Emotionally destroyed by the events of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’? ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ is a blessing, a light-hearted yet thoroughly badass look at what was happening in the rest of the Marvel world not battling Thanos.
Hint: nobody outside of that bubble had any idea it was happening. And Ant-Man and The Wasp operates better that way. The last time we saw Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), he was being sprung from The Raft by Cap and pals at the end of Captain America: Civil War. As we learned offhandedly in Infinity War, he and Hawkeye took plea deals to be placed under house arrest so that they could stay with their children. Scott is nearing the end of his two years forced at home in San Francisco by coming up with increasingly elaborate ways to cope — like pretending to be Ant-Man with his daughter, Cassie. He, Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (T.I.), and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) have started their own security company. Scott’s finally on the straight and narrow and back to living a normal life.
We learn that he hasn’t spoken to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in years. As it turns out, that jaunt to Berlin to fight the Avengers at the airport? He didn’t tell them about it. Now, he’s lost the Ant-Man suit and their trust. Plus, they’re, you know, on the run from the FBI after the little stunt they pulled in the first Ant-Man movie. But a startling dream gives him a vision of Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), Hank’s wife/Hope’s mother who has been lost in the Quantum Realm for the last 30 years.
This vision is the catalyst to bring them all back into contact and get them in fighting form again. Hope, as Wasp, is a ruthless fighter far more competent and cunning than Ant-Man ever was. And this makes them perfect partners. Scott’s no slouch, as we know, but Hope’s perfected the intricacies of shrinking and reappearing full-size. Plus, she can fly. “You gave her wings??” an exasperated Scott yells at Hank when watching Hope kick asses while airborne. Wasp is truly one of Marvel’s greats. And it’s worth noting that this is the first film in Marvel’s 10-year, 19-movie history that features a female hero in the title. Seriously.
The MCU’s newest villain, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), may be its most relatable yet. It’s no secret that the Marvel movies have a villain problem. Where Thanos’ goal is domination and world order, Loki’s is mischief and mayhem, Ghost is seeking solace. She’s not hellbent on taking over the world or even harming people — she just needs to alleviate personal pain. Not to make a real-life parallel here, but it’s akin to Americans dealing with healthcare. Ghost needs some damn meds that she can afford.
The less you know going into the movie, the better. But know that it’s just as funny and fun as the first Ant-Man. It’s full of clever visual tricks from Hank’s lab, like a shrinking office building that he wheels away like a suitcase. And a 90s-era Hot Wheels carrying case containing all of his vehicles at once.
Oh, and not that Marvel fans don’t know to do that at this point, but make sure to stay for those post-credits scenes. Ant-Man and The Wasp is in theaters on July 6.