The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in the summer of 2008 with the release of the film Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. While in some ways it feels like it was just yesterday, the film series actually began 10 years ago. It has taken off ever since. The most recent installment of films for 2018 included Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. So as we get completely caught up to date on this Universe we find ourselves with the 22nd Installment of the series with The Ant-Man and Wasp.
Honestly, it feels crazy this film series should have begun when my daughter was two years old. But the intervening time has transpired so rapidly. I can hardly believe how much has changed since that more innocent period. I was still married. In fact, I was just about to begin my first year at graduate school. My daughter went through her Shirley Temple period, with tight curls and a “can do” attitude. And the ability to go to the movie theater was hampered by the attention span of my daughters, aside from playing for her appropriate films of interest.
I do not believe I watched my first Marvel movie until it came out on DVD. At the time, video stores were disappearing so if I wanted to watch something, this meant either purchasing the item or checking one out from the local library. While being a big library proponent, I have a tendency to purchase anything I knew I would keep. Given that Iron Man had Robert Downey Jr. and Jeff Bridges, as well as under the direction by Jon Favreau who I loved since the first time I watched Swingers, I knew I would want to keep this movie.
So we purchased the movie and late one night after we had been able to put my daughter to bed, my ex-wife and I sat on the couch watching this amazing Marvel Movie. To top that off, we had just recently purchased our first HDTV and were excited to see how clear the picture was. (Never realizing how much clearer it could get with the 4K sets one day.) We were hooked on Marvel Movies ever since.
Going to see Ant Man and Wasp, like all of the other Marvel movies out there, is an event for my family. My daughter and I have taken to enjoying the Dine-In experience at the AMC Fullerton in our area and so when we went there for this film. We sit down with our dinner and drink and enjoy the whole experience of coming to the movie theaters, which I feel has been lost over the years. But this would represent a whole other article.
As for Ant-Man and Wasp, let’s get into the particulars of the film. However, to do that I need to retrace a few steps in the Marvel Universe. If you want to catch up with the latest Marvel review, you can check out my Avengers review here. Aside from something that happens in an extra scene, however, it doesn’t really inform any of the Ant-Man’s tale here.
To go back properly, I need to discuss the previous Ant-Man where we left our intrepid ex-felon as he was helping Pym (Michael Douglas) and Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) dispatch of someone who had tried to steal Pym’s ideas for the shrinking Ant-Man technology and give them to Hydra. They have saved the day but only after Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) had to go into the quantum realm, a place they heretofore believed no one could return from. This leaves Pym with an open question. Can he go back and get his wife from there, a thing he thought all but impossible before?
The second important back-story part comes from Captain America Civil War. As Captain America goes off trying to save his friend Bucky from serious harm, he conspires with several others to get away from these new accords limiting the use of their powers. In doing so, he and his cohorts break the treaty and Scott Lang is among the people helping Captain America in doing so. He gets caught and imprisoned for his role in helping out Captain America. This eventually leaves him with an ankle monitor and house arrest for the next couple of years. And so we begin the tale of Ant-Man and the Wasp. As what follows are spoilers, from here on in, you are on your own.
A Review Of Ant-Man And The Wasp
Trapped in his home from the last couple of years has allowed Scott Lang to put his life together in many ways he would not have otherwise have done. First, he teams up with some of his ex-con friends to put together a security service. He does this despite not being involved in the day-to-day business. Next, he start repairing the relationship he has with his daughter. As a divorced-parent myself, I connect with Scott Lang here. I don’t want to miss the amazing time watching my daughter growing up. Additionally, he rebuilds some trust with his ex-wife and her new partner. His life seems like it is coming together.
But no good Marvel movie would be without a MacGuffin. And ours is found inside the brain of Mr. Lang himself. It would seem the mother wife of Mr. Pym and Mother of Van Dyne has been able to use Scott Lang as an antenna from where she is into the outside world. And when Mr. Pym opens that inner spacial world she can communicate to the outside world through Lang.
This leads Lang to contact Mr. Pym as he has sheepishly stayed away from him because he was forced to go into hiding as a result of Lang helping Captain America with that suit of his. Upon reaching out they decide to kidnap Scott in an attempt to get the information inside his head. They determine his information is not too consequential. But they demand his help because of his putting them under the microscope of the FBI.
His guilt leads him to go out there with Van Dyne to get the equipment necessary to open up the quantum realm once again. Of course it cannot go easy as they have to get the equipment from a mob type boss names Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins of Justified fame) with his mitts on all kinds of corruption. When he discovers who Van Dyne is, he wants in on whatever they are creating. He cannot stop them from getting the equipment but there appears to be a Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) in the machine who takes away the equipment and vanishes.
This leads them to seek the help of Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) a Berkeley professor of physics and quantum mechanics. He knows a way they can seek out the Ghost and assists them in finding the equipment to find Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). But nothing is quite as it seems in the end. And no one is beyond being traitorous to one another before things come to a resolution. But I will not get into any more spoilers.
If I were to go on I feel like I would reveal too much. I will say there are two ending sequences of which the first one is the most important. So don’t miss that one. It will definitely connect with the Avengers: Infinity War movie. I don’t know how important it will be but it definitely revealed an “Aha!” moment which will get you thinking and talking.
***End Of Spoilers***
As for the movie itself, I would say it wasn’t quite as funny as the original. Although it still had it’s many moments. But I think that has more to do with the fact you aren’t introducing the character any more, which makes the movie more about the plot itself. I felt like the plot was fun. And the depth they brought to Scott Lang by deepening his relationship with his daughter humanizes him in a way many of the Marvel Characters struggle with. Also, by making Ant-Man more human than the other Marvel Characters as it’s the technology and not the superpowers which makes him special we relate to Scott Lang’s character much more.
The people at Marvel continue on with a fun and enjoyable entry into the Marvel Universe with this latest entry and the characters, although maybe not particularly deep, are still enjoyable. I really related to the dad who felt a bit lost and yet just wanted to just be there for his child more than anything. And I definitely related to the inspiration Scott’s daughter had to do the right thing. As well as the realization we can learn from our children some pretty amazing lessons.
It’s hard to find something wrong with this movie. But i wouldn’t say it soared to the heights of some of my favorite Marvel pieces either. Ant-Man and the Wasp is fun enjoyable summer fare and worth the price of admission.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
Continue The Conversation
So what have you thought about the Marvel movies so far? If you have seen this movie, what did you think of it? And what is your favorite Marvel movie? If these are not your favorite types of movies, what movies do you love? I would love to hear from you.
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David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life