After the devastating end to Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel clearly knew that audiences would need a pick-me-up that would double as a palate cleanser for what’s to come in the MCU. With that in mind, Ant-Man and The Wasp is the perfect solution. It follows Scott Lang as he’s coming up to the end of his house arrest sentence of two years following his role on Team Cap in Captain America: Civil War. But after a new threat surfaces alongside the potential to save the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, from the Quantum Realm – he has to step up (or down) as Ant-Man once again.
And it’s fun. It knows exactly what it is, and allows itself to play with the characters, jokes and situations in ways that only an Ant-Man film could get away with. Our stand-out favourite scene involves Scott being accidentally shrunk down to the size of a child. And that’s as much as we’ll say. But as well as being an Ant-Man movie, it’s also The Wasp’s, and if there were any doubts about Hope Van Dyne in the first film (and we had a few), Evangeline Lily dispels all of that with a fantastic performance. She’s as funny as Scott, can definitely fight better than him and actually has a deeper character arc. Plus, the way she shrinks in and out of fights while also utilising her surroundings to really mess with her opponents is a visual treat.
The villain side of this story does feel slightly weak, as Ghost’s backstory is hastily explained via some quick interrogation scene exposition. Walton Goggins as Sonny Birch feels like extra villain padding simply in place so that there are some disposable thugs to populate the fight scenes, and he does take away from the main story. But Ant-Man and The Wasp gets away with it, because her story isn’t the draw here. At its core, this is a film about family working together to fix the mistakes of the past.
And although Ant-Man and The Wasp has a very speedy resolution to the story, it has genuine heartfelt moments, like between Scott and his daughter, that work brilliantly for the future of the MCU. It’s a fun, light-hearted ride that makes no attempt at taking the film in gritty territory like some of the previous solo-character sequels have done. And as always, stick around for the post-credits scenes for some important teases going forward into Avengers 4.
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It plays all the right comedy beats, even if it does rely on some elements from the first Ant-Man film, but it has buckets of charm that provide a fun two hours.
- Family Character Development