Ant-Man and The Wasp
Directed by Peyton Reed
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Pena, David Dastmalchin, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Walton Goggins, Judy Greer, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne, Abby Ryder, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas
The film starts with a flashback similar to the one from the first film and showcases the effects the studio used to de-age Michael Douglas in the first film. This time it’s used for both Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) and it is as good as the first film. Michael Douglas has expressed interest in doing an Ant-Man prequel film and with the effects they use in this one, it could happen. The scene is all about the Pym family life as Hank tells his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) about the events that led to her mother disappearing. It’s an incredibly effective scene that shows the growth and maturity of the relationship between Hope and Hank.
Scott Lang is dealing with a lot of consequences, both personally and professionally. After fighting alongside Captain America in Civil War, Scott is now on house arrest and doing his best to care for his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder). It’s a great evolution of his character as well with Scott trying to do the right thing with Cassie and his new business with Luis (Michael Pena) and the fact that he is getting support from his ex-wife and Cassie’s stepfather is great motivation to keep Scott on the straight and narrow.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t last too long. Scott starts receiving messages that lead him back to Hank and Hope and their work trying to locate and retrieve Janet. This leads to an awkward reunion for the trio since Scott’s violation of the Sokovia Accords has put Hank and Hope on the run from the feds, including FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). Park and Rudd have some amazing comedic banter in this film. They are both dry and funny at the same time and there is a hilarious verbal dance between the two of them throughout the film.
In order to get a component Hank needs to finish his device to rescue Janet, Hope gets involved with some not so savory characters led by Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). He learns who Hope is and decides that he wants more than the money she’s there to pay him. He wants Hank Pym and more importantly, his lab and tech. The hunt for and possession of Hank’s lab is the central plot point of the film with everyone coming after it from the government and so on, including Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) who has a very specific need for the lab. During the course of the film, Hank and company find themselves meeting with an old colleague of Hank’s from SHIELD, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne). It’s an interesting back and forth through their history and it touches on the abrasive personality Hank Pym is known for.
There is some great character development and action in this film and Evangeline Lilly’s The Wasp is definitely making up for the lack of suit time she had in the first film. When she told Hank in the first film that she was ready, she wasn’t kidding. Her interactions with Scott show that the two of them work well together as equals and her animus towards him isn’t about what his actions cost them, but something more personal. It’s a very three dimensional performance that shows emotion, strength, vulnerability and resolve. Rudd is great as Scott in the film. He nails who this character is and what he needs to do to protect the people he cares about. He is desperate to do the right thing and his earnestness is evident in his performance.
The supporting cast is awesome as well and we get another great comedic monologue/flashback from Pena’s Luis that is absolutely hilarious and fills in some of the time gaps between Civil War and the present. This is an immensely fun film that tips the scale back to the fun and hopefulness of the MCU after the heaviness of Infinity War. Definitely worth seeing.
Mid-Credit Scene = No spoilers, but it was an emotional gut punch after everything that I just watched. Definitely a reminder that this is the MCU.
Post Credit Scene = Mysterious. I think they were going for something humorous, but it was more confusing than anything.