I’ll cut to the chase: Ant-Man and the Wasp is the most fun you will have at the movies in at least the last three years. After the intensity of Avengers: Infinity War, the latest Marvel film serves as a respite from the cosmic consequences and focuses on more personal stories with more personal consequences. This palate cleanser is designed in every way to maximize joy. That being said, the movie doesn’t only rely on being funny to be fun, though there are plenty of jokes. The action scenes, as well as the visits to the Quantum Realm, add to the movie’s ability to put a smile on your face. Additionally, the diversity of Marvel stories continues to be their secret weapon and the Marvel team picked the perfect movie to follow up Infinity War with.

While the movie is fun, it still has a lot of heart. The relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie continues to be a unique relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she is the only kid in the spotlight. In this film, you see neat parallels between Scott and Cassie’s relationship and Hope’s relationships with her father and mother. Speaking of her mother, it is great to have Michelle Pfeiffer return to the world of superheroes. One can only hope that her role continues to grow in subsequent films.

Age diversity also really makes this film special. While you have Cassie, you also have senior citizens doing heroic things, which is nice to see (and I am not counting Cap or Bucky). In these cases, they don’t fall into the “wise old mentor” tropes that we have seen for years. Instead, they play an active role in the story and have their own moments to shine. If you leave this movie not wanting to see more adventures of the original Ant-Man and the Wasp, you have done something wrong. I also think the public would like to see more of Laurence Fishburne as the scientist who becomes Goliath in the not-to-distant future.

We also get a unique villain this time. Ghost is not in the movie for money or world domination or to wipe out half of the population. Her motivations are personal. And while they may not be excusable, they are understandable. To talk too much about her role would enter “spoiler” territory, but suffice it to say, she is special as far as Marvel Cinematic Universe villains are concerned.

Director Peyton Reed is a master. He takes something that could be visually confusing (the constant shrinking and growing) and delivers a film that is easy to follow while every shot is constructed to engage the audience. Perhaps his work on Honey, I Shrunk the Audience helped lead him to this moment. I hope he does more “big budget” work in the future as he is skilled in making huge action sequences clear and fun. The car chase scene in this film may go down as one of the best chases ever put on film. (Insert your own mandatory Michael Douglas/Streets of San Francisco joke here)

Those expecting major insight into the events of Avengers: Infinity War will be disappointed. The movie makes the good call of focusing on the personal journey of the Langs, the Pyms, and Ghost. While the movie is very connected to the first Ant-Man film and Captain America: Civil War, the team wisely focused on their corner of the MCU.

With that, I give Ant-Man and the Wasp 5 out of 5 Hello Kitty Pez Dispensers.

PSA: While we all know to stay through the credits in a Marvel film, this time you have to stay through the tag and all the way until the Marvel logo pops up. Just trust me.

 

FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

 

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