Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): A Great Pick-Me-Up after Avengers: Infinity War
It is no secret how everyone felt after Avengers: Infinity War basically fractured existence, both in movies and in real life. Nobody could stop talking about it. Which was necessary to give the Ant-Man sequel a viewing to forget all about how sad Infinity War made us. At least until the end credits scene, which devastated us all over again.
Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is under house arrest after his contributions to the events of Captain America: Civil War, making Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lilly) fugitives. When Scott’s sentence is almost finished, Hope and Hank take Scott to their lab to help find Hope’s mother, Janet Van Dyne (played by Michelle Pfieffer), who was lost to the Quantum Realm 30 years prior. But their efforts to bring back Janet put our heroes in the crosshairs of Ghost/Ava Starr (played by Hannah John-Kamen). Now Scott, Hope and Hank must find a way to rescue Janet before Ghost can kill her.
The great thing about the Ant-Man movies is the fact that they exist in their own little bubble, left unbothered by the rest of the stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can watch these particular films without any prior knowledge of the MCU and go along with it. And similar to the first outing, it plays out as a sort of heist movie with the set up, pay off and of course, the setbacks. It was nothing new in terms of storytelling, but the writers and director had a lot of fun making this sequel happen, which you can see in a few of their running gags. Such as Scott’s suit malfunctioning or the magic tricks, which found a hilarious way to continue with James Woo (played by Randall Park) in WandaVision. And I almost forgot what everyone looks forward to for these movies: a Luis (played by Michael Pena) speedy recap! It is too bad he isn’t returning for Quantumania.
It also isn’t shocking to have Paul Rudd be completely adorable and charismatic as Scott as he balances being a father and superhero. Every time he shares the screen with his young co-star, heartwarming hilarity ensues. Evangeline Lilly continues to play the straight woman compared to Rudd's relaxed attitude, and it continues to work well for the two. Hannah John-Kamen is surprisingly complex as Ghost, with empathetic motivations for her actions as a broken person trying to heal herself and coming to terms with what she’s done to get what she wanted. It might not make her one of the more memorable antagonists in the MCU, but she is definitely on the list of more complex ones.
As stated previously, the writers and director really had fun making this film, as they were able to utilize one of their running gags to make for a fun climax as he tries to take on goons and Ghost simultaneously. But they also used the shrinking tech more in this film as they introduced it with cars and buildings to really screw with the environment, adding to both the hilarity and insanity of certain set pieces. Like the car chase across San Francisco, they shrunk a car and grew it again to flip another, which definitely had me in a state of awe. And that Pez bit had my side splitting from laughter.
Ant-Man and the Wasp did nothing new for superhero movies, but it was the fun reprieve every Marvel fan needed after being emotionally destroyed by the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The entire cast really gives solid performances and have great chemistry, the set pieces are quite original and work in favor of the core character’s strengths. Not to mention how well they weaved in the film’s running gags to make each scene funny and entertaining. While the first two movies were definitely in the peripheral of the MCU’s main story throughout the first 3 phases, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first time Scott Lang will be purposely altering the future of the MCU as he faces down Kang the Conqueror. Hopefully it is as insane as the previews suggest, although early reviews suggest otherwise. Regardless, I know I’m gonna have fun!