ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP poster
Under house arrest following his participation in the Civil War with Captain America, Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), adjusts to his home life while spending time with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). But Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) need Scott's help to retrieve wife/mother Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who was lost on a mission as the Wasp in the Quantum Realm - a mysterious and dangerous dimension previously
visited by Ant-Man. Complicating matters are Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who needs Pym's technology to survive, and criminal marketeer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins).

Retaining all of the humor and charm of 2015's "Ant-Man", this marvelously delightful and energetic sequel never takes itself too seriously. Once again, it's the disarming Paul Rudd who carries this breezy pleasure. Stealing a few laughs is Michael Peña, who returns as Lang's sidekick and former prison mate Luis. Delivering another strong female superhero is Evangeline Lilly as the new and fearless Wasp. She goes aggressively and successfully head-to-head with Rudd in the one-liners department. The rest of the cast members keep things interesting. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer deserve maximum screen time as the dynamic husband/wife duo. Tip 'T.I.' Harris and David Dastmalchian are back as Lang's crew members, grabbing a few chuckles along the way. Also returning in brief roles are Judy Greer and Bobby Cannavale as Scott's ex-wife and her policeman fiancé. Hannah John-Kamen makes a formidable Ghost, but the film could have used a little more of the entertaining Walton Goggins as the vile marketeer. Laurence Fishburne is a commanding presence as Dr. Bill Foster, Pym's former associate. Randall Park provides a diversion as the socially inept federal agent Jimmy Woo, who's obsessed with catching the house-bound Lang away from his home. Taking control of one scene is Stan Lee. As he did with the first adventure, Peyton Reed competently handles the directing chores. Screenwriters Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari lend a helping hand. Sight gags and surprises are plentiful, but no spoilers here. Bringing back memories of "Bullitt", there's a wild car chase down the streets of San Francisco (Mr. Douglas' old television stomping grounds) to Fisherman's Wharf. A clip from my favorite monster movie "Them!" manages to appear on screen. Ah, those giant ants! Some astounding special effects, especially in the Quantum Realm, add the wow factor and are accompanied by Christophe Beck's buzzworthy music score. There are a couple of scenes during the closing credits. One is crucial and will elicit a gasp or two. "Ant-Man and the Wasp" flies high in the sizable Marvel Cinematic Universe. (4/5 CAMS)


Rated PG-13 (some sci-fi action violence)
Running Time: 118 minutes

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