Size doesn’t matter!
To give you a bit of history, Marvel Comics first introduced brilliant scientist Dr. Hank Pym and his alter ego, Ant-Man, back in 1962 with the publication of “Tales to Astonish #27.” Then he appeared alongside the Avengers in the team’s debut in “Avengers #1” in 1963. Pym’s unique contributions to the Super Hero world began with the discovery of a chemical substance, known as the “Pym Particle,” which allows him to alter his size and possess superhuman strength. The Wasp, a founding member of the Avengers alongside Ant-Man, and its first Super Heroine, first appeared in Marvel Comics’ “Tales to Astonish #44” in 63.
With the 2015 release of Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN, the MCU introduced their faithful and unstoppable growing audience to Ant-Man, who is resurrected by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) when he handpicks Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a kind-hearted thief, to don the suit and become a hero. The flick also featured Pym’s daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who is inevitably in line to become The Wasp. The action-packed heist flick, directed by Peyton Reed, was a breath of fresh air. One that was fun to endure in every way, shape, or form. It was both a box-office hit and fan-favorite, opening at an obvious and MARVELous #1 and going on to globally rake in over $500 million.
In 2018, Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, takes us on another journey full of unique, heroic antics. The story takes place following the aftermath of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, where we find Scott (Rudd) wrestling with the consequences of choices as both a solidified hero or daddy. As he struggles to balance both, his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope (Lilly) and Dr. Pym (Douglas) with an urgent new mission. One that forces Scott to prove his humanistic self-worth by donning the suit again, only this time fighting alongside The Wasp as they encounter uneven footings from the past, including the hunt for Hope’s mom, the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer).
The first time around, insect pleasantries dealt with a heist full of dribs-and-drabs of fun, funnies and an overall exposure on how BIG things come in LITTLE packages. Throwing in a WASP takes us on a journey to the ever-so-complex Quantum Realm. And that doesn’t mean it didn’t go without its funs and funnies, but the overall scope shifted a bit more towards a serious tone that races against time. Time that involved familial dramas and chaotic scenarios that tested wills of trust and tightened team-work. Overall, a joyful and lighter piece to endure post a harsh INFINITY WAR aftermath. However, even though THANOS’ (obvious) effects don’t go without being felt, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a charming, tie-in piece to a puzzle of cinematic delights.
My only gripes with this piece is even though I enjoyed its purpose, I wasn’t really taken by the flick’s lead villain, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Her purposes in the film links up well with most of the narrative alongside Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishbourne), but there was never that menacing threat we got from Yellowjacket in the first one. You know, that method to a madness from that unstable being. Ghost needed a lot more heel swag. Her back-story and reasonings were a bit bland. THAT, and the feeling of Michael Peña being underused. He’s in and does his thing (we all know what that is), but let’s just say we got more of it in the first. This guy has made a mark and knows how to press humor buttons. Just a bit disappointed we didn’t get more of it. BUT, on the flip, it’s about Ant-Man and The Wasp. I get it.
Overall, it was a pretty cool sequel. Reed does well juggling antics that simultaneously play out. The flick has a little of everything — and that’s part of the fun! I didn’t feel bummed or board with it. It embraces the ever-so-famous MCU magic. However, I think the first made more of a mark. It was new, so, that’s also a reason why I think most will feel the same. But don’t feel discouraged, because this ant and wasp pack a painful yet, pleasurable sting. I advise leaving bug repellent at home.
Grade: B | Genre: Sequel, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 2:00
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfieffer
Directed by: Peyton Reed