Scott Lang is back after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” to try to rescue the mother of the woman he loves in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Paul Rudd returns to play the titular man based on an insect as Lang teams up Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne to rescue Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm.
“Ant-Man” was the real surprise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for me. I like Paul Rudd, but I wasn’t sure if I would like him as a superhero. But, he brought his trademark, every man charm to the role and made it one of the best origin movies in the MCU. Here, in the sequel, Rudd again shines as someone who isn’t truly super or heroic, but is driven by his desire to be a good father. That leads to him being a superhero in the truest sense of the word. This makes him one of the more enjoyable superheroes for me. Super serums, radioactive spiders and gamma radiation are fine backstories, but they lack the nuance that goes into characters that don’t have powers. Iron Man shines because it’s Tony Stark’s brain that makes his suit. Batman works because of the drive, and admittedly, money of Bruce Wayne. Ant-Man works because of Lang’s desire to make a better world for his daughter and the brain of original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, that created his suit.
Unfortunately, the subplot involving Ava Starr does little for me. The viewer is supposed to be invested in Pym’s struggle to use the energy Janet Van Dyne is emitting from the Quantum Realm to help Star, also known as Ghost, escape a painful, unbalanced state. That’s a perfectly, well thought out, side plot, but I’m not invested. I don’t know if it’s the actress or if they don’t build up the storyline enough for me to care. I’ve seen Hannah John-Kamen in other projects, and enjoyed her work, but she’s never been the type of actress to make me say I have to see anything she’s in. Maybe her performance here is lacking, or maybe the storyline is lacking. I really don’t know which.
While, I didn’t care for that subplot, I love the addition of the Wasp. Evangeline Lilly is an excellent actress and is very believable as both Hank Pym’s savvy daughter and a superhero stepping up to fill her mother’s shoes. She drives the movie, almost, as much as Rudd does. I can’t imagine two other people playing Ant-Man or the Wasp.
This movie was one of the few released between the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” The filmmakers had a difficult job of working in an exciting movie that made sense with “Infinity War’s” ending, but they found a way to do it here. It gives a perfect explanation of what happened and how Scott Lang was able to show up during the events of “Endgame” when others couldn’t.
Overall, it’s a enjoyable romp from start to finish. It’s not as good as the first “Ant-Man” film, but is still a worthy sequel that deserves its place in the MCU.