Ant-Man and The Wasp is the follow-up to the 2015 Marvel film, Ant-Man. It continues the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) after the events of Civil War (2016) after he was put under house arrest. Suddenly confronted by Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who have another new mission for him. Scott must once again put on the Ant-Man suit and learn to team with The Wasp (Hope’s persona), as they all work together to uncover secrets from their past. Full of fun action, memorable characters, and a lot of great laughs, Ant-Man and The Wasp is a nice way to cleanse the palate before Avengers 4. This sequel is even more enjoyable than the first.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is a very funny movie that really pushes the Marvel humor further with witty one-liners. In particular, Michael Pena’s character, Luis, got the most laughs out of me and the theater audience. Especially when he drives a real “Hot Wheels” car, or he is explaining Scott’s current predicament in an exaggerated manner. It’s all hilarious. (Marvel, If you’re reading this, then please give Michael Pena his own spinoff as he definitely deserves it.) Also, after this film, I’ll never think of Baba Yaga the same way again, thanks to the character of Kurt, who randomly shouts it out, often in a spiritual sounding way.
The rest of the cast is in top form, too. Paul Rudd is definitely fitting well into the role of Scott Lang (Ant-Man). I especially enjoyed his scenes with his daughter, Casey, and his chemistry with Hope (Wasp). The two play off each other well, with Hope coming off as the more reasonable one. Hope’s character is much more central to the plot, overall, than in the first film which I loved. Michael Douglas’ role, returning as Hank Pym, with his serious techno babble as the stern scientist is really fun. Hannah John-Kamen plays the main antagonist, Ghost, a woman with invisible powers. Much to my surprise, Ghost, is a terrific antagonist with a sympathetic backstory. Since Marvel’s “Phase 3”, starting with Captain America: Civil War (2016), Marvel villains seem to have only gotten better, and Ghost is just one of many examples of that sort of improvement. She actually feels like a well-rounded antagonist. Laurence Fishburne plays Dr. Bill Foster, Hank Pym’s old scientist friend, and Walton Goggins shows up in a fun role as a criminal type character that Scott and Hope initially see to make a deal. Also Michelle Pfeiffer’s role, as Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp), Hope’s mother, and Hank’s wife,although small, is poignant. It’s just great to see Pfeiffer in a lot more films recently.
Visual Effects (VFX) wise, Ant-Man and The Wasp improves on the first film by adding in more details and being more visually interesting. The opening scene, much like the first film, features a flashback, and Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer look like they just stepped out of a film from the 80’s. It’s remarkable how Computer Generated Imaging (CGI) can make old actors look young. We’ve come a long way from the days of Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy (2010), where it looked pretty awful. There are plenty of fun CGI spectacular action scenes in Ant-Man and The Wasp: a fight with some goons and a Frisco car chase being particularly exciting highlights.
The score by Christophe Beck reprises his 60’s “sneaky” Ant-Man theme, and this time, Beck combines it with a cool, jazzy theme for The Wasp. My particular favorite moment with the music is when Ant-Man and The Wasp are sneaking into a school, and a midi (electronic) sounding version of Ant-Man’s theme plays.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is a nice placeholder for the next big Marvel film. It’s not going to be something you’re going to be calling a masterpiece. It’s meant to be pure entertainment, and it exceeds at that. Unless you’re not a fan of superhero films, in general, I recommend seeing it on the big screen.
Now playing in Hanover at The Nugget Theaters Monday through Thursday at 1:30, 4:10 (in 3D), and 6:45 PM, Friday and Saturday at 1:30, 4:00, 6:40, and 9:10 PM, and Sunday at 1:30, 4:00, and 6:40 PM