Ant-Man and the Wasp : Review

For all the whiplash action and laugh-out-loud humor in Ant-Man and the Wasp, there’s a certain “haven’t we been here before?” undercurrent tugging at our sleeves like a needy child demanding attention. We know it’s there, we don’t want to give any thought to it because we’re having way too much fun, but the fact remains: 2015’s Ant-Man was a story about trying to keep technology out of enemy hands. Ant-Man and the Wasp uses the same theme, only this time – as if affected by Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) size-altering wizardry – the stakes are raised and exaggerated, with more antagonists to fight and a whole city in the balance. Thankfully, it’s only one part of the multifaceted Ant-Man and the Wasp, and almost an ancillary one at best. We’re too busy reacquainting ourselves with Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), merely three days away from ending two years of house arrest for his involvement in the events of Captain America: Civil War. The post-prologue scenes give us a hope fulfilled: Scott is doing the best he can under his circumstances as father to precious and precocious daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). He’s even turned his entire three-story San Francisco residence into a gigantic funhouse to keep her entertained, where we humorously discover the FBI’s response time and procedures when his ankle monitor crosses his property line. As expected, Rudd carries on his portrayal of Scott the Everyman in winning style, endearing us to him with his aw-shucks charm, his genuine fallibility, and his willingness to be the target of the film's comedy. It’s impossible not to like Scott (or, really, is it Rudd just being Rudd?), especially when shown how he treats those around him. He lends a heartfelt humanism to what would ordinarily be just another cog in the Marvel machine, with most everyone else being nearly robotic and always predictable with their actions and motives. The preceding sentence refers to the father-daughter duo of Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Written and performed dutifully as the straight-ahead, hard-nosed contrasts to Scott’s flailing-goof persona, Hank and Hope keep the film grounded and focused on the mission: to bring Hank’s presumed-dead wife Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) back from the Quantum Realm. They’ve been trying to do it on their own, but Scott gets involved after a message from Janet goes to him – *not* them – when they turn on their experimental Quantum Tunnel for the first time. Much like how Limbo in Inception is attached to whoever’s been down there, Janet can only communicate with Scott because he’s the only one who’s been to the Quantum Realm and escaped. Meanwhile, there are three factions keeping Team Ant-Man from achieving their goal. The FBI, in charge of Scott’s house arrest, is also looking to apprehend Hank and Hope for furnishing Scott with the Ant-Man suit, a direct violation of the Sokovia Accords. Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and his fellow Fibbies are treated as the lighter of…

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Rating

4

Ant-Man and the Wasp finishes the great Marvel three-punch combination of 2018 with whimsy, laughs, heart, and eye-popping action.

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