Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’—the tiniest yet one of the mightiest superheroes of the Marvel Universe

2018 is seemingly turning out to be a great year for the Marvel fans. While they are still coping with the temporary doom brought upon by Thanos in MCU’s arguably the “most ambitious crossover ever”—Infinity War, leading to speculations about Avengers 4 reaching heights, here come the studios’ tiniest superheroes who surely steals the show. Directed by Peter Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the sequel to Ant-Man (2015) that takes up from the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) almost going to complete his two years of house arrest as a part of his deal to escape imprisonment after violating the Sokovia Accords to help Steve Rogers (Captain America). Despite having only days left of house arrest, Scott reconnects with his former associates—scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), following a weird dream where he receives an apparent message from Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) with whom he is quantumly entangled. Both Hank and Hope, on the other hand, are pursued by the FBI and have been on the run for the past two years during which they’ve assembled a lab to build a quantum tunnel in an attempt to rescue Janet, who went missing in the quantum realm 30 years ago. Hank believed it was impossible to return from the realm until Scott proved it to be possible in Ant-Man. But as life is full of challenges and of superheroes’ more so, Hank and Hope’s work is monitored by criminal and black market dealer, Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), with whom Hope arranges to buy a part needed for the tunnel who after realising the potential profit that can be earned from Pym and Hope’s research, double-crosses them. Hope fights Burch and his men until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman, ‘Ghost’ (Hannah John-Kamen), who eventually escapes with Pym’s portable lab. As a result, Scott, Hank, and Hope find themselves running from more than the FBI and in the way, turn to Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) an old associate of Hank’s, for help. Foster suggests to track down the lab with an ‘old suit’ which is immediately provided by Scott who couldn’t destroy it as he was supposed to in Ant-Man. Scott who tries not to ruin his new life that includes friends/colleagues from his security firm—Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (Tip Harris), Kurt (David Dastmalchian) continuing a better relationship with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Forsten), ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her new fiancé Paxton (Bobby Cannavale), must decide whether to protect his reformed life or suit up again as Ant-Man when all the forces try to get their hands on Hank and Hope’s lab, keeping their mission at stake. The Reed-Rudd duo return to continue the adventures of the smallest but mightiest heroes of the Marvel universe. Ant-Man and the Wasp establish the titular characters who can truly lead their own franchise alongside Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Black Panther.
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
The script, written by Rudd, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (who did uncredited work on the first Ant-Man) surely takes away the show with overwhelming VFX, a heartwarming story-line, perfect sense of humour and stunning cinematography aiding it beautifully. The writers have done a commendable job to balance the sillier sense of humour with the serious aspects of the movie by incorporating the gags at appropriate times, but not letting the audience’s attention shift from the dramatic moments when necessary. The characterisation surely meets the standards of the story with most of them returning to reprise their respective roles. Well known for his amazing comic sense and timing, Rudd brings all the charm associated with his performances and shines as the film’s co-lead.
Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd
The Wasp holds as much—if not greater—skill and importance as Scott Lang and the creatives of the studio emphasised Wasp’s status as the first female superhero to co-headline an MCU movie. With almost an equal number of action scenes as Scott, Lilly’s Hope does full justice to the film and the character. In fact, with the additional features on her suit—the wings and blasters—she is able to provide more dynamic action than Ant-Man. The chemistry between the two also helps to blend the film’s comedy with the main plot of the story. Hope is also at the center of the emotional arc of the movie, since it’s a rescue mission for her mother, and Lilly is able to carry that off amazingly. Douglas is as good as he is known, effortlessly gliding through his character of Pym. Kamen deserves appreciation too for her portrayal of Ava aka Ghost. Her execution reflects the pain and confusion that her character is going through. Pfeiffer could have been given more screen timing, but she doesn’t disappoint as the brilliant scientist.
Hannah John-Kamen as ‘Ghost’
Of Scott’s friendsand family, Peña and Forston especially stand out as Luis and Cassie, respectively. The film also explores a number of father-daughter dynamics between Scott and Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) throughout the film among which one works as an emotional anchor for Lang’s character for being a good father and a superhero together. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a tale of love, pain, loss, getting together with the loved ones, messing up things and making them right, packed in an adventurous ride with the shape-shifting heroes taking down their enemies with ease and powers. In a mid-credits scene, Pym, Lang, Hope, and Janet plan to harvest quantum energy for helping Ava. While Lang dives into the quantum realm, Pym, Hope, and Janet all disintegrate surprisingly though the post-credits scene assure fans that Ant-Man and Wasp will return. We can’t wait!