After the events of Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest. Because of his actions - and their association with him - Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have been in hiding ever since. Their research into the Quantum Realm however, has drawn the attention of a few unsavoury characters, including the mysterious "Ghost" (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) - a dealer in black market tech. So when a chance to save Hope's mother - Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) - presents itself, Hank and Hope will need Scott's help if they're to have any chance of success.
Set just before Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp sees Lang return to his small corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whereas Ant-Man was a heist movie, director Peyton Reed has described this as part action movie, part romantic comedy, inspired by movies like Midnight Run. Much like its predecessor, Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of the lighter instalments in the MCU. Not that that makes it any less compelling, in fact, it's the smaller scale and light-hearted nature as well as a few real-world problems that makes this story all the more relatable. Essentially, it's a movie about family; a man trying to better himself for the sake of his daughter, and a father and daughter fighting to put their family back together. It's a very human story that just happens to feature superheroes.
Evangeline Lilly is the perfect choice to play the Wasp. Not only did she earn it with her brilliant performance in Ant-Man, but she brings great depth to the role. Hope is tough as nails and very capable, but she's also hurting. The loss of her mother combined with Scott's actions in Germany and the need to protect her father weigh heavy on her, and Lilly is able to portray all of this flawlessly. She and Rudd - who slips easily back into his role as Lang - have great chemistry, our heroes share a connection but current events have forced it to take a back seat. All the while, Lang is still trying to figure out how to be a superhero as well as a good dad - two roles that don't come with an instruction manual.
It's great to see all the supporting cast return - as well as some new faces - although it's a shame that Judy Greer and Bobby Cannavale are given almost nothing to do. Ant-Man and the Wasp does benefit from some intriguing villains. Granted Sonny Burch is a bit generic, but Goggins' performance is enough to make him interesting, he is also responsible for one of Luis' (Michael Peña) famous recaps - unfortunately the only one in the movie. Ghost on the other hand is a little more mysterious, something John-Kamen does well with. Her ability to phase through everything from walls to cars to people looks incredible, it also makes her an excellent thief and a formidable opponent.
As with all Marvel movies, there's a lot of fun action and brilliant special effects. It's great to finally see Ant-Man and the Wasp team up together, their fight scenes are beautifully choreographed and the banter is funny too. Thanks to some fancy tech, this time around Pym is able to shrink (or grow) a lot more than just people. These abilities allow them to make use of their environment in unique ways, a chase through the streets of San Francisco (see what I did there?) being one of the highlights. Although being bigger or smaller than everything else can be perilous, that and a malfunctioning suit make for some hilarious problems. Don't forget to watch the mid-credits scene, it will no doubt be relevant in the near future. You can probably skip the end credits scene until the movie is available for download and on DVD and Blu-ray, much like Spider-Man: Homecoming it's a funny moment but not really worth hanging around for. And if you've seen any of the trailers, you've already seen 95% of it.
2018 has been an interesting year for Marvel. Black Panther, the first Marvel movie to feature a predominantly black cast, as well as a black character in the title role was a smash hit that broke global box office records. Now they have released their first movie with a female character in a title role, and once again Marvel does not disappoint. Hope Van Dyne's line at the end of Ant-Man couldn't be more relevant; "It's about damn time!"
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