Both of the things that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd – Clueless, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) loves in life have become trickier due to his being under house arrest because of what happened with Captain America in Germany. It really does not pay to go off script apparently. For the past two years, Scott has not been allowed to leave his house and that makes being a superhero and a father tall orders. He is doing better at the latter as with his imagination and the help of his business partner Luis (Michael Pena – American Hustle, Crash), his weekends with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson – from television’s Transparent) are going really well. The pull to put on the Ant-Man suit so far has been resisted. That is until Hope Van Dyne or the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly – from television’s Lost) and her father Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas – Wall Street, Basic Instinct) tell him that they need his help to find their mother/wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer – mother!, What Lies Beneath), who has been stuck for several decades in the Quantum Realm. Will Scott risk everything – his daughter and his freedom – to help out and fight alongside the Wasp once again?
Director Peyton Reed (Ant-Man, Bring It On) really keeps the mood light in this his second time helming an Ant-Man film. He taps into that boyish charm of his lead actor Paul Rudd time and time again. Loose and funny are two things Rudd does well and Reed just hitches his boat on for the ride. Things are not muddles up with an attempt at darkness or too much emotion. Those are left to other superhero franchises instead this is all about chuckles and feeling good.
It does not hurt that Rudd and Lilly have some great onscreen chemistry. Evangeline Lilly is the straight man while Paul Rudd gets to act all goofy and delivers his usual amount of one liners. Reed allows moments for each of the actors to do what they do best. Rudd is cute and funny, Lilly is capable and formidable and Pena is a standout as the sidekick who never stops talking.
Despite the fact that there are many credited writers on the film, including Rudd himself, the result is one coherent story. I would go so far as to say that the story here is moderately better than that in the first film. They have managed to take a couple of the lesser known Marvel heroes and made him/her relevant again.
Of course, it is not a surprise that in a film called Ant-Man and the Wasp that you get bugs or superheroes that are bugs. But it really is the play on size that is the true hero here. The coolest sequences in the film are when Rudd and Lilly either get tiny/bug size or when Rudd gets really big. The sight gags here are some of the best in the film. Humans, cars and even buildings become huge or tiny. Everyday objects when they are increased in size become fodder for laughs. For instance, you have not seen a better use of a Pez dispenser than in a car chase sequence here.
All that being said this is a film really without much depth. Go elsewhere if you are in the mood to use your brain.