‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ flex their superhero muscles

LOS ANGELES, CA-Fun. If there is one word that best describe Marvel Studios action-flick “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” that would be it. The one thing “Ant-Man and The Wasp” has going for itself is that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film is light and has enough action sequences to make it feel like you’ve spent less time in the theater than the one hour, 58 minutes allotted for the movie.

Youths will dig it, and their parents will most likely feel it is cool as well. “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is a great summer movie because it is not bogged down with all the heavy-handedness intensity of a full-throttled drama film. But it does lend plenty of thespian acumen with the great Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym) and Lawrence Fishburne (Dr. Bill Foster) dialing up their appreciative acting chops to their respective roles to help make “Ant-Man and The Wasp” work.

Paul Rudd does an admirable job of reprising his role as the eccentric but lovable Scott Lang. But the actor who really makes “Ant-Man and The Wasp” worth watching is Evangeline Lilly, who plays opposite Rudd as The Wasp (Hope Van Dyne). The former model and Canadian native is simply fantastic in her role as The Wasp. Period.
Van Dyne is more than Lang’s equal in the Ironman-like armored suit they’ve been provided by Pym.

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP..L to R: The Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Photo: Ben Rothstein.©Marvel Studios 2018

Lilly brings class, a dash of sass and a commanding dose of presence (you either have it or don’t have it) to her role as The Wasp. She also does a pretty good job at kicking butt and taking names as well. It wouldn’t be a surprise here if Lilly is someday brought back as The Wasp to do her own solo project.

In this writer’s opinion, Lilly is that dynamic. Besides, the need for more female superheroes to appear on the big screen is simply warranted. That’s a debate for another day, so let’s get back to “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” The Wasp is the fearless badass donning the fly suit, whereas Lang’s Ant-Man has this amazing ability to shrink and grow whenever the need to save the world arises.

Combined together, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” make for a pretty awesome duo, which explains why both will have parts in the next installment of the super popular Avengers series in 2019. There’s no real awkwardness between Ant-Man and The Wasp. The two, in a mission to roil back the villain (Ghost) in the film, work seamlessly together like peanut butter and jelly.

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).Photo: Ben Rothstein..©Marvel Studios 2018

Since his well-received introduction to the comic book legion in “Captain America: Civil War,” Ant-Man has become a cult hero of sorts. Now with his second full-frame feature, Rudd’s character has developed into a full-blown leading man as he formulates a couple of romantic scenes with The Wasp, juggles fatherhood and runs his own security company that’s run by a couple of seemingly incompetent bumblers (rapper T.I. and actor Michael Pena), all the while he is supposed to be sitting at home on monitored lockdown.

But as always in the life of a superhero, there’s always a call to put down the bad guys (in this case a bad woman) as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) leaves a pattern of trouble and chaos all around the San Francisco area. When duty calls, a superhero must always answer the bell, no matter how dire the circumstances may be when it comes to sacrificing their own well-being. Sometimes that means going rogue and riding on the fringe of breaking the law in order to save the rest of us humans.

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP.Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

As Lang sees it, he really doesn’t have a choice but to operate as Ant-Man in order to put the clamps on Ghost, a wily combatant. But the real issue for the call to Lang comes from the original Ant-Man (Douglas), who discovers that his wife (The Wasp 1.0) is not dead as he and daughter (Lilly) believed she was. They need Ant-Man to be Ant-Man and help them find the original Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is somewhere located in some aerosphere universe.

But before Lang can do that, there’s plenty of criminal busters and a more than willing engaging Ghost to contend with. The teaming of Ant-Man-who has the superhuman ability to become a giant adversary or shrink to near evaporation in order to fight off villains with bad intentions-with The Wasp, prove to be a winning combination.

At least, it works here. The “Ant-Man and The Wasp” script gets more complicated when you add in the revenge-minded Foster (Fishburne), who detests Pym (Douglas). This is where the film feels a bit awkward at times. But great actors like Douglas and Fishburne know how to navigate through such issues and are able to put “Ant-Man and The Wasp” back on the right track.

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” feels like a positive, light come up after seeing the tensely-weighted, but extremely powerful “Avengers: Infinity War.” Rudd and Lilly make for a great tandem as “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” It would be nice to see pair unite again in another solo feature film.

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