After Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) assisted Captain America during the Superhero Civil War, he was placed under house arrest for two years. As his sentence is about to finish, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and her father, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), approach him with a new mission: help them rescue Hope’s mother (Michelle Pfiffer) from the Quantum Realm.
When Ant-Man was first announced, many predicted it to be Marvel’s first major flop. While it didn’t do tremendous at the box office, Marvel showed that they don’t make flops. It was self-contained, something of a commodity with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, but more importantly it was humorous and exciting. Marvel looked to expand on that success, giving us more of the perfectly-cast Paul Rudd and giving the criminally-underused Evangeline Lilly a more dominant role. What resulted was a much needed small-scale story following the goliath that was Infinity War.
I didn’t picture Paul Rudd in a superhero role until Marvel showed me that was something I needed in my life. He quickly became my favorite part about Ant-Man (behind Michael Pena’s Luis, of course). Rudd brings the same charm that made his Scott Lang so enjoyable in the first film. His relationship between him and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and him and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) was built upon what we saw in the previous film. Rudd handled these more intimate and emotional scenes just as well as the action and comedy scenes.
This sequel isn’t titled Ant-Man 2 but rather Ant-Man and the Wasp and there is a very good, albeit obvious reason for that. Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, gets a much bigger role this time around. And boy does Lilly take advantage of the extra screen time! She is fierce, she is tough, and she takes no nonsense. She is a good contrast to Rudd, tending to be more to-the-point and going in with a plan. The future of the ladies of the MCU is looking great!
Many have complained that the MCU’s weakest quality is its villains. That didn’t really bother me until Yellowjacket in Ant-Man. It was the chance to have the villain be a dark mirror to the hero. Both Scott and Darren Cross were trained by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and could show the difference in character who both have the same mentor. Instead, he became one the most generic villains in the franchise. Marvel seemed to have learned their lesson for Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). She is a much deeper villain, operating in that gray area, where you can see their point-of-view but know their methods are wrong, much like Killmonger in Black Panther.
Of course, they need to have that one bad guy who just screams “villain.” Enter Walter Goggins as Sonny Burch. I take back what I said about Yellowjacket being Marvel’s most generic villain. That title now belongs to Sonny. He served no actual purpose to the story other than to be the clear, black-and-white villain of the film. After a similar role in Tomb Raider, I hope Goggins doesn’t start getting typecast in this kind of a role because he is so much better than what these roles can offer.
In my opinion, one of the strengths of the first Ant-Man film was its scope. It wasn’t a globe-spanning epic, nor did it have Earth-shattering consequences. Rather, it was self-contained, and the only people it really affected were the characters in the film. This sequel does pretty much the same thing. This simpler story allows for some good character development. And like it’s predecessor, it gives us a nice break after the last Avengers movie, that I’m sure left many people shaking in their seat after the credits finished.
I thought Ant-Man and the Wasp was GOOD 🙂 The first Ant-Man film was a pleasant surprise but now the sequel had some expectations. Paul Rudd returns without missing a stride, Evangeline Lilly returns kicking ass in stride, and Hannah John-Kamen joins in as the villain who has made strides (I don’t know what I was going for there, I was trying to make the stride thing work). Ant-Man and the Wasp takes what is great about its predecessors, using lessons learned from the recent MCU films and returns a wonderful and worthy sequel.
Cast & Crew
Peyton Reed – Director
Chris McKenna – Writer
Erik Commers – Writer
Paul Rudd – Writer
Andrew Barrer – Writer
Gabriel Ferrari – Writer
Christophe Beck – Composer
Paul Rudd – Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly – Hope Van Dyne / Wasp
Michael Douglas – Dr. Hank Pym
Michael Pena – Luis
Tip ‘TI’ Harris – Dave
David Dasmalchian – Kurt
Hannah John-Kamen – Ava / Ghost
Walter Goggins – Sonny Burch
Laurence Fishburne – Dr. Bill Foster
Judy Greer – Maggie
Bobby Cannavale – Paxton
Abby Ryder Fortson – Cassie
Randall Park – Jimmy Woo
Michelle Pfeiffer – Janet Van Dyne / Wasp