You know how most of the time sequels aren’t quite as good as the first film? Well, that’s not true about Ant-Man and the Wasp — it not only improves on the good things that were in the first film, but includes even more good stuff, stuff we haven’t seen in the MCU before. Let’s get cracking.
I wanted to say that Ant-Man and the Wasp was the first film in the MCU where nobody died. But then, of course, the mid-credits stinger (and the Snap) happened and that wasn’t true anymore. But for the entire main film, I was surprised by not just how fun and energetic the film was, but also the fact that, again, nobody dies. Not even the villains of the film — one of them is arrested and the other isn’t even really evil, but rather just wants to stop herself from dying.
Oh, right: Ghost. Casting Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost was just a brilliant move, because she portrays Ghost as someone who is just so desperate to live that she will do anything she has to, including kill. But here’s the thing: she’s not evil. She’s just the unfortunate victim of circumstance — and her father’s faulty Quantum Tunnel. (By the way, her father in the comics is literally a supervillain called Egghead. And he was played by the Observer from Fringe!)
When Bill Foster showed up as Ghost’s partner, I had a horrible thought that they turned him evil in order to subvert expectations (like Iron Man 3). But, no, Bill Foster is also heroic — he wants to save Ghost from dying, too, even if he isn’t willing to kill.
In fact, the only actual villain in the film is Sonny Burch, played to perfection by Walton Goggins (hi, Boyd Crowder!). And Burch is pretty bad at being a bad guy — you see pretty quickly that he’s out of his element and his only victory comes from calling the FBI. So here we have an ineffectual villain and a villain who isn’t evil and only wants to save herself.
Meanwhile, Hope van Dyne is kicking everyone’s ass. She doesn’t just outshine Ant-Man — she outshines everyone. And looks like she’s having fun doing it. She and Scott Lang get a lot of setpieces to show off the shrinking/growing tech they have, including a set of shrinking/growing cars and some very, very awesome fight scenes where the Wasp shows she can kick ass as good as Black Widow.
I also loved that the film borrowed from current Ant-Man comics, like Scott Lang and his ex-con buddies forming a security company (called “Ant-Man Security Solutions” in the comic, complete with Ant-Van). I also love that Cassie is very clearly going to become Stature/Stinger in the future.
Which brings us to Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne. Honestly, I wanted to see a little bit more of her in the film, perhaps see a bit more of how she adapted to the Quantum Realm (and what that big sword-thing was for, because it looked awesome), but what we got was great, too. I figured she would also be the one to heal Ghost and I’m glad that Ghost survived, so that I can continue to speculate about a future Thunderbolts movie.
So what now? What does the future hold for Ant-Man and the Wasp (post-Avengers 4 of course)? Honestly, I would love it if we got an Unbeatable Wasp movie, where Ant-Man is the secondary character and we got a team-up between Janet and Hope van Dyne for most of the film. (We rarely get mother/daughter duos in superheroes.)
Or, if/when Marvel gets the rights to the Fantastic Four, I would love to see all of them — Hank, Janet, Scott, Hope, even Cassie — as part of the Future Foundation: