Ant-Man and the Wasp is Marvel-ous superhero fun for all sizes

Paul Rudd is Scott Lang the Ant-Man in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: Ant-Man and The Wasp. Two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Scott Lang, now under house arrest, grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life as a father with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside Hope van Dyne as The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

All is uphill as the team has to overcome challenges presented by a ruthless arms dealer, by an enemy who can phase through solid matter, and the minions of the FBI, who seek to keep Scott at home under house arrest and capture Hope and her father for supplying Scott with the Ant-Man technology. At the heart of their current dilemma is finding a way to reclaim Hope’s mother, Janet van Dyne, from the Quantum Realm where she has been for the past three decades before time runs out.

This is a rip-roaring fun thrill ride as we follow Scott and Hope’s adventures in various size modes. They also have the ability to shrink and enlarge things by manipulating ‘Pym particles’ and you will just have to see what that means for people, ants, buildings and cars of all sizes…. the chase scenes are uniquely entertaining, especially when you combine fight scenes with size shifts and Ghost, who can pass through solid matter punching and kicking through things.

The women rule in this, the first Marvel MCU film (out of twenty) to have a female superhero in the title. This also lays the groundwork for the next MCU film, Captain Marvel, who is female and possibly the most powerful being in the MCU. That film comes out next winter a few short months before the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War and you can vet she plays a major role in that film, much like with Black Panther preceding Avengers: Infinity War this year. Fun fact: more than five decades ago in the Marvel Comics, Ant-Man Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne The Wasp were both founding members of The Avengers, and it was Janet van Dyne, as The Wasp, who gave them the name Avengers.

Okay, so here’s a rundown of the key players, the actors who appear in the film as which characters.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, a former petty criminal who acquired a suit that allows him to shrink or grow in scale while also increasing in strength. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, in which Lang violated the terms of the Sekovia Accords by fighting alongside Cap, he has been sentenced to house arrest.

Evangeline Lilly is Hope van Dyne The Wasp in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, who is bequeathed a similar suit and the Wasp mantle from her mother. Lilly felt by Van Dyne becoming the Wasp, there was “this incredible satisfaction in Hope, something that she has been waiting for her whole life, which is essentially an affirmation from her father has come.” Madeleine McGraw portrays a young Hope van Dyne.

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, entomologist, and physicist who became the original Ant-Man in 1963 after discovering the subatomic particles that make the transformation possible. Dax Griffin portrays a young Hank Pym.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, the wife of Pym, mother of Hope, and the original Wasp. She was lost in the Quantum Realm years ago during a mission with Pym. Hayley Lovitt portrays a young Janet van Dyne.

Hannah John-Kamen is Ava Foster aka Ghost in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Foster / Ghost is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with the ability to phase through objects who is trying to stay alive by stealing and using Pym technology. The character is traditionally portrayed as male in the comics but was made to be female for the film because the creative team felt it would be more interesting to cast a woman in the role. John-Kamen enjoyed the aspect of Ghost being a “blank-slate” within the comics as it allowed her to mold the character as her own. RaeLynn Bratten portrays a young Ava.

Laurence Fishburne is Bill Foster in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster, a former colleague of Pym who was once his associate on Project Goliath, and after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. became the surrogate father to Ghost. Fishburne had approached Marvel about joining the MCU, pitching them a few ideas for whom he could portray before Marvel offered him the role of Foster in the film. Despite having already portrayed Perry White for the DC Extended Universe, Fishburne admitted that he had always fantasized about being in an MCU film, admitting that he considered himself a “Marvel guy”.“I have this sort of surrogate daughter, this character called Ghost played by Hannah John-Kamen who is incredible, and we sorta have a father-daughter thing going on,” says Fishburne. Langston Fishburne, Laurence’s son, portrays a young Bill Foster.

Michael Peña as Luis, Lang’s former cellmate and a member of his crew, who steals every scene he is in. Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, the arms dealer trying to weaponize and sell Pym’s technology. Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, a San Francisco Police Department officer who is engaged to Lang’s ex-wife Maggie. Judy Greer as Maggie, Lang’s ex-wife and mother of Scott’s daughter Cassie. Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave and David Dastmalchian as Kurt are the other members of Lang’s crew. Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie, the daughter of Lang and Maggie. Randall Park as Jimmy Woo, an FBI agent tasked with keeping tabs on Lang and hunting for Hank and Hope.

Additionally, Stan Lee, co-creator of the heroes, has his usual cameo in the film.

The Russo brothers, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel which were filming while Ant-Man and the Wasp were preparing to film, were in constant discussion with Reed in order to ensure story elements would line up between the films. Joe Russo added that Ant-Man and the Wasp would have “some [plot] elements that stitch in” closely with Avengers: Infinity War, more so than some of the other films leading up to the Avengers films.

Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 86% based on 84 reviews, and an average rating of 6.9/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palette cleanser.” Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman called the film “faster, funnier, and more cunningly confident than the original” and wrote, “Ant-Man and the Wasp is a full two hours, yet even when it’s pulling out all the stops, the movie never gives you that sinking sensation you can get when a comic-book film’s extended climax kicks in, and you feel the visual effects army taking over. That’s because Peyton Reed invests every moment of the movie with personality. That’s not quite the same thing as humanity. But it’s enough to qualify as the miniature version.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp, the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 25, 2018, and will be released in the US on July 6, 2018, in IMAX and 3D. The Action & Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy film, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, directed by Peyton Reed, and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, features two post-credits scenes and is Rated PG-13, for some sci-fi action violence.