I’m still in disbelief that secondary Marvel characters have not only been given ‘the big screen’ treatment, but are viable franchises in their own right that call for sequels. Ant-Man and the Wasp is another funny and highly entertaining entry into the seemingly bombproof catalog of movies from the powerhouse studio. It’s also a minor side story that feels lightweight and not entirely necessary. This is offset by a funny tone and great performances from the cast, particularly Rudd and Michael Pena, who deserve a separate buddy comedy franchise.
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), confined to house arrest after his action in Civil War, is losing his mind to persistent boredom. He is a financial partner in a security company run by his former criminal crew and business isn’t going well. Meanwhile, Scott’s parole officer is looking for any infraction to send him back to federal prison. Obstacles begin to mount when Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) turn to him with a new mission. Scott must, once again, put suit up alongside The Wasp to stop an enemy with dark secrets from his past.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is indicative of the ease of Marvel Studios to make a funny, warm, and compelling sequel to a film that was thought of as a one-off lark. I prefer this one over the original. There seems to have been a decision that was made early on to gear this follow-up towards an even younger audience than it’s PG-13 rating suggests. Paul Rudd is the gel that makes the picture work, he’s as invaluable to this franchise as RDJ is/was to Iron Man. As for the much-promoted inclusion of Michelle Pfeiffer to the cast, this turns out to be a glorified cameo adding nothing but name value to a fairly inconsequential role.
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña