Following the unexpected and shocking moments from “Avengers: Infinity War”, fans eagerly awaited the next Marvel Studios film for any type of clues as to what will happen next when the next Avengers film arrives next summer. “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, is set before the events of “Avengers: Infinity War”, and finds Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) under home confinement thanks to a plea deal he took for siding with Captain America in “Captain America: Civil War”.
The years of being at home have driven Scott to find creative ways to entertain himself when his friend Luis (Michael Pena) and his daughter Cassie are not around. Scott is nearing the end of his isolation but knows F.B.I. Agent Woo (Randall Park), is waiting for him to slip up and with a possible twenty year prison term in the balance, he is not eager to make any mistakes.
Scott is also on the outs with Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and her father Hank (Michael Douglas) as it is revealed he took the Ant-Man suit and took part in the Civil War without their permission.
Fate intervenes when a strange dream causes Scott to contact Hope who in turn takes a reluctant Scott along with her to get to the bottom of the dream. Scott is naturally reluctant as he is days away from freedom and being discovered out and about and consorting with his wanted former associates would not be good for his eventual freedom.
A shady tech dealer named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and a dangerous new adversary named “Ghost” (Hannah John-Kamen) also complicate matters and force Scott, Hope, and Hank to contend with issues all around them as the race against time on an urgent mission while trying to stay away from Woo and his team.
The film is a bit slow getting started but it does have some great character moments as well as humor around the build-up to the action sequences. The action when it comes mixes some great visual FX with some humor as Hope and Scott jump between everyday items at various sizes to face the threats presented to them. The cast works very well with one another and there are some great moments that will likely become favorites for fans of the characters and Marvel.
The Ghost is a rather interesting choice as an adversary as we do not have an individual bent on conquest, revenge, mass destruction, or accumulating power and wealth. While it may seem odd to have a more down to earth and relatable villain in a Marvel film, it does continue a recent trend of showing of adversaries who are complex, harder to define, and sympathetic much like The Winter Soldier.
There are two scenes in the credits which are very important to the continuity of the Marvel Universe and with “Captain Marvel” due in March 2019, it will likely get fans whipped into overdrive thinking about the possibilities they present.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is not as epic in scale as some of the past Marvel films, but thanks to a likeable cast and some timely humor, it should keep fans happy until the next chapter in the series.
4 stars out of 5
Second Review By Christopher Daniels
Marvel’s Ant Man and The Wasp lights up the screen with another adventure in variable size.
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly reprise their roles as Ant Man, Hank Pym, and Hope Van Dyne. Picking up two years after the first film (2015), Scott (Ant Man) is finishing a period of house arrest. His confinement is why we didn’t see him in the Avengers.
Hank and Hope are running from the law for aiding and abetting Scott’s antics in Civil War. Both are angry at him for leaving without them, keeping them in the dark, and stealing Hank’s suit.
The pair have been on a mission to understand what happened to Hope’s mother. While they’re investigating, adventure ensues.
This sequel expertly intertwines humor with drama, as you would expect after seeing the film’s predecessor. There’s also plenty of great action. It is everything we’ve come to expect from Marvel. Yes, it’s a formula, but it’s a damn good one.
The film won’t win any awards for grittiness, bucking the trend, or taking theatrical risks. But it’s very much the kind of superhero movie you’ll take your kids to. Fun for the whole family.
Stick around at the end — the first credits scene is absolutely worth seeing, even if the second one isn’t.
4 out 5 stars
Written by: Christopher Daniels
Edited by: Jeff Boehm