How can you release ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, both films critically praised by critics and audiences alike, and still release a movie that tops both or equals the quality of these stories?
Well, apparently, Marvel can.
Because ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ isn’t only a palate cleanser after ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ is a great film about family and unique personalities, something that the studio has been able to pin down to a point were you’re not even interested about the powers a suit might have.
The story takes place a few years after ‘Ant-Man’, apparently slightly before ‘Avengers:Infinity War’. After Scott Lang helps Captain America against Tony Stark in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, he is placed under house arrest, ending the close relationship with Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. When Hope and Pym find out a way to activate a device that transports you to the quantum realm, they recruit Scott once more while making sure the FBI still thinks he is under house arrest. All three will have to go under several attempts to open the quantum realm to save Hope’s mother, who went subatomical during a mission almost 30 years ago. Under the way, they’ll find a new compelling villain whose name is Ava, while they also deal with a black market dealer and the FBI.
The film does a really good job at explaining the stakes at hand and retelling the story of Janet Van Dyne and her disappearance, meaning that even a person who never saw the original ‘Ant-Man’ could easily follow the plot throughout the film. The explanation that sets up the whole plot from the very beginning allows the film to never stop, keeping its pace constant without rushing every scene. As we go through, Ant-Man’s involvement in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is constantly hinted at, so you don’t need to necessarily watch the film to know what is going on. A round of applause to the screenwriters who were able to handle this amount of exposition in a short amount of time and still make it interesting. This compares drastically to ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’, who was never really able to keep the story of Peter Quill’s father in a compelling way to get rid of to many scenes with exposition.
Because Scott Lang is under house arrest and Pym doesn’t trust him anymore, we se lots and lots of Wasp in the film. This is great to show her abilities besides the suit, because it really pays off after all the frustration Hope had of not being able to help during ‘Ant-Man’. The initial action sequences are filled with fun moments, easy to follow through, and very well directed by Peyton Reed. The movie is able to handle subplots that keep the main characters occupied while still evolving throughout the story, especially Scott trying to show Hank and Hope that he still can be useful for the mission.
Very early on we meet Ghost/Ava Starr, a villain with heart. She is mainly finding a way to stabilize herself, not making her a real villain besides the fact that she confronts the heroes out of frustration. This villain is one of the most empathetic characters from the Marvel Universe, so much that it competes with Killmonger’s ‘Black Panther’.
This movie differs from the comedic moments you might see from Marvel films, rather than the usual one liners, the movie focuses on great visual gags, especially in the final action sequences. I laughed from start to finish, while the movie still is able to deliver a lot of heart. ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ couldn’t be complete without Luis and the gang. They eventually become an important part of the mission. And who doesn’t want a good story from Luis’ himself?
The story of Hope’s mother keeps you interested to see if they will be able to achieve it throughout the film. The family story is the through line that keeps everything tight plot wise. ‘Ant-Man’ was all about Scott Lang and becoming the father his daughter thinks he is. ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ is about Hank Pym showing Hope he still cares about her and he always wanted to protect her after the disappearance of her mother.
Two end credits appear in the film. The first one directly relates to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and clearly shuts down a possibility for the superheroes to be saved. The second end credit is a fun one, but it also could show a possibility were Ant-Man and The Wasp could be crucial in the next Avengers film.
‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ just became my favorite Marvel movie since Guardians Of The Galaxy, and it will sure win your heart over. Yes, it is another superhero film, but Peyton Reed and the cast has been able to create a unique film that departs from the MCU, balancing the personal struggles of the characters with the really fun action sequences.