Monday, July 16, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp

I have to admit that superhero movies are a favorite of mine. The landscape has changed greatly from when I was growing up and we had Superman, Batman and not much else. Now it seems like every year we get several movies based on the comics I loved and most of them are pretty damn great. The Marvel Cinematic Universe in particular has been on a tear and I'm sure you're familiar with their films. The latest one, Ant-Man and the Wasp, comes hot on the heels of the epic Avengers: Infinity War and to be honest, I liked it a lot more. Part of that has to do with an incredibly likable cast and also the fact that it's a lot more fun and lighthearted, which I needed as of late.

The movie picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for helping out Captain America and violating the Sokovia Accords in his Ant-Man guise. He's been stuck in his house for two years and is days from finally getting the ankle monitor off so he can enjoy the outside world with his daughter.

Then he has a strange dream that features the missing wife of Dr. Henry Pym, Scott's mentor and the original Ant-Man. Dr. Pym and his daughter Hope are a bit miffed--and rightly so--that Scott acted on his own as by getting caught, he drew them into the eyes of the authorities and now they've been on the run for two years. However, when he calls them up to tell them about his dream, he gets brought back into their world as it turns out the dream is a side-effect of opening the quantum tunnel to try and bring Janet Van Dyne back from the quantum realm. What should be an easy mission to pick up the last part that the team needs to finish the device goes sideways and Scott and Hope find themselves suiting up as Ant-Man and the Wasp to fight arms dealers, the FBI and a strange new adversary that can phase through walls. All the while, Scott has to make sure he doesn't get caught breaking his house arrest or he'll be sent away to prison for a long, long time.

I really love the smaller scale superhero movies. No pun intended. You can only save the world so many times before it gets sort of boring, and after the cosmic adventure of Infinity War, this was just what the doctor ordered. The stakes are smaller but still important, as it's not the fate of the world but the fate of families involved this time, both Scott's and the Pym's. It's those stakes that give the movie a lot of heart and resonates with me quite a bit and makes their plight strike close to home.

And the cast is an absolute blast. Just about everyone from the original film is back and get to be involved in the quest to save Janet. Rudd and Evangeline Lilly have a great chemistry and it's awesome that she got to be more involved in the adventure and kick some ass after being on the sidelines in the first movie. The unsung heroes for me are Lang's friends and co-workers, played by Michael Peña, T.I Harris and David Dastmalchian. This trio is a hoot and whenever they are on screen, it's a good time.

The movie is definitely worth checking out on the big screen and it is one of the most enjoyable times I've had at the theater this year. Check it out.

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