- “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a fun action movie that will put you in a pretty good mood coming out of the movie theatre.
- It does refer to what happens at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but that’s all you’re getting out of us.
If you’re still trying to get over the shocking ending to “Avengers: Infinity War,” then “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (in theatres July 6) is a welcome sight.
As with the first “Ant-Man” movie, the director Peyton Reed (“Bring It On”) mixes action and laughs, and this time he delivers one of the most enjoyable moviegoing experiences you’ll have this summer.
It’s been three years since “Ant-Man” arrived in theatres and proved that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could even make the likes of Paul Rudd an international box-office draw. The origin story of a burglar named Scott Lang (Rudd) who transforms into a micro do-gooder brought in an impressive $US519 million worldwide. That’s not too shabby for one of the lower-tier Marvel characters.
Since then, Ant-Man has been seen in “Captain America: Civil War,” as he joined Team Cap in the movie’s big battle sequence between all the Avengers. And the aftermath of that is where we pick things up with Lang in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Joining in on the Avengers’ infighting during “Civil War” led to Lang being put on house arrest for two years because he broke the Sokovia Accords, and as the “Ant-Man” sequel starts he’s just days away from getting his ankle bracelet taken off. Lang has been on the straight and narrow, mainly because since “Civil War,” Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the mind behind the Ant-Man shrinking and enlarging tech, along with his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), have turned their backs on Lang for taking the suit and rushing off with Team Cap.
But, as you’d expect, the two-year blackout finally ends between the three. The big reason for the change of heart is that Lang calls Hank to let him know he just had a dream about Hank’s wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer). Janet, the original Wasp, was thought to be lost forever in the quantum realm decades ago on a mission to save the world from nuclear war.
This news from Lang is important to Hank. Since Lang came back from the quantum realm at the end of the first “Ant-Man,” which was previously thought to not be possible, Hank and Hope (the new Wasp) have been trying to build a pathway to get his wife back. Hank believes the dream confirms that she is still in the quantum realm waiting to be saved and is sending a message to them.
This kicks the movie into gear as Lang helps Hank and Hope in their quest to get Janet back home. But things get more complicated when Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) shows up and interferes with their building of the pathway, as she wants to use the energy from the quantum realm to heal herself.
What’s great about both “Ant-Man” movies is that they give all this exposition with a whole lot of comedy. There’s Rudd’s gifted talents as a comedian (he’s a credited screenwriter on both movies) as well as the comedy of the tech involved in “Ant-Man.” When you have the power to shrink or enlarge anything at any moment, that gives you an incredible tool to keep the story from getting stale.
And having Michael Peña isn’t a bad thing either.
A gifted character actor for most of his career, jumping from dramas to comedies, in “Ant-Man” he’s really found his sweet spot. Playing Scott’s buddy Luis, he is the glue to the franchise. Every time he’s on-screen the movie gets a jolt. The most memorable moment in this movie is when Luis is given a truth serum by a small-time crook named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and provides way more information than Sonny was looking for.
Now you’re probably wondering how “Infinity War” plays into all of this. The events of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are going on at the same time the Avengers are battling Thanos.
All I’ll say is be sure to stick around for the end credits to see how the two movies connect.
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