Ant-Man and the Wasp is an absolute blast. The latest movie to shine in the Marvel Universe, this fast-paced, funny action flick more than lives up the super-hero hype with a pair of delightful lead performances from Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, as the titular duo, and an exceptional colorful supporting cast including Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Pena.
Ant-Man and The Wasp picks up the story of Scott Lang (Rudd) 2 years after the events of Captain America Civil War wherein Scott, as Ant-Man, took sides with Captain America (Chris Evans) and in doing so violated the Sokovia Accords. This led to a year in jail and another year in house arrest where, at the very least, he gets to spend time with his daughter when he isn’t learning sleight of hand magic or playing drums, in a video game.
The story really kicks in when Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) and her father, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), open a portal to the Quantum Realm where Scott was nearly lost forever in the last film and where Hope’s mother, Hank’s wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) has been lost for decades. Opening the Quantum Realm reveals that Janet has created a way, via Scott, for her to communicate and perhaps escape her decades long exile.
Meanwhile, a baddie calling herself The Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) is trying to steal Hank’s lab to try and save her life. The less revealed about Ghost the better, the character has a fun secret that is revealed throughout the movie. The Ghost isn’t the only baddie however, as a shady arms dealer, played by Walton Goggins decides that he wants to steal Hank’s technology in order to sell it to the highest bidder.
That’s the set up for a whole bunch of terrifically funny gags. Ant-Man and The Wasp is so much fun! Director Peyton Reed, much maligned for taking over the first Ant-Man after fan favorite Edgar Wright was dropped from the project, shows growth as a visual artist and in the confidence of a man with a vision. Reed appears to want Ant-Man to be the comic conscience of the Marvel Universe and two features in, he’s lived up to that title.
So how does Ant-Man and The Wasp fit into the narrative of the wider MCU? Well, I am not going to spoil that, you need to see this movie for that fun. I will say that the mid-credits scene is where the ongoing narrative is addressed and that there is no need to stay for the end credits scene which is merely the end of a running gag in Ant-Man and The Wasp and one of the few things in the movie that isn’t particularly funny.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is another triumph for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a film that combines the best traits of the Marvel Universe from big laughs to big action to genuine drama. Michael Douglas adds genuine gravitas to Ant-Man and The Wasp and when he and Michelle Pfeiffer finally share the screen the scene is legitimately moving thanks to the wide-ranging talents of both actors and this super smart, funny script.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is one of my favorite movies of 2018.