Movie Review: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018)

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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, the latest film from Ant-Man director Peyton Reed, finds Scott Lang juggling the responsibilities of being a father with his superhero identity while under house arrest. The film stars Paul Rudd as Ant-Man with Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp along with Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer. 

Scott Lang (Rudd) is under house arrest following the events that unfolded during Captain America: Civil War. With only three days left of his sentence, he spends time with his daughter as well as his friend and soon-to-be co-business owner, Luis (Peña). However, when Lang is plagued by a vision, it forces him to reach out to Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) who bring him on a mission in the hopes that he will be the key to unlocking secrets from their past. 

I'll start off by saying I wasn't the biggest Ant-Man fan, which is surprising considering how much I love Paul Rudd, so I went into this film with low expectations. Surprisingly, I found that I really enjoyed the sequel as this one seemed to be much darker in tone with more fleshed out characters. With a lot of Marvel films, I don't ever feel like the stakes are that high, but for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP I was given pause in regards to if I thought certain characters were going to survive or not. 

There were three aspects of this film that I really loved and they included Michael Peña, Walton Goggins and Hannah John-Kamen. It had been awhile since I had seen Peña in anything but I would be remissed if I didn't say he absolutely KILLED it in this sequel. He was hilarious and quite honestly, stole the show from the main leads. He's without a doubt a national treasure that we should all be so lucky to have as he is one of the best parts of this film. As a massive fan of Goggins, I was stoked that he would be, once again, playing a villainous character. Though it wasn't his most down-and-dirty role, I appreciate what Goggins brought to the character in terms of Southern villainous appeal. Lastly, I absolutely loved Hannah John-Kamen who plays Ava/Ghost. I felt like she was a perfect adversary to Ant-Man and the Wasp and I loved that there was more to her than meets the eye. 

As for all our leads, they were fantastic, with Rudd shining through with his witty one-liners. His chemistry with Lilly was palpable and believable to the point where I didn't even mind their little romance. However, I think the strength in this film really lies in the female characters, especially Lilly as the Wasp. I think it was smart to give her considerable screen-time so that we could see how she had evolved since the first film. She exudes strength and confidence no matter the situation and that's something I find admirable. The only thing I wish I saw more of was Michelle Pfeiffer's character. I would have loved to have known more about her backstory and who knows, maybe we will! 

In terms of action and adventure, this film was chalk full of them. Not only do we have the normal car chases and hand-to-hand combat, but we have all that on a much more heightened level. One of my favorite scenes was when a Hello Kitty Pez dispenser is thrown out of a moving car only to be made ginormous resulting in an obstacle that our bad guys couldn't get away from. This is what makes this film so much fun, everyday applications are made large or small depending on their use to Ant-Man and the Wasp. Even Michael Peña gets in on all the fun, resulting in a hilarious car chase. 

Overall, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is that summer flick that the whole family will want to see. There's a lot of warmth and family bonding interspersed with all the action and adventure that I think a lot of adults will appreciate it, as well as the jokes that go far over the heads of their young ones. As for the kids, they are going to have a blast with all the action that takes place. With the 4th of July upon us, this is the perfect film to see with the whole family during the holiday weekend after all the BBQing is done. Just make sure to stay after the credits have rolled... 

Shannon M. 

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP will open in U.S. theaters on July 6th 

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