As the sequel to Marvel’s hit film Ant-Man opens, Scott Lang is on house arrest following his participation in the Avengers’ efforts, in violation of the Sokovia Accords, while Hank Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne continue their exploration of the quantum realm. When it becomes apparent that Lang is the only real connection to Janet van Dyne because he’s the one who has been to the quantum realm, the Pyms kidnap Lang and set a series of events in motion that will echo in the Marvel universe.
Of course, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglass, and Evangeline Lilly are back as Lang, Pym, and the younger van Dyne, with Michele Pfeiffer joining as the elder van Dyne. They provide the backbone of a cast that also includes Hannah John-Kamen as the antagonist Ghost and Lawrence Fishburne as Bill Foster, an old colleague of Pym’s, with Walter Goggins as the mercenary/gun runner Sonny Burch and Michael Pena as Lang’s old prison mate-turned-colleague. This is a ‘quiet’ blockbuster with some big moments, but serious actors holding the framework of the film in interpersonal relationships.
This is still a blockbuster though: as Lang and Hope van Dyne fight to figure out how to best use their shrinking suits for good, they’re challenged by the new threat of Ghost. Ghost has been physically changed by the quantum realm, and needs the Pym technology to ‘heal’ her. Aided by Foster, she’s trying to figure out how to get back to normal, but her efforts may kill any chances of freeing Janet van Dyne from the quantum prison that she’s been in since 1987. Somehow this makes Ghost and Foster more sympathetic than the average villain – they are more Killmonger than Red Skull, more twisted by the pain of their pasts and the ways they’ve been mistreated than hungering for power in a controlling or manipulative way.
Funny, compelling, and powerfully entwined in what family looks like, Ant-Man and the Wasp proves to show what the power of love looks like. While there’s a plothole about the timing (why wouldn’t Hank have broached this problem sooner?), it’s an example of the relentless, uncompromising, prodigal love that keeps chasing the ‘other’ through holes and over mountains even if they’re quantum-sized. Some might even see sacrificial, Christ-like love in what Lang and the Pyms do here, whether it’s in giant-sized figures or in miniature, ant-sized moments.
Blu-ray special features on the Walt Disney/Marvel Blu-ray include a special look at how Rudd makes Scott Lang heroic and hilarious in “Back in the Suit,” while Lilly’s take on the Wasp, “A Suit of Her Own,” shows stunts and scenes stretching the actress’ physicality. Two more featurettes, the production design specific to the quantum realm shows up in “Quantum Perspective,” while “Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet” show how the characters developed and how they’re played by Douglass and Pfeiffer, iconic figures in their own right.