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February 23 2020
Scale down to micro: 'Ant-man And the Wasp' answers some questions and raises more
24 July 2018

Ant-Man And The Wasp lightens the mood of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sets up plot threads for future movies. Warning! Spoilers ahead!

After the titanic clash that was Avengers: Infinity War, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is in disarray, and Ant-Man And The Wasp had the unenviable job of following it up. With the film, rather than raise the stakes even higher, which we know will happen in Avengers 4 next year, Marvel has chosen to take it down a notch.

The film is set chronologically before the events of Infinity War, with Ant-Man under house arrest following his escapades in Captain America: Civil War, and facing the challenge of reconciling with his former partners in crime Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly).

 

Scale down to micro: 'Ant-man And the Wasp' answers some questions and raises more

In a way that is apt for a film about a shrinking superhero, the plot feels a lot less grand and more personal, yet alludes to the larger happenings in the MCU, delving deeper into the ‘Quantum Realm’ and the possibilities attached to it. Considering how many fan theories speculate that this realm may have a part to play in how the Avengers take the fight back to Thanos, it may not just be a throwaway plot detail, especially considering the return of Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), armed with knowledge of how it works, and Scott Lang finding himself back in there again in the post-credits scene.

These developments foreshadow that he may have a larger role to play in Avengers 4, but in this film, Lang is still doing what he does best, being the stand-in for the audience, if the audience had Paul Rudd’s comic timing. Lang is always 10 steps behind Pym and Van Dyne, who finally steps into her mother’s shoes and takes flight as The Wasp with uncanny ease, figuring out problems and taking down henchmen with equal panache. With the addition of the conflicted Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) to the roster, Marvel’s list of leading female characters, which had been a little lopsided till date, is starting to show some promise. In a time when comic book movies are often accused of not having enough female representation, a team-up of the Van Dyne duo with Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow, and Captain Marvel may just be what is needed to balance the books a bit.

 

Scale down to micro: 'Ant-man And the Wasp' answers some questions and raises more

Director Peyton Reed has also infused the film with a healthy dose of humour, lightening the mood after the bleak tones of the last Avengers instalment. Lang voices the thoughts of the audience when he accuses Pym and Van Dyne of adding the word ‘quantum’ to explain away everything. His observation of the dark jacket, cap and sunglasses being a horrible disguise was also self-referential comedy gold, seeing as how the same ineffective disguise has been adopted by multiple MCU characters across films. Michael Pena returns as Lang’s smooth-talking anecdote-spewing friend Luis, and brings his signature monologue style from the first film back to great effect.

Ant-Man And The Wasp does not have high stakes for the world, but does for its characters, and tells a self-contained story while still building the Universe. It remains to be seen how much the Quantum Realm may or may not contribute to future films, or whether Lang’s presence within it at the end of the film will lead to a meaningful payoff. Either way, we now have a new female hero, another strong female scientist to match wits with the likes of Shuri from Black Panther, more world-building, and ants playing the drums. It is a good time at the movies.

 

 

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