Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was notably missing during the Avengers colossal battle with Thanos. The universe could’ve used his miniature heroics to help save the day. But where was Scott? Ant-Man and the Wasp fills audiences in on what Scott was up to between the airport battle in Civil War and Thanos’ snap felt around the universe.

The story catches up with Scott serving his last few days on house arrest. After Lang has a dream about Janet van Dyne/Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer), he contacts Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank (Michael Douglas) and tells them what he saw. Hank and Hope believe Janet is still alive somewhere in the quantum realm and believe Scott can help bring her back.

When Hope attempts to buy a much needed part from a black market dealer (played by Walton Goggins), she’s interrupted by Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a highly skilled criminal with the ability to be invisible and phase through solid objects – similar to Vision’s powers the Avengers movies.

Ant-Man and his crew have to fight Ghost, keep Scott from violating his parole, and get Janet back from the quantum realm.

The Ant-Man movies are part of the MCU but will never be mistaken for the other films. They’re the most family friendly of the group. Rudd’s humor as Scott Lang coupled with the stories being light heist comedies make them as kid friendly for a PG-13 movie. Not to mention, Michael Pena’s hilarious storytelling is always a fan favorite.

Evangeline Lilly steals the show as Wasp. Lilly showed what she could do in The Hobbit franchise and she brings all of that and more as Wasp.  She’s given all the fun stuff to do and most of the best action scenes. There’s a sequence where Wasp finds herself fighting in a car. She goes from big to small, and inside and outside the car with ease. It’s what you’d expect from a superhero with her skill set and it looks exactly like a panel from a comic book.

Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One, Black Mirror) is the breakout star. In the comics, Ghost is a male character. The gender swap along with Ghost’s back story helps develop the characters as more than just a villain that wants to do villain-y things. She gives a solid performance and she nails a few emotional moments. John-Kamen has been on the big screen a lot this summer and she may be a summer movie regular for years to come.

The action sequences are great. Director Peyton Reed found more inventive ways to use Ant-Man and Wasp’s powers during their fights. Sometimes the powers are used for humor and others for combat during the fight sequences.

The best part of the Ant-Man films is how low the stakes are. They aren’t trying to stop a mad titan from destroying the universe. There are no evil robots. No alien invasions. No cosmic cubes. No end of the world scenarios. It’s a guy with superpowers trying to steal something to help himself or someone else. It allows for the characters and the stories to be much lighter and tone and fun.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a superhero story that’s appropriate for all ages. For the hardcore MCU fans, it fills in some holes and gives hints at what’s to come. For casual moviegoers, it’s a fun comedy heist film with great jokes and good performances. Marvel can keep making these Ant-Man movies as long as the same creative minds are involved.

Grade: B+