Marvel's Funniest, Slickest Movie Yet

After the universe changing Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios needed a palette cleanser, and Ant-Man and The Wasp certainly delivers. Ant-Man and the Wasp starts with Scott Lang watching movies and playing on his drum set while on house arrest after being caught following the events of Civil War. As with most superhero movies, courage, trust, working toward a common goal are also valued. There's an added weight on Ant-Man and the Wasp because it is the first time a female superhero has been included in the title of an MCU project.

Returning director Peyton Reed appears to be having a lot of fun here, and he deserves some sort of public-service ribbon for fending off superhero bloat and keeping the movie's runtime down to just under two hours. After Thanos clicked his fingers and delivered that gut-punch of an ending to Infinity War, it feels strange to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe bounce back up off the mat, fighting fit, eager and willing to please with another frisky caper.

Without giving anything away, just be aware that if you leave when the end credits roll, you lose — but then you already knew that Marvel movies often save the best for last. Set after 'Captain America: Civil War' and leading up to the events of ''Avengers: Infinity War','the Ant-man sequel is a thrilling fun ride that engages you emotionally and amuses you with its CGI antics and comic demeanour.

It had the tough task of being the follow up to Avengers: Infinity War, without it being a directly in-time sequel. While the first film went to bizarre lengths to justify why the overqualified Hope couldn't just don the Ant-Man suit herself, Ant-Man and the Wasp simply takes it as a given that of course Hope is now working as a costumed hero known as the Wasp.

The big reason for the change of heart is that Lang calls Hank to let him know he just had a dream about Hank's wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer). The film's title is more than appropriate as this isn't a solo effort but a two-hander between Hope and Scott. The painted image appears to show Scott Lang in his massive Giant-Man” form that debuted during Captain America: Civil War rather than his microscopic Ant-Man persona.

As they get closer to realizing their dream, their plans are derailed by a trio of disparate forces — the FBI, bent on monitoring Scott while catching Hope and Hank, a black marketeer named Sonny Burch (the ever-reliable Walton Goggins), and most ominously a mysterious suited woman known only as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who has the ability to phase through solid matter.

While I felt the original was a little slow at times (a lot of times, really, having watched it the night before seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp, I'd forgotten just how slow and sometimes clunky the exposition is at the beginning of this film; it really doesn't pick up until Scott is arrested again), I enjoyed the characters, especially the banter between them.

Like in the first film, every punch and kick thrown by Ant-Man and Wasp is multiplied when it comes at a precise get-big moment, and the duo uses this to deal out such sublime butt-kicking that it looks like something out of a professional gamer's finest Twitch stream.

The best MCU movies do a good job of distracting you from all the setting-up of future franchise entries; this one offers so much empire-building that it might as well have Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Review a Pardon Our Dust” sign on it. Still, the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, dispatching a hallway's worth of opponents, made an unforgettable impression.

But when Hope Van Dyne ( Evangeline Lilly ) and Hank Pym's ( Michael Douglas ) experiment triggers something in Scott's mind that might've been left over from his trip to the Quantum Realm, they need to know what it is and how to get it out… as does their latest nemesis, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who can phase through solid objects with ease.

Plus, the more I think about it, the more I'd like to see a femme fatale team up movie: Wasp, Widow, Scarlet Witch, the Dora Milaje, Shuri, Captain Marvel, Gamora, and Melinda May, all together kicking ass. Scott visited the quantum realm in the last film and has now found himself psychically connected with Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), Hank's wife and Hope's mother, who has long been lost in the realm.

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