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Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp – wee wackiness and microscopic mayhem

Ant-Man and the Wasp
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Ant-Man and the Wasp

The epic Avengers: Infinity War film was released less than three-months ago, and it’s hard to believe there is already another Marvel Studios movie in theaters. Ant-Man and the Wasp makes the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is a super-heroic feat unlike anything ever seen in cinema history.

With 20 high-quality films interwoven in a ten-year tapestry of action, suspense, drama, humor and first-rate entertainment, how does this newest addition hold up in comparison to the fabulous films that came before it?

Ant-Man and the WaspWell, this is easily the most Disney-esque of all the Marvel movies (Disney being Marvel’s parent company), and by that I mean it is the most kid friendly in the Marvel Studios catalog. And that’s a good thing for parents with kids who are dying to see a funny superhero movie and who wouldn’t dare take their children to Deadpool 2. (Good for you, by the way!)

On the downside, for adult fans who might be looking for a slightly sharper edge on their superhero snark, the juvenile level that Ant-Man and the Wasp shoots for can get eye-rollingly old fairly quick. I had to keep telling myself to, ‘Think of the kids!’ It’s all good.

Despite some corny and cliché moments, the wee wackiness and microscopic mayhem in this movie is highly entertaining. It has a fun science-fiction-y plot that involves lots of quantum theories – so much that it’s even a gag itself – and for the old-school comic fans there is a lot of Marvel minutia that will keep you happy; including the introduction of a couple minor villains, and a character from the ’60s  and ’70s who is kind of a big deal.

The story here picks up a couple of years after the events in Captain America: Civil War, with Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) under house arrest and coming up on the end of his sentence; but he begins having dreams stemming from his crazy time in the quantum realm (see the first Ant-Man film) and he soon finds himself on adventures again with Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Pym’s daughter, Hope van Dyne (aka the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly.)

The bad guys this time around include a martial artist assassin called the “Ghost” (Hannah John-Kamen), who has the ability to phase through objects (a character very loosely based on an old Iron Man comic-book nemesis.) Walton Goggins plays arms dealer Sonny Burch (another old Iron Man adversary from the comics.)

There are some great car chase sequences here and most all of the action is top-notch with excellent special-effects. The film also has a very cool soundtrack that includes artists like Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar.

Ant-Man and the Wasp also stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Hank Pym’s wife, Janet van Dyne (the original Wasp); Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster (’70s comic fans will know exactly who this is); Michael Pena as Scott Lang’s super-talkative pal, Luis; and Randall Park as another obscure character from the comics, agent Jimmy Woo.

This is a very good family film and I think kids are really going to love it; but as an older fan without children, I enjoyed the wow factor and surprises of the first Ant-Man a little bit better. Nevertheless, this one is another must-see on your Marvel movie list – and don’t you dare miss the mid-end-credits scene.

Grade: 7.5/10

Photos Copyright © Marvel Studios 2018

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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