ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – A Review by John Strange
Following last April's Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel fans had a lot of questions. One of those questions was, "Where's Ant-Man?" The powers-that-be decided that Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd ) would be sitting the war out. In truth, he was under house arrest and doing his best to be a good boy so that he could be free to spend more time with his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson).
While the Avengers were off fighting Thanos, Scott was finding imaginative ways to entertain a young girl when her mom (Judy Greer) and step-dad (Bobby Cannavale) dropped her off at his house. He was also working with his "gang", led by Luis (Michael Peña), as they built a security business. He was the brains and they did the legwork including meeting with clients (now THAT is scary).
The Pym/Van Dyne's are off doing their thing in the shadows since the government wants them for breaking the Secovia Accords. This does not slow them down much though it does make getting their hands on certain types of items more difficult. Their mission, to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm.
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are working with shady dealers to acquire some of the tech equipment they need for their work. One of those shady types, Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) sells devices to them but his main line of business is steal tech and selling it to the top bidder. He becomes a pain in their "side" when he decides he wants their work to sell to his clients.
From here it gets what I am beginning the call "Marvel" as the good guys are forced to use their powers to protect the world and the FBI and the bad guys do everything they can to stop them. As the action goes into high gear we have another player drop into the game, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Who is this being who can phase through pretty much anything but can still land the occasional solid punch or kick? Is she a good guy? It doesn't look much like it!
Then Scott receives a vision of Janet Van Dyne. His call to Hank, painful as it is, brings the team back together and really starts the action ball rolling! So we have Hank, Scott, and Hope (now active as The Wasp) doing their best to foil the bad guys and succeed at finding and recovering Hope's mom. The leads us to some good chase scenes, a few wild rides, and a giant flying Pez dispenser on the streets of what looks like San Francisco.
I love the way Hank moves his lab from place to place and hides his cars and trucks. Only Hank Pym would even consider the idea a good one. I can't see even Tony Stark using this method (if he could figure out how to create the Pym Molecules.
I love the look of this film. The CGI needed for the ants alone is amazing, but then you add in the shrinking and growing processes, the Quantum Realm, and Ghost for a totally mind blowing visual experience.
The only kicker to this film is that while it officially introduces Hope as The Wasp (spectacular as she is) and gives us Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet, the film has the feel of one of the "filler" or bridge films series like this often require to give you what is needed for the future films. It's one of the best of these I have seen but it is what it is.
One note, this film ends with a cliff-hanger. Do NOT leave until after the credits. (In the immortal words of Stan Lee, 'nuff said!')
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Cast: Evangeline Lilly, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Judy Greer, Paul Rudd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Laurence Fishburne, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Bobby Cannavale
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive material.)
Selig Rating: A
Runtime: 125 Min.
Movie Site: marvel.com/movies/movie/245/ant-man_and_the_wasp
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.