By Juan Calvillo
“Ant-man and the Wasp” brings action and laughs that are now associated with the Marvel cinematic universe but adds huge amounts of heart. The story is as much about what huge action sequence is next as it is about what human moment the characters will have with each other.
“Ant-man and the Wasp” is the continuing story of Scott Lang, played perfectly by the capable Paul Rudd. His recent turn in “The Catcher was a Spy” shows that Paul Rudd is able to do both comedy and drama effectively and with amazing ease. Alongside the titular Ant-man, is Evangeline Lily playing Hope Van Dyne. This outing has Lily suiting up alongside co-star Rudd as The Wasp. Her turn as a hero is fun to watch and Lily’s serious nature plays perfectly against Rudd’s more tongue in check style.
Rounding out the cast are a returning Michael Pena, as Lang’s former associate and current business partner Luis. Michael Douglas returns as well as Dr. Hank Pym. And of course the heart of the movie is the relationship of Lang and his daughter Cassie, played perfectly by Abby Ryder Fortson.
With the sequel has come along some welcome additions in the form of Michelle Pfeiffer playing Janet Van Dyne, mother and husband to Lily and Douglas’ characters respectively. The other welcome addition is Randall Park, as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo. Park brings the same hilarious looks and comedic timing to his role as Lang’s federal babysitter as he does to his work on the ABC hit “Fresh off the Boat.”
Rounding out the additions are Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, and Hannah John-Kamen as the villain Ghost.
Ant-man and the Wasp is a movie that takes to heart the idea of creating characters with heart and putting them into situations that test their resolve. As the trailer shows, Lang is under house arrest after the events of “Captain America: Civil War”. Most of the movie finds Rudd’s Lang in a continuous pattern of trying to do the right thing but constantly being afraid that by doing so what he truly wants will disappear. That being his future with his daughter Cassie.
The movie moves along quite fast putting Lang right back into the thick of things, but it never veers too far from its emotional center and heartfelt character interactions. And like previous Marvel movies the action sets are a wonder to watch. There is an amazing chase scene that really shows off the powers of each of the protagonists fully.
Rudd, Pena, and Woo bring the comedy big time throughout “Ant-man and the Wasp” two hour run time. The asides and attempts from Pena to make sense of things are hilarious and seem hilariously off the cuff. But Rudd is the real gem when it comes to the funny, taking various opportunities to show off a new talent he has learned while under house arrest.
If anything damning can be said about “Ant-man and the Wasp” is that it falls into the same problem that many Marvel films have fallen into. The villain of the piece is somewhat forgettable. Ghost is a formidable foil to the two heroes, but the movie emphasizes the connection of family more so than the need to stop another super villain. Oddly though, it makes the movie all that more endearing than most summer popcorn flicks.
“Ant-man and the Wasp” is an action packed ride with relatable characters that make the experience that much more fun. Ant-man and the Wasp has a run time of one hour and 58 minutes, it is rated PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence.