Sunday, December 30, 2018

Movie #490: Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp is, of course, the sequel to Ant-Man and the...hundred-twentieth? I think? movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Laurence Fishburne, Walter Goggins, Randall Park, Abbie Ryder Fortson, and there's more but c'mon.

Scott Lang (Rudd) has been under house arrest following a plea deal after his involvement with destroying a German airport in Civil War (I have to imagine Tony Stark quietly pulled some strings for him). His sentence is almost up, and he hasn't been doing any Ant-Man-ing; he's on the outs with Dr. Pym (Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) since he, like, stole the Ant-Man suit and went to Germany.

For their part, Hope and Pym are trying to reach the quantum realm to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Pfeiffer); since Scott got their and returned, they figure it's possible. When the machine is powered up, Scott has a dream about Janet, and they realize that the Scott and Janet are "quantum entangled."

Of course, ain't nothing ever easy - a former colleague of Pym named Bill Foster (Fisburne) and his ward/protege Ava (John-Kamen) are trying to get the lab to harvest quantum energy to fix Ava's molecular issue (it makes her able to phase, but is also killing her), and a black-market-tech dealer (Goggins) figures quantum-anything is the next big thing, and the FBI in the personage of Agent Woo (Park) is keeping a close eye on Lang...

Like a lot of later-phase MCU movies, there's a lot going on, but the script is pretty tight. The various factions all want slightly different things (or the same things for different reasons), and Scott provides a nice anchor for it all. Likewise, they addressed something that I'm glad they did - that Scott didn't ask Hope to join him in Germany, and Hope was hurt by that omission. Actually, the relationship between Scott and Hope is kinda the driving force behind a lot of the conflict (secondarily, the relationship between Hank and Janet, and between Hank and his former colleagues - everyone seems to agree that Hank was kind of a jackass).

And then, of course, in a mid-credits scene we find out that this all happened while shit was going down in Wakanda (it doesn't get mentioned, although actually an undetermined amount of time passes between Scott getting out of house arrest and the Snap, so it's possible that the shit in New York happened during that downtime), the Snap happens, and Janet, Hope, and Pym all vanish...while Scott's in the quantum realm. It sets us up nicely for Endgame, but the movie at large isn't as heavy as Infinity War (which you might notice I haven't bought yet because it's too heavy; I'm gonna wait until spring).

My Grade: A-
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Ex Machina