Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) is fun and entertaining but largely stays away from the intensity of the main Avengers sequence without forgetting that larger world’s context. It’s the first Marvel movie since Infinity War and thankfully we are handed some lighter fare. If you’re looking for a summer comic book flick with an ass-kicking female hero, this is the movie for you.
Ant-Man and the Wasp picks up two years after the first Ant-Man (2015), and explains why Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), wasn’t seen at all during the events of Infinity War. His absence is directly tied to the events of the larger MCU and the Sokovia Accords which are affecting a lot of things in the world overall. Scott is directly dealing with the fallout of his brief stint at hero work in Captain America: Civil War, but handling it with relative grace.
This isn’t a film focused on huge character development arcs, but more like a game of chess-turned-caper, in which a macguffin moves between characters, each with their own motivation for wanting said macguffin. But I feel like with Ant-Man we aren’t here for huge character arcs; we’re here to have a good time and marvel at the spectacle of being so small.
That being said, Hope Van Dyne, aka the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) is clearly the badass superhero of this film, with innovative uses for the shrinking technology and the fighting skills to take on the villains. Not that Scott can’t help her– but it’s really great to see Hope so capable, and not having to go through the process of her learning how to be an amazing superhero. She’s already amazing and she is SO fun to watch.
There are two sets of “villains” in this movie, but the motivations for them are not the end-of-the-world, conniving sort. Instead there’s one group that is purely out for profit in a cut-and-dry sort of way, and another set whose actions are wholly sympathetic in nature. The complex, sympathetic villain left me wanting more of that story, though I also felt like I got enough information to understand the character in the context of this film.
One of the nice continuations from the first Ant-Man is Scott’s relationship with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Scott has become a great dad to Cassie, and you can tell that they love spending time together. If anything, this is the one source of character growth, and I enjoyed watching their relationship flourish after so much paint after their separation in the first film.
Overall this is a fun action flick that doesn’t feel like its nearly 2 hour run time. It’s nice to get a lighter Marvel movie, almost like a salve after the darkness of Infinity War.
Other Ant-Man and the Wasp notes:
- There is not only the usual Stan Lee cameo, but a “cameo” of sorts by young adult author John Green. I got a kick out of that.
- There are 2 after-credit scenes: the usual mid-credits one and then one stinger at the end. The mid-credits scene is the set-up looking toward Infinity Wars pt 2; the stinger is just a fun button on the end. (Infinity War pt 2 Theories **spoilers**)