‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is about as simple, heartfelt, funny, and fun a movie as you would like to follow up that heartbreaking ending in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. It’s a story that has nothing to do with that tale of avenging, but manages to tease some pretty big ideas for how the next massive Marvel romp might play out next year. Yet, all that connection to the greater Marvel Universe could be mostly forgotten and you would easily be able to enjoy this blast of a little superhero movie for what it is.
And what it really is fits pretty firmly into the realm of family comedies. Yes, it has lots of fun action, special effects, and talk of quantum entanglement, but is mostly a film about a father trying to be a great dad, a daughter trying to find her mother, a husband trying to get back to his wife, and a friend trying to save his old partners child. That last part directly relates to the villains tale and it’s so refreshing that Marvel villains are becoming consistently more interesting with each film.
In fact, the Ghost character (Hannah John-Kamen) is just as sympathetic here as Paul Rudd’s superhero dad Scott Lang, Evangeline Lilly’s bad-ass daughter Hope, and Michael Douglas’s brilliant husband Hank Pym. I mention Hank as the husband because the whole narrative of this film is about trying to find Hank’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer as the equally brilliant Janet Van Dyne) in the quantum realm and the role of loving husband becomes most prevalent to who he is.
In fact, everyone here is filling out a role that is very familiar, but about as important and human as any role you could play. Scott Lang is trying desperately to make up for his past mistakes, win the love of Hope, and be the best father he can be. Hope is doing everything she can to be a good daughter, save her mother, and perhaps find the love of her life along the way. Hank is singularly obsessed with finding the love of his life and bringing her home. Giving away the others motivations would give away plot points, but they are equally relatable.
The most interesting part of the whole film is the notion of a quantum realm. There is a lot of talk about the quantum realm, but the simplest way of thinking about it is another dimension that does not obey the same rules as ours. Which makes it a place that’s really cool to look at, but more importantly it is a way for the Marvel Universe to possibly bring back all those heroes we just lost in that last movie. No direct discussion is given to how that might work, but if you listen to key words throughout the film then you will know what I’m getting at. The quantum realm will play a big part in the upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie.
For now, we just need to enjoy the good time of a family film Marvel has given us as an antidote to our sorrows. We need to watch Michael Pena steal the show as a hilarious ex-convict that can’t stop jabbering, Paul Rudd deliver a personality that can’t help making you smile, Evangeline Lilly show the world that it’s time for Marvel to make more movies about bad ass women, while Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer remind us why they have been stars for over 30 years. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is about as fun as simple summer superheroes get, as funny as an other comedy you are likely to see this summer, and as sweet a family film as even the most cynical, Hollywood hating, conservative could ask for. In other words, it’s really a movie for just about everyone.