With the hard hitting, gut punch that was the end of Avengers: Infinity War, there wasn’t a film in the Marvel line up that would have wanted to follow on from that shattering cliff-hanger. However, as there were a few Avengers missing from the line up, their absence explained away in a sentence, there was the promised follow up to 2015’s Ant-Man. Serving as a would be break between the fallout and the arrival of Captain Marvel, Ant-Man joined by The Wasp serves a minor detour in the Marvel Cinematic plan.
After Civil War, that saw half the Avengers/new recruits behind bars, then on the run, Scott Lang made a deal to get out of prison, for the sake of his daughter. Under house arrest, he spends his days making cardboard rides and playing on his drum kit. With days left of his sentence Lang is contacted by Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne, who have been in hiding since the darn Sokovia Accords. The father and daughter team have been working on a way to rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm and need Lang’s help. But there is also a mysterious ghost like villain who has also appeared on the scene, looking for Pym’s tech.
With ‘The Wasp’ aka Hope van Dyne taking top billing alongside the miniature hero, this is actually a more of a momentous occasion than was made of it. This is the first time a female superhero has headlined or at least, co-headlined. Hope is a superhero in her own right, she’s the one who taught Lang out to fight and was already able to do all the things that Lang had to learn. She is more than ready and the story, thankfully and rightly gives her space to shine. With a touching family reunion as the main focus, the villain of the piece is side lined annoyance rather than a worthy adversary, particularly when we find out a little of her ‘back story’. She unfortunately makes little impact on the film as a whole.
With all the fun and games throughout, especially the novelty of a literal mobile lab, the mid-credits scene brings everyone back to reality and reminds us that it was just a distraction from the result of a click of fingers powering infinity stones.
The first Ant-Man was more of a heist movie, its sequel, is a rescue operation. Each working outside the bigger Marvel picture creating contained stories that aren’t distracted by what’s happening out in the rest of the universe. Returning comedic characters lighten the mood and it is a welcomed distraction from all the Thanos business. The rather scattered like backstory given the main villain comes across as slightly dull and we’re less invested to see how that characters turns out. The real story about a family being reunited again and finding out what is exactly in the Quantum realm is the far more satisfying and curious story. It is fun, fast paced ride to happy conclusion all round. Unless of course, you take in that mid-credits scene.
Dir: Peyton Reed
Prd: Kevin Feige, Stephen Broussard
Scr: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Based on: ‘Ant-Man’ by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, ‘Wasp’ by Stan Lee, Ernie Hart, Jack Kirby
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Lawrence Fishburne
DoP: Dante Spinotti
Music: Christophe Beck
Running time: 118 minutes