Scott Lang:I do some dumb things, and the people I love the most – they pay the price.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
The original Ant-Man was smaller than most MCU movies around the time. But smaller does not mean worse. Ant-Man proved that big things could come from small packages. Three years after it came out, we had a sequel, which is roughly the same in its quality. Coming off the heels of Infinity War, it is a smaller movie in scale and ambition but has some pretty big things.
The story takes place two years after the airport battle in Germany during Civil War Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is placed under house arrest due to his violation of the Sokovia Accords. During this time Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who provided Scott the Ant-Man suit and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) cut off contact with him and have been working together to open a gateway to the Quantum Realm in order to find Hank’s wife Janet. Due to Scott’s brief time in the Quantum Realm in the first movie he had become entangled with her receives a message from Janet. On the last day of his house arrest, Hank and Hope kidnap Scott in attempt to find her while dealing with a trio of villains in the process including black market dealer Sonny Burch, a molecularly unstable woman named Ava Starr aka Ghost, and her surrogate father and Hank’s former colleague Bill Foster.
As I said before the movie is smaller in its scale and ambition. In some ways this negatively affects the movie such as with the villains. None of these three villains have much in the way of development and don’t feel like threatening rivals for Scott and Hope to take on. Although Darren Cross in the last movie wasn’t very memorable, he still felt like a legitimate threat in his actions giving the movie high stakes. This movie doesn’t have the same stakes.
The concept of the Quantum Realm was very intriguingly established in the last movie but the movie doesn’t take much time to give insight into the interesting concepts something like this could pose.
With that being said, given the smaller stakes it allows the movie to focus more on the heroes and it ups several things that were enjoyable about the first movie. For instance, they use the shrinking technology on a lot more objects in this movie leading to some creative action scenes and scenarios that make the movie feel both intense and funny.
Paul Rudd still brings the same likable and funny charm and wit he did in the last two MCU movies he has been in. The movie ups his heartfelt and cute bond with his daughter Cassie particularly with her knowing now that her dad is a superhero. And you still see how it drives him to be a good father and hero.
Whereas in the last movie, Scott and Hope’s romance felt rather rushed, here their romance is done a lot better. Rudd and Lily have great chemistry with one another and it works well in driving the action and their relationship when they team up. And the movie builds on Hope’s character in that despite her blunt and snarky demeanor she still sees the good in him. Despite being very different, we see just how much the two are equals.
Michael Douglas as Hank largely remains unchanged in this movie with his usual cynical demeanor but still creates an interesting and engaging dynamic among the characters and one that the movie takes great advantage of.
This movie also brought back Michael Pena as Luis and he is still just as hilarious as ever particularly during his long story telling during the truth serum scene. Just the way he fast-talks during the whole thing makes his performance.
While Ant Man and the Wasp lacks the massive scale and effort of the MCU film that came prior it still continues the best parts of the story in an enjoyable way. Although a small film, the good stuff is big and makes the movie enjoyable with upped creative action, an engaging character dynamic, and as always some Bullseye humor