Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Abby Ryder, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Tip Harris And David Dastmalchian Director: Peyton Reed
Ant Man and the Wasp is not just a very entertaining film but also a testament to the quality of Marvel’s movie machine and the creative heads that run it. Twenty films in, the consistency that Marvel has showcased is unparalleled and surprisingly, the films seem to be getting better with each new addition. Director Peyton Reed did not get enough credit for his work in the first part because of the Edgar Wright behind-the-scenes drama, but this is the film that will cement his place as one of the most unique and necessary talents in the Marvel family.
Ant Man and the Wasp, which is a wonderful lighthearted breather after the depression of Avengers: Infinity War is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest because of his shenanigans at the Germany airport where he became a giant man and caused a lot of destruction. His equation with his family, however, has improved – his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder), his ex wife (Judy Greer) and even her new husband (Bobby Cannavale) love him. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) are making their own new fancy sci-fi plans for reasons best left for you to discover, and naturally a villainous figure – a ghost-like entity this time – is out to get them.
For one, this is a rare sequel that improves on the first film in ever single way. This is a much more charming, hilarious and memorable movie filled with some truly unique sequences that milk Ant Man’s size shifting abilities. There is a section set in a high school where Ant Man has to retrieve an object that will make you laugh till you cry, making this the funniest (and most fun) entry since Thor: Ragnarok. Since the stakes are delightfully low, it gives Reed to flex his comedic muscles and play around with a whole sandbox of restricted environments. This restrictive scenario gives way to one of the greatest car chase sequences in recent times, a very trippy sequence in the subatomic world, an even more delightfully fleshed out father-daughter dynamic between Lang and Cassie, and a chance to add more lovable characters into the cannon, going into the epic Infinity War sequel.
There is of course also the goofball team of Luis (Michael Pena) who gets another chance to ramble into a hilarious memory monologue, Dave (Tip Harris) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) who gets a side splitting extended cameo as a Russian stiff terrified of the villain in the movie. Randall Park, newly added in the mix, gets a couple of laugh out loud moments as a cop who has a bone to pick with Lang. Also fun is the focus on the Wasp’s character as Lilly gets to kick ass and reset the gender dynamic in the Marvel superhero landscape. Ant Man is actually the henchman in this film as the Wasp does most of the hero work. She also gets to save Ant Man a few times in moments of gender commentary in cinema that are unsubtle but so entertaining it is difficult not to applaud.
Rudd steals the show once again; he has never been funnier. The best moment in the film is Lang channeling a strange woman typing an algorithm on a screen and it is done so effortlessly well you wish for access to the improv outtakes. It is all set up really nicely leading up to the next Avengers film and even though it is not tough to guess how Ant Man is going to face Thanos and beat him, the wait for the inevitable moment until next year is going to be painful.