Ant-Man and the Wasp was given an unenviable task - following on from the juggernaut that was Avengers: Infinity War. Hope's quest to find Janet will require everything from her — a rare sacrifice in large tent-pole films like this. It's somewhat fitting the entertaining but sometimes overly utilitarian Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and the Wasp is closing out the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first 10 years.
Heavier emotional lifting, like Ghost's genuinely dark backstory, Hope and Scott's it's complicated” relationship status and Hope and Hank's determination to rescue long-lost Janet, is laid out firmly enough to make us believe it but not enough to clash with the silly antics around it. And Ghost is a surprisingly well realized villain.
Hank Pym (Douglas) also seems to have been hard at work, as the footage features extensive use of a few new tools in Ant-Man and Wasp's arsenal, including a device that changes the size of just about anything it's used on — and that apparently includes a van in motion, a Pez dispenser, and even an entire building.
The science plot in Ant-Man and the Wasp is entirely arbitrary and ridiculous, packed with rapid-fire don't examine this any further” explanations, and an inevitable artificial deadline before something-something quantum alignments shift and Janet becomes unreachable.
See, while the Pym's and Lang are running from the law and trying to build the machine that will save Janet a villain named Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), whose design is Ant-Man and the Wasp Review basically a copy-paste from Destiny, also wants to use it to help her stop phasing in and out of reality.
The sappy sequences with Lang and his daughter (and the quantum-realm explorations that tie everyone together) are perfectly placed to let us breathe as an audience and connect to the film's highly personal chaos. If any Marvel franchise can be considered the candy of the MCU, it is the Ant-Man movies.
When a villain makes an inexplicable sudden getaway via ferry, Scott wonders, How did he even have time to buy a ticket?” It's the kind of thing I always wonder, too, and the wry self-questioning of its own contrivances makes the film impossible not to like.
It would be more accurate to call John-Kamen's Ghost an antagonist rather than a villain, since she shares far more in common with complex MCU characters like Killmonger from Black Panther than the more outwardly monstrous types like Thanos or the Red Skull.
Standing in their way are some individuals desperate to get their hands on Hank's nanotechnology, including slimy black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a young woman whose exposure to the Quantum Realm as a child left her with the ability to phase through solid objects.
Returning director Peyton Reed appears to be having a lot of fun here, and he deserves some sort of public-service ribbon for fending off superhero bloat and keeping the movie's runtime down to just under two hours. After Thanos clicked his fingers and delivered that gut-punch of an ending to Infinity War, it feels strange to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe bounce back up off the mat, fighting fit, eager and willing to please with another frisky caper.
The banter fizzes with the same old charm, Scott's apparent inanity still grating against Hank's curmudgeonliness and Hope's stiletto-sharp focus. The interplay between Park and Rudd is so much fun, and I really hope this character continues to pop up in subsequent MCU outings.