Ant-Man and the Wasp moves so fast that it seems to end soon after starting. In fact, its plot only lasts two days inside the Marvel Universe. Not only is it one of the most dynamic Marvel movies to date. It is also exciting, beautiful, fun and honest.
The last time we saw Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) the ant man had been captured and imprisoned for helping Captain America during Civil War. Two years have passed since then and now Scott is about to end his house arrest ordered by the FBI. His relationships with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and his ex-wife (Judy Greer) have improved, and at that time he has not been in touch with either Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) or Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). That, of course, is about to change.
After locating where each one is, the director Peyton Reed focuses on that story: the last days of Lang under house arrest and the circumstances that force him to contemplate the possibility of breaking it, risking the extension of his sentence.
Obviously, those circumstances have to do with Hank and Hope, who need Scott’s help for a very important mission regarding their missing family member, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). In addition to the entire superhero plot, the movie takes place under the constant tension that Scott can be caught by the authorities. These threads are launched when a mysterious character nicknamed Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who seeks to interfere with the plan of Hank and Hope for their own reasons.
That cocktail makes Ant-Man and the Wasp a deliciously harrowing movie, but that’s just the beginning. This is an Ant-Man movie, so in addition to that tension, there’s humor, thanks in large part to Luis by Michael Peña, as well as some wonderful comedies.
There is also an interesting dynamic between father and daughter, both with Hank and Hope, and with Scott and Cassie. There are many innovative uses of Pym reduction technology, not only in the form of Ant-Man and Wasp, but with buildings, cars, toys, whatever. Finally there is the juxtaposition of the city of San Francisco with trips to the strange little quantum kingdom and the spectacular visual effects that they have created for the character of Ghost. Reed and his team have put special emphasis on making each scene more beautiful and spectacular than in the first Ant-Man and it shows.
Ant-Man and the Wasp spends a lot of time with Evangeline Lilly as Wasp and Hank Pym with Michael Douglas. They are such great characters, with dynamic stories and such credible motivations, that they easily eclipse Scott Lang for most of the movie, which is not a bad thing. Douglas gives a lesson in why he is a legend with one of his most dynamic performances that we have seen him in years. Every time Lilly appears on the screen she steals the movie. The actress exudes a confidence and energy that basically makes Ant-Man and the Wasp feel more like The Wasp, Featuring Ant-Man . It also takes the best action scenes.
All these pieces work inside that pressure cooker created by Reed, and that has its advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, the movie moves so fast, it not only keeps the tension, but the questions about Infinity War that we all have stop tormenting us. The story plays totally to the benefit of the film.
On the other hand, the constant speed of the film implies that the internal development of the characters is left aside. All are basically the same people at the beginning of the film as in the end. Ultimately, that does not hinder the movie too much, but it makes everything seem a bit superfluous in the general scheme of things.
But, that’s the point here, right? Feel good to leave a movie as serious as Avengers: Infinity War, with so much at stake for the fate of the world, and come up with a funny story, concise and based on the characters.
Ant-Man and The Wasp up the ante of the first Ant-Man, but also opens the world of these characters in fascinating and intriguing ways. It is a film made to like and to leave happy cinema. It’s also a reminder that great characters and funny scripts are what makes comic book-based movies fun, not just weaving a large shared universe.