MOVIE REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp

written by David Steffen

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 superhero movie based on the Marvel comics characters of the same names, and is a sequel to the 2015 movie Ant-Man, and also sort of a sequel to the 2016 movie Captain America: Civil War.  After the events of Captain America: Civil War Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was put on house arrest for…something he did in that movie which this movie does not exactly make clear (and I haven’t seen Civil War, so, go look it up yourself if you want to know).  His daughter from his previous marriage can visit him there, so he spends most of his time making new games to play with her.

At the end of the Ant-Man movie, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as Ant-Man succeeded in shrinking down to the quantum realm and returning, which the inventor of the shrinking suit Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) had thought impossible.  Pym had spent decades trying, because his wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) had shrunk down into the quantum realm thirty years ago and he had thought her lost until Scott succeeded.  For the last two years while Scott was on house arrest, Pym and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have been researching this further, and they have invented a quantum tunnel that will let a person go to the quantum realm and back again.  The moment they open the tunnel for the first time Scott has a dream about Janet Van Dyne, and they see that as a sign that Scott has a connection with her from his trip into the quantum realm.  But before they can take advantage of that connection, a phase-shifting person in a mask steals Pym’s laboratory that has been shrunken to the size of a roller suitcase and disappears.  Hope dons her mother’s Wasp costume for the first time and joins Scott as Ant-Man in the fight.

This movie is, in the spirit of the first movie, a comedy as much as an action superhero movie.  I loved getting to see the Wasp, I felt like Hope’s character was underutilized in Ant-Man.  Paul Rudd’s comedy delivery makes much of the movie, and makes a great counterpoint to the on-screen gravity that Douglas provides.  It’s a great movie for kids , generally lighthearted and fun, and even when they’re facing up against bad guys the bad guys get arrested rather than dying.

One thing that felt like an off-note to me was the after-credits scene, which was very dark in tone if not explicit enough in meaning to be really bothersome for children.  Apparently it ties into another Marvel movie that I haven’t seen because it did not make much sense, and I felt like ending on that tone and without any explanation was a mistake for what was otherwise an enjoyable light movie.


written by David Steffen

Ant-Man is a 2015 superhero film based on the Marvel comics characters of the same name.  Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is the inventor of a suit that allows the wearer to shrink and grow.  When the wearer is small, their punches land with the same force as when they’re full size, but concentrated onto the area of a pinhead.  Pym worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. using the suit until 1989 when he resigned when he learned that they were trying to replicate the suit technology for military applications, and started his own company: Pym Technologies.  In the present, Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is working with Pym’s former protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), to force Pym out of his own company.  Cross is determined to reverse-engineer Pym’s shrinking suit, and keeps on trying despite failure after failure.

Meanwhile, well-intentioned small-time thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released on parole, but has trouble finding legitimate work because of his ex-con status.  Pressured by his ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) to find a way to pay child support, he returns to a life of crime to try to break into a safe in the house of an older man who is supposed to be on vacation.  What he finds in the safe is the Ant-Man suit, planted there by Pym, and when he tries it on Pym puts him through a crash-course in its abilities (not only growing and shrinking, but being able to control ants using electrical signals).  Pym recruits Scott to help him thwart Cross’s plan to perfect the suit.

Ant-Man is as much a comedy as it is an action movie, unusual in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where action is usually most of the focus with humor as a sideline.  It’s friendly for kids, though a couple parts could be scary, bad guys are generally incapacitated instead of dying.  Paul Rudd has a knack for dry delivery, and he is perfect for this role, bringing much of the humor to the film, and Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly are great in their roles as well.  I watched this movie with my child and we enjoyed it a lot.  I’d recommend it for all ages.