Directed by: Peyton Reed
Written by: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen
Ant-Man and the Wasp provides a much-needed sting (ha) of lighthearted humour after the emotionally charged gut-punch of Infinity War (2018). It's a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with plenty of fun and fast-paced action.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is an incredibly fun film with some genuinely touching moments as we see how Scott Lang's relationship with his daughter has developed. Whereas Ant-Man (2015) showed the struggle he faced trying to get a job as an ex-con, the second outing shows Scott setting up his own security business* as he continues to grow (ha) in confidence. That is until he is dragged once again into the world of Hank Pym as he attempts to save Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp) from the quantum realm.
The stand-out character in this film has to be The Wasp, portrayed by Evangeline Lily. Her fight scenes have some of the most creative uses of the size-altering 'Pym Particle'** in the film, and her witty exchanges with Scott are always entertaining. One fight scene in particular perfectly demonstrates how creative fight sequences can be in superhero films. Taking place in a hotel restaurant, The Wasp twirls through the air, gracefully spinning and flipping from foe to foe, showing true expertise with her size-altering suit.
Unfortunately, the main villain, Ghost, does let the film down. She has a cool power-set, and again, the fight sequences are all pretty great. However, her characterisation feels a bit off sometimes. At the start of the film her motivation is strong, and the reasoning behind her actions makes sense, but towards the end, it doesn't seem logical for her to continue on a path of vengeance. I can't say too much more without spoiling anything.
That being said, Hannah John-Kamen is great in the role of Ghost. She gives the audience a genuine reason to feel empathy for the villain and strikes a great balance between desperate and slightly unhinged during her introduction. Unfortunately, the unhinged part of her character seems to fade away sometime after the mid-point and she just becomes plain angry.
Overall, the film is fantastic fun with extremely endearing characters, interesting and inventive fight choreography, and incredible visuals. The story is good, and the exploration of the quantum realm is hopefully an exciting taste of what's to come. The final resolution at the end of the film is a bit too convenient and feels slightly rushed. Nonetheless, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a great watch.
In one line: A refreshing burst of humour after the almost-traumatising cliffhanger of Infinity War.
*A nice nod to Ant-Man Security Solutions, Scott Lang's business from the comics
**Pym Particles are the secrets behind Hank Pym's size/mass manipulation technology. Prolonged exposure to them can even cause some people to produce them naturally!