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Dan's Review: "Ant-Man and the Wasp" cheers up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jul 05, 2018 06:14PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp- © 2018 Marvel Studios.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Marvel Studios)

Rated PG - 13 for some sci - fi action violence.

Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, RaeLynn Bratten, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas.

Written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, based on characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Ernie Hart.

Directed by Peyton Reed.

GRADE: A

REVIEW:

Being a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan can be daunting, if not downright depressing these days (spoilers follow - if you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War by now). When we last left Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, half of them were snuffed out the snap of Thanos’ fingers, reduced to dust in the wind (or so it seems, wink, wink). One of the team who was strangely absent from the Infinity War party was Scott Lang, AKA, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Could Ant-Man save our summer from the doldrums of a post-Thanos apocalypse?

It’s important to point out that the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp (this weekend’s sequel to the 2015 Marvel movie) take place directly before Thanos makes his appearance, leaving plenty of room for all kinds of miniature (and super-sized) fun for Lang and his mentor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). We pick up with Lang confined to house arrest, forced to wear an ankle monitoring device as part of his plea agreement for taking the rebel side of the Captain America: Civil War. Hank and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) show up looking for Scott’s help in getting back to the Quantum Realm (a miniaturizing beyond known elements) from where he was able to return and avoid the “void” at the end of the first Ant-Man film. Hank believes Scott can help locate his wife Janet van Dyne (Michell Pfeiffer) who was lost inside the Quantum Realm while saving the world from nuclear holocaust way back in the 1980s. If Scott could go there and get back, maybe he could go and find Hope’s mom, too. So, Hank arranges to dupe Scott’s parole officer (Randall Park) and sneak him out of the house for some special missions that include deals with the nefarious black-market operator Sonny Burch (Walt Goggins). While trying to secure some quantum tech, Hope (AKA the Wasp, using a new Pym suit) encounters “Ghost” (Hannah John-Kamen), a woman who can phase through objects, who also wants the tech to help cure her phasing problem. Ghost’s real name is Ava Starr, who was left with her phasing condition after an unfortunate quantum explosion involving (you guessed it) Pym technology. Ghost later connected with Bill Foster (Lawrence Fishburne), one of Pym’s former scientist collaborators before they had a falling out. Ghost hopes to use Hank’s new lab to leach particles from the Quantum Realm but doing so would risk any chance of locating Janet van Dyne. As Sonny Burch and his team of mobsters close in on the lab (which is miniaturized into the size of a milk crate) as the feds become more suspicious of Scott’s whereabouts. Scott’s old ex-con friends Luis (Michael Pena, Kurt (David Dastmalchian) and Dave (Tip “T.I.” Harris) provide cover and plenty of laughs as they stumble through the streets of San Francisco using Hank’s miniaturizing/expanding technology. Will Hank be able to get his wife back? Will Ghost ruin the party? Will romance continue to develop between Scott and Hope?

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the perfect remedy for a Marvel Universe gone crazy. It’s full of fun, humor, action and intrigue – as audiences will be more than willing to live on the fringes of the Avengers and all their Thanos troubles. That is, at least until a mid-credits scene that will invoke screams of “Oh no!” I wouldn’t worry since Ant-Man himself could be the very link needed to overcome the Infinity War desolation since he’s got the “Quantum Goods.”

The appeal of Paul Rudd as a cheery leading man is exactly what the Avengers needs; a guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, nor someone with an extremely tragic backstory. It’s a breath of fresh air in the MCU and among a summer movie slate that includes a really dumb dinosaur movie, a few Dwayne Johnson action flicks and a lot of rehashed sequels that are hit-and-miss. Yes, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a sequel, too – but it will cure what ails most MCU fans (for now).


Ant-Man and the Wasp Trailer

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