Review: Ant Man and the Wasp

The story begins 2 years after the events of "Civil War” and a short time before the events of “Infinity War” (as we find out later from the post credits scene). Scott Lange (Paul Rudd) has been spending the last 2 years under house arrest as punishment for his part in aiding Captain America. He enjoys frequent visits from his daughter Cassie as he attempts to start a security system design company with his ex-con friend Luis (Michael Peña).
Absent from his life are his allies from the first Ant-Man film. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the inventor of the Ant-Man shrinking suit. And Hope (Evangeline Lily); Hank's daughter, and Scott's pre-house arrest girlfriend. Because Scott used their technology, they have become fugitives as well. They've been spending the last 2 years on the run, hiding in their laboratory within a building they can shrink and take on the move. In this lab, they have been trying to build a machine that will allow them to rescue Hope's mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum realm, where she has been trapped for 30 years. 
As part of the conditions of his parole, Scott has not been allowed to have any contact with Hank or Hope, but despite being only being days away from the end of his house arrest he risks calling Hank after having a dream about being in the quantum realm with Janet. Hank and Hope realize that this was actually a message from Janet made possible by their experiments and Scott being “quantumly entangled” with her. Working on the premise that Scott will be the key to finding Janet, Hope abducts him from house arrest and brings him to their lab, leaving a giant ant in his place to wear his tracking monitor. 
Standing in their way is “Ghost”, a young woman named Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen). She was affected by a quantum accident when she was a child. She has the ability to pass through solid objects, but her condition is dangerously unstable. She is aided by Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) a former colleague of Hank’s. They steal Hank's shrunken lab so they can use the machine to drain the quantum energy from the still-trapped Janet to cure the phasing affliction that is slowly killing Ava. But doing so will mean Janet’s death. 
Then to just add one more obstacle, there is also an illegal technology dealer (Walton Goggins) who wants to sell their laboratory to a shadowy buyer. So the race is on to retrieve the lab, find Janet, and rescue her before she's lost forever. 
This movie is different from other films in the MCU in that there is no real immediate threat on the world that needs to be stopped. Usually, you can count on the plot of a Marvel movie to revolve around a megalomaniacal person whose evil plan will put thousands, if not millions of lives at risk. We can also expect lots of collateral damage before the villain is stopped. But this time, everything is on a much smaller scale (yes, I get it…smaller). The whole film is centred around saving just one life, Hope’s mother Janet, with the casualty count kept to a bare minimum. Some may say that makes for a more boring film, but after the events of “Infinity War”, I think we can appreciate it. 
Casting for the film was done well, with the full cast returning from the first film. Evangeline Lily's role has been expanded greatly. Perhaps the title should have been “The Wasp and Ant-Man”, due to the fact that she is front and centre as the real superhero. This may be a result of the recent discovery in Hollywood that women can, in fact, make a good superhero movie. When things need to get physical, she's the one to throw the punches. This is in contrast to the bumbling comedic actions of Paul Rudd. Evangeline is there to do most of the butt-kicking while Paul is there to give punny names to his pet ants (Ant-onio Banderas). 
Nonetheless, both of their roles are exactly as they should be. Paul Rudd is a great comedic actor, and it shows. A scene when a suit malfunction gets him stuck as the size of a child is a great example of Paul Rudd’s talent for physical comedy. His goofy character matches perfectly with Evangeline’s uber-competent Wasp. Perhaps if the upcoming "Captain Marvel" film does well, a new movie will be green lit where they'll have her assemble all the female MCU characters for their own film. 
Of course, the one crux that all MCU films have is that you have to see a lot of the previous films for everything to make sense. It’s not as necessary for this one, but if any guys wanted to take their girlfriends to see it, they’d do well to at least show them the first Ant-Man film. It can still be enjoyable for non-hardcore comic fans, with only minimal explanation required for a couple of events. 
Overall, it’s a very well-done movie with very little, if anything, to complain about.

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