3rd August 2018 (UK)
As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña
How do you top Avengers: Infinity War? The answer, it seems, is you don’t: you simply go smaller.
The stakes have never been more personal than they are in Ant-Man and The Wasp, swapping the fate of the Universe and everyone in it for a more centralised story line which doesn’t affect many more than the families and singular characters featured on screen. Much like 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, there’s still plenty of references to a bigger MCU picture but Ant-Man and The Wasp is very much a self-contained affair and is arguably the most accessible standalone entry in the Marvel franchise so far.
Taking place just before the catastrophic events of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp goes a long way in answering the question of why Ant-Man wasn’t a part of the big battle as well as his possible status for Infinity War Part 2. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest due to his involvement in Captain America’s Civil War and is nearing the end of his sentence when he dreams he’s Janet, the wife of original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).
This sets in motion a series of events which sees Lang reunite with Hank, who’s still furious at him for his arrest, and teaming up with Hank’s daughter Hope (Evangaline Lilly) as The Wasp in an attempt to reach the Quantum Realm once again to save Hank’s wife Janet who was long thought lost after a World-saving mission decades earlier. In the process, they get on the wrong side of shady black market trader Sonny Burch and catch the attention of the realm-jumping Ghost, who sees a potential cure in the work they’re doing. Can the trio save Janet before either Sonny or Ghost get hold of the technology, all the while trying to evade the sights of the police?
Understandably, it’s a much more lighthearted offering than Avengers 4, rapidly firing jokes and visual gags at an exhaustive rate. The use of miniaturising and enlarging technology is more prevalent than it was in 2015’s Ant-Man, with cars, buildings and even salt shakers switching up their sizes at the flick of a switch or a blast from the wrist. The relentless nature of its comedic delivery does occasionally work against it though: at times, the already minimal threat is completely eliminated for the sake of a throwaway laugh.
That said, there are some genuinely funny moments, mostly provided by motormouth Louis (Michael Pena). A sequence in which he blurts out the entire history of his friendship with Scott in his own unique way is laugh-out-loud funny, while Paul Rudd’s funnyman roots make for some chuckle worthy facial reactions and quick quips. Evangeline Lilly is a joy to watch as the first major female lead in a Marvel movie, easily holding her own in a male dominated genre and veteran performers Michael Douglas and Lawence Fishburne seem to be having enormous fun in the later years of their careers. I’ve always been a fan of Walton Goggins, but he suffers a similar problem which he also faced in Tomb Raider in that he’s criminally underused as one of the bad guys, Sonny. Here, the film could have easily done without his character entirely, but I’ll take any Goggins I can get.
The same can be said for Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, or Ava, in that her character isn’t really a villain; she’s more of a misunderstood and desperate victim of circumstance who is doing what she must to survive. Ant-Man and The Wasp is devoid of any major peril, but I assume this is due to Infinity War‘s foe being the pinnacle of antagonists. There’s no point in even trying to top Thanos, so instead the film contains a few pesky mosquitoes for the duo to bat away while the rest of the resources are channelled into the story.
Simply put, Ant-Man and The Wasp is the breezy bug spray to the shell-shocking finale of Infinity War. For 2 hours, you can temporarily forget your Marvel troubles, but don’t get too complacent: the excellent and inevitable mid-credit sequence is a stark reminder of long reaching consequences of Thanos’ plan, putting us right back on track as we head full steam towards 2019’s Infinity War: Part 2.
Much needed reprieve from Infinity Wars' events
Evangeline Lilly is wonderful as The Wasp
Mid-credit scene successfully shifts the tone from comedy
No real threat
Feels like little more than a stop gap between Infinity War parts