By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
I utterly adored Avengers: Infinity War but after watching it there was a nagging feeling in the back of my head. Part of me wanted to know how Marvel could possibly follow up such an epic, heart-wrenching film. And now we know.
Monty Python probably coined the perfect phrase for what it’s like to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp after Infinity War: “and now for something completely different.” Where Infinity War went for seriousness, Ant-Man and the Wasp doubled down on silliness. Where Infinity War was grim Ant-Man and the Wasp was joyful. Where Infinity War went big, Ant-Man and the Wasp went, well, small.
This time we meet Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang as he is under house arrest after helping out Captain America depicted in Civil War. Just before he’s free to leave the house, however, events send him back to Hank Pym and his daughter Hope as they look for Hank’s wife Janet who is lost in the quantum realm. Hope and Hank are not too happy with Scott because his actions in Civil War forced them underground. And then there’s the villain Ghost, who complicates matters along with the FBI and an illegal tech businessman. There’s also a giant ant that takes a bath.
The cast of this film is great with all your favorite characters returning from the first film along with new characters who hold their own. The comedy is top notch in the same near-farcical vein as its predecessor which distinguishes it from most of the other Marvel movies. The fight choreography is also well done but not quite at the level that the Russos have been able to achieve with their two Captain America films and Infinity War. Director Peyton Reed really goes to town with what shrinking and enlarging can do and has as much fun with it as possible.
But this film really cements itself with its theme of familys. All of the families in this movie aren’t the typical configuration but they still work. Scott Lang is a divorcee who gets along with his ex-wife, her new husband, and her daughter. At every point in the movie they support each other. The dynamic between Hank Pym and Hope is also much closer this time around. There’s not really a dysfunctional family to be seen which is a welcome change.
Marvel is brilliant at letting each of their franchises breathe. Each series has its own flavor and allows a nice contrast to the last Marvel movie you may have watched. It keeps everything fresh. And after a sombre film like Avengers: Infinity War which hits like hard liquor, Ant-Man and the Wasp makes a great smooth chaser.
4 out of 5 stars.