+ Recommended – PG-13, Action, Adventure
Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is back! This time he has help from a very special partner: The Wasp. After the first installment of Ant-Man, I was actually looking forward to this sequel. The first allowed fans of the MCU to have a much needed breather, an escape from the insanity that comes with the Avengers. And after Avengers: Infinity War, this is just the breather we needed.
It’s been two years since Scott Lang/Ant-Man helped a fugitive Captain American during the events of Captain America: Civil War. This time, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym need Lang’s help to figure out how to get Hope’s mom, the original Wasp, out of the Quantum Realm. There’s just one problem: Scott has been on house arrest for the past two years and can’t leave the house.
If you were a fan of the original, then you will undoubtedly have fun with this installment. Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp), Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet van Dyne), and Hannah John-Kamen (Ghost) bring an extra level of flare to the movie with each of their plot lines and their performances are dynamic within the context of overarching story. Michael Peña (Luis) is back, providing the same, sleek comedic style that was written for him in the first. Paul Rudd’s (Ant-Man) boyish charm is on full display; and it will melt hearts, especially during scenes with Lang’s daughter. Without Rudd, I fear Ant-Man wouldn’t have the same level of appreciation from general audiences.
If you go into this movie expecting a villain along the lines of Killmonger or Thanos, you’re going to be disappointed. Walton Goggins and Hannah John-Kamen are the perfect scale of villains for a movie this size. Neither are all that menacing, yet they are a perfect match for Scott Lang’s Ant-Man. While I was initially unsure if these characters here worked for me, I quickly accounted for the first Ant-Man and what Yellowjacket meant to the story; not all that much.
Don’t be concerned with the size-changing gag that’s played throughout the film, either. For me, the trailers for Ant-Man and the Wasp were chalked with the same gag reel, in which different objects and people were shrinking or growing larger than life. The first Ant-Man set an important precedent in establishing that the movie wasn’t simply going to rely on this gag; the second does the same. It feels completely natural and warranted in the setting. You should, however, expect to have a good time. Ant-Man and the Wasp director, Peyton Reed, ensures a lighthearted action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Many of the visual gags are not meant to make sense and the writing even acknowledges that. Therefore, this is a movie that you can take the whole family to and simply forget the outside world exists for a couple hours. The main theme of Ant-Man and the Wasp revolves around how important being with family and friends is for the soul. Let yourself have fun. Be open to the possibility that everything will work out in the end. Embrace the pure joy you will feel while watching this movie and you’ll love it.