After the intense gloom and doom of “Avengers: Infinity War” it was time for Marvel Studios to pull out something more lighthearted. And you don’t get much more lighthearted in the MCU than Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” brings back all your favorites (I’m assuming Yellowjacket wasn’t anyone’s favorite) from Marvel’s 2015 pint-sized hit “Ant-Man.” They are joined in this go-round by Michelle Pfeiffer as the original Wasp, Laurence Fishburne as Hank Pym’s former partner Bill Foster, and Hanna John-Kamen as Ghost, the antagonist of the piece.
We begin with a flashback so Marvel can use more of their patented age-reversing technology to make Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) and new-to-the-franchise Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet Van Dyne) look young again. Hank and Jan (the original Ant-Man and Wasp) are about to go off on their fated last adventure, which ends with Jan trapped in the microscopic quantum realm.
After many years, Hank and daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) have decided it’s time to bring Jan home. Meanwhile, their former partner Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is finishing up 2 years on house arrest for playing superhero after such activities had been declared illegal during “Captain America: Civil War.”
Circumstances eventually bring the trio together as they work to free Janet from the quantum realm while avoiding trouble from the mysterious, intangible Ghost and a low-rent thug named Sonny Birch (Walton Goggins).
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” has everything you’d expect from an “Ant-Man” sequel — lots of humor, lots of action, lots of pseudo-science jibberish, lots of size-change gimmicks, a hint of romance, a touch of father/daughter bonding, and more of the hilariously fast-talking Michael Pena.
It’s a solid sequel even if the jokes and set-up isn’t as fresh the second time around. I found the main plot was weak as well — a lot of the conflict could’ve been avoided if two of the characters had just had a conversation early on. Still, the action scenes were clever and exciting and Lilly is a welcome addition to Marvel’s superhero lineup.
The movie thankfully doesn’t run too long and doesn’t end with a huge, overstuffed battle scene. It’s superheroes on a smaller scale, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
You definitely need to stick around for the first post-credits scene, but not the second one.