Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dante Spinotti
WRITERS: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
MUSIC: Christophe Beck
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” reminds us from the first film that in 1987, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his wife Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) once stopped a missile from killing innocent people but at the cost of Janet being lost in the quantum realm. After Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) escaped from the realm at the end of the first “Ant-Man”, Hank resumed research on a quantum engine that could access the realm and save his wife. Hank’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), decides to help her father in his research and has established her identity as the Wasp!
Due to his involvement with Captain America in “Captain America: Civil War”, Scott has been put under house arrest for two years. His actions also caused Hank and Hope to go on the run as well, putting a strain on their relationship with Scott. After being informed that he only has three more days under house arrest, Scott has a vision or a dream about Janet and contacts Hank in order to help them.
Their journey is further complicated by the mysterious villain known as the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). She is having trouble phasing in and out of reality and needs Hank’s engine to stabilize herself, even if it is at the cost of Janet’s life.
This means that the movie’s story is pretty much an entire race against time. All three of our leads are on the run from the FBI while trying to accomplish their goals. This gives the film a brisk pace that never really lets up and there is plenty of action from both Ant-Man and the Wasp to satisfy any fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including great fights and wonderful car chases.
The performances from the cast are top notch and the chemistry between Rudd, Lilly and Douglas returns. Scott also has his trusty sidekicks led by Michael Peña’s dependably hilarious Luis and his frantic mouth. The scenes that touched me, though, were the scenes between Scott and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Rudd and Fortson are great together and it reminds us about what the stakes are for Scott when he goes off to help Hank and Hope.
The movie takes what made the first film fun and they amp that up, particularly the humor. Nothing is taken too seriously here and that’s a good thing, particularly one scene that is set inside an elementary school that has to be seen, so I won’t spoil it here. This light hearted adventure is ultimately what we needed after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War”. Now, we’re ready to see where things will lead when both “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers 4” hit theaters next year.
My only real problem with the movie is that I honestly don’t think that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is as strong as “Ant-Man”. I felt the first film was a little more solid from a story standpoint and a little more focused. Still, this is a very minor complaint for the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel can safely add another winning film to their ever-growing roster of solid superhero films.