After an epic movie with Avengers, some Guardians, a Black Panther and a Spider-Man battling someone who wants to change the universe for the better (he claims) and another with a foul-mouthed guy in red trying to save a kid with real hot hands, it was time for Marvel to give fans a fun sequel.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is the birth of a dynamic duo, and a long-overdue chance for a female hero to make her mark. They also battle a villain who is also a victim.
Then there’s a post-credit scene that’s…intense.
The story involves people who don’t want to be bad, but circumstances forced them to be that way. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is one example, as he became a thief but got a second chance as the Ant-Man. However, thanks to him fighting the Avengers and wrecking a plane in Germany in Civil War, he’s under house arrest. He’ll be free in three days, if he keeps his nose clean. A nerdy FBI agent named Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) has his eye on him.
Then Scott gets a weird dream, as he sees a young girl hiding from her mom. That mom is Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who was lost in the Quantum Realm for 30 years. How that happened was discussed in the previous movie. This suggests maybe Janet can be found, and he calls Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) about this. Too bad Hank and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) are still mad over Germany because the FBI’s after them.
Still, they think there’s a chance they can rescue Janet. They have to build a quantum tunnel to do it, and try to hide their work by shrinking their building occasionally. It even has a handle. It also means dealing with shady guys like Sonny Birch (Walton Goggins), who has been providing black market parts.
The main villain seems to be someone named Ghost, who can walk through walls but also be solid enough to beat up people thanks to “quantum phasing”. However, Ghost has an agenda that’s not just being evil. She is Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), who got her condition via a scientific accident. She blames Hank for this, and wants a cure before she dies. She’s also not exactly working with Burch, either.
Add Scott’s pressure in doing right with his daughter and helping his ex-con pals in their new security company, and it’s a movie with plenty of story and action.
Paul Rudd is again great as Ant-Man, who’s in Hank and Hope’s doghouse over Germany, but is given another chance. Instead of getting used to his new job, he’s trying to get used to a new suit that has many bugs in it. It’s especially funny when he shrinks to a seven year old at his daughter’s school. Once he gets the old suit (which he claims he destroyed), he’s back in action mode. The best part is how he fights by switching sizes on a dime, and gets a bit too big for his britches.
There’s also a scene where he gives Hope and Hank a sign that Janet can be found in the Quantum Realm. It’s quite sudden and really touching and funny.
Evangeline Lilly, meanwhile, is much better in the sequel only because she has much more to do. Hope is a natural as her mom’s old job as the Wasp, and is even better at fighting as Scott only because she’s had more experience. Her longer hair also gets her a better look. Her relationship with Scott seems similar to the previous movie, but she’s more mad at him over Germany than skeptical of his skills. Soon she trusts him enough that he can get her mom back. It’s not long before they do make an ideal team.
As for how Scott and Hope fight, it’s quite a sight seeing her run across a knife then knock out a guy, or blocking a car with a really big Pez dispenser thanks to enlarging discs. Then again, seeing Hank enlarge ants to be his construction crew…or guards…is also pretty good.
Again, Ghost is more than someone who’s doing bad things. She points out she worked for SHIELD doing pretty dark missions that reminds fans HYDRA had burrowed into the group. Now, she’ll do anything to avoid fading away, and she thinks maybe quantum energy could help her. Marvel’s doing a good thing creating antagonists who aren’t pure evil, including Cable in Deadpool 2 and (in a way) Thanos in Infinity War. Hannah John-Kamen, who’s been seen in Ready Player One and Game of Thrones, does a fine job as a tough yet complex enemy.
However, Goggins plays the “definitely evil” role with relish. He seems to be working for someone else. Too bad we don’t know who it is.
It’s also great Michael Douglas has more to do in this movie, too. He even gets to “suit up” when he enters the Quantum Realm to find his wife. The realm itself is mind-boggling, and is an excellent reason to see this in 3-D or Imax (which I did not do but should have).
The movie also features Bobby Cannavale as SFPD Officer Paxton (the guy Scott’s ex-wife is dating), Lawrence Fishburne as Bill Foster, a former partner in Hark’s work, and Michael Peña as Luis, who still knows how to tell a story. This is especially true when Burch tries to get Luis to reveal where Scott is, and gets a summary of everything up to that point…and where Scott is.
Oh, and anyone who’s seen the trailers will notice some of the scenes didn’t make the movie. It’s another bit of
There’s also the Stan Lee cameo, where he makes a remark that has more meaning than people think.
Park was supposed to be a SHIELD agent but that was changed to FBI. He’s mostly comedy relief here, but if there is a third Ant-Man movie he and Paxton should get together as two cops slowly understanding Scott’s super-hero life and what’s in it. It would be a great addition to the franchise.
The Ant-Man sequel is an ideal breather to what has been a very active year in the MCU, including Infinity War and Deadpool 2 (which is still Thanos-proof). It’s a fun second chapter in what could be one of the MCU’s most popular franchises.
Then there’s the post-credits scene that reminds fans what’s really at stake in the MCU. What could happen next will be a major topic of discussion at many cons for the next ten months, starting with Comic-Con.