no-less-capable fighter than Black Widow as she flies, changes size, and uses different technology to take on various foes.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP might not pack the same punch that INFINITY WAR had, but it’s far from one of the weaker entries in the overall solid Marvel line-up. It builds on the foundation laid in the 2015 original and gets to have its own fun away from the Infinity Stones, while also being a great action comedy with some truly heartwarming family moments.
Tags: Abby Ryder Fortson, Andrew Barrer, Bobby Cannavale, Chris McKenna, Christophe Beck, Dante Spinotti, David Dastmalchian, Erik Sommers, Ernie Hart, Evangeline Lilly, Gabriel Ferrari, Hannah John-Kamen, Jack Kirby, Judy Greer, Larry Lieber, Laurence Fishburne, Marvel Comics, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Peyton Reed, Randall Park, Stan Lee, Tim Heidecker, Tip "T.I." Harris, Walton Goggins