Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
Run Time: 118 mins
Ant-Man and the Wasp is Marvel’s third offering this year after Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War and certainly is a lighter offering than the former films. The first film had a turbulent production with Edgar Wright developing the film for a few years until having creative differences and departing the project. Peyton Reed jumped on-board and delivered what was one of the best Marvel films to date. This sequel picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War where Scott Lang is nearing the end of his house arrest. Lang teams up again with scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to try and rescue Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is stuck in the Quantum Realm, a dimension where users go sub-atomic and cannot return to the real world. Unfortunately, these plans are made difficult with the existence of the enigmatic Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), as well as a shady black market dealer, the charismatic Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins).
Ant-Man and the Wasp is just as good as the original and like it, it is full of heart and character-driven moments. Reed further develops the innovative action sequences through the creative variations in size and spectacle in the first film, a car chase fares particularly well. This is aided again by confident performances from the cast all around and the additions of new cast members make the film feel fresh. Laurence Fishburne and Randall Park fare the best out of the new additions, Fishburne fitting perfectly into this world and Park is frequently hilarious as a bumbling, slightly useless agent.
Reed seems to feel a lot more confident this time around, particularly as his direction doesn’t bear the spectre of Wright. The humour consistently lands and there are many memorable sequences which their comedy is expertly judged. What was also particularly impressive to see was how standalone Reed’s sequel is and the film largely ignores other films in the canon. The film does finally connect to Infinty War in its final moments, in a very satisfying way that should leave fans eager to find out how the rest of these superhero’s story will continue. Christophe Beck returns to score and again, reuses his theme from the original sparingly which really helps.
Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp successfully delivers on the success of the original and furthers the narrative of these characters. It is also a welcome tonic after the disappointing Black Panther and the frustrating Avengers: Infinity War. Ant-Man and the Wasp is definitely worth a watch this Summer.