Where were ANT-MAN AND THE WASP during AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR? On July 6 we find out they were off in their own little corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). If you remember previously, Ant-Man/Scott Lang went off to fight with “Cap” in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, and there are long-term consequences for Scott, for his relationship with the Avengers, and for his relationship with both Hope Van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP continue the humor, levity, and style of the first film while embracing family issues, fatherhood, diversity, and female empowerment. If you left AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR feeling devastated, then ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is just the laugh you need while tying in directly to AVENGERS 4. Continue reading for our full, spoiler-free ANT-MAN AND THE WASP review.
This may be ANT-MAN’s sequel, but ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is The Wasp’s coming of age story. At the end of ANT-MAN, Dr. Hank Pym pulls the curtain back on The Wasp suit, and Hope Van Dyne’s (Evangeline Lilly) eyes widen with that “it’s about time” look. After 19 MCU films, this is the first that contains a female super-hero listed in the title with equal billing to the male super-hero. Not only does The Wasp take center stage in this film, but she goes toe-to-toe with a strong, bad-a$$, female villain too, The Ghost – and their fight scene is one of the most exciting, acrobatic, and strong action pieces in the MCU to date.
Those who enjoyed ANT-MAN for Paul Rudd’s humor and quirkiness will love ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. Paul Rudd is back portraying Scott Lang (Ant-Man), and he contributes to writing the screenplay as well. Rudd stretches his acting in this film, and gets in touch with his feminine side to hilarious results. However, what drew me to Ant-Man originally was Scott Lang as a father, and his relationship to his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and extended family. Their father-daughter relationship is front and center in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, and father-daughter relationships extend as a recurring theme in the film.
Scott Lang’s Ant-Man is a loveable everyman that stumbles into becoming a super-hero, and gives hope to those of us wishing to become heroes as well. Because Ant-Man relies on Dr. Hank Pym’s tech, Lang knows he depends on others for success and assembles (and supports) a team around him including The Wasp, Luis (Michael Peña) and his Ant-ourage. Michael Peña was a breakout scene-stealer in ANT-MAN, and has some great moments in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (including a fast-talking nod to Morrissey). Another new addition to the cast is Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Pym’s colleague Dr. Bill Foster who (along with Michael Douglas) gives gravitas to the film.
In addition to dealing with FBI agents and technology thieves, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP are up against the mysterious Ghost played by Hannah John-Kamen. In the comic books, Ghost was a male character, and Director Peyton Reed went in a very different direction for this film. Hannah John-Kamen channels intensity and rage into Ghost as well as brings complexity and nuance to the villain that makes you realize not everything is black or white.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a smaller film in the MCU, and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t get cluttered with dozens of super heroes fighting in a myriad of locations across the universe. It focuses close-up on family, a blended family, and the results are magical – perhaps even close-up magical. If you’re looking for a film that celebrates family, fatherhood, diversity, and women, then ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is the film for you. If you’re looking for a film without the heaviness and stakes of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, then come on get happy because ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is the film for you. Oh, and we shouldn’t have to tell any MCU fans by now, but there are TWO additional scenes during the credits that you HAVE to see. That’s all I’m saying… after you’ve seen them, we’ll talk.