Ant-Man & the Wasp
Back in the 70s, Dr. Hank Pym and his wife Janet Van Dyne were a superhero duo known as "Ant-Man and the Wasp", who used Hank's Pym Particle suits to fight crime together. Tragically, Janet went subatomic to disarm a Soviet nuclear missile during a mission, which resulted in her being trapped in the Quantum Realm. For nearly 30 years Janet was presumed dead, however a few years ago Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man, was also trapped in the Quantum Realm and managed to come back. This event rekindled Hank Pym's faith that Janet might still be alive after all.
Ever since, Hank and his daughter Janet van Dyne have been working on a special ship that can go in and out of the quantum realm in hopes of finding Janet and bringing her back; at the same time Hank finalized a new Wasp suit and gave it to Hope, allowing her to take the mantle her mother once held. When the Avengers broke apart during the Sokovia Accords incident Scott was recruited by Captain America for his team, but he was captured during the conflict. Scott was able to negotiate not being sent to prison, instead he was put under home arrest for two years, however since he used the Ant-Man suit that made Hank an indirect culprit of the incident, now he and Hope have to hide from the FBI and haven't spoken to Scott in two years.
Scott is only a few days away from ending his home arrest sentence and Luis is close to starting a new company for their ex-convict friends. One afternoon Scott has a bizzare vision where he was still in the Quantum Realm then for some reason became Janet van Dyne; confused, Scott sent Hank a message about it. Shortly after that Hope extracts Scott out of his house by putting the tracking device on a giant ant to trick the FBI and brings him to the lab where she and Hank are hiding. Hope and Hank are close to completing the Quantum Realm ship, five minutes after they did a test run Scott called them about the Quantum Realm vision prompting them to theorize that Janet is trying to communicate with them through Scott so they need him back for the mission. Scott reluctantly agrees but insists that he must be back home before the FBI checks in again.
The ship needs one final component so Hank prepares one of their shrinking cars and shows that the lab also shrinks to the size of a briefcase. Hope visits black market dealer Sonny Burch, Sonny wants Hank's technology to sell in the black market and tries to blackmail Hope into surrendering it, but Hope dons the Wasp armor and swiftly takes down his goons. At that moment a masked woman with the ability phase through solid matter attacks the Wasp and Hank gives Scott a new Ant-Man suit to go help Hope. Ant-Man and the Wasp get the upper hand on "The Ghost", but Ghost threatens to kill Hank unless they give her the shrinking lab. Ghost flees with the lab, having little options to track down the lab, Hank reluctantly suggests they go visit an ex-colleague Bill Foster. Meanwhile Ghost arrives at her hiding place looking very ill and unable to remain solid, she walks into a cabin that somewhat stabilizes her for the moment.
Bill Foster quickly makes it clear that he and Hank don't get along, but nevertheless he suggests how they can track down Ghost and the shrinking lab. Hank concludes that in order to follow Bill's suggestion to find the lab they'll need the old Ant-Man suit, which happens to be hidden in a trophy that Cassie took to her school. Ant-Man and the Wasp sneak into Cassie's school but Scott's Ant-Man suit malfunctions causing him to shrink and grow randomly, despite the inconvenience they find the old suit. Later that night they find the house Ghost is hiding at, before they can get the lab Ghost ambushes and captures the trio. Bill Foster appears and reveals himself to be working with Ghost, whose name is Ava Starr; he lured Hank and co. to his house so they could capture them.
A long time ago when Bill and Hank were working together they had a third colleague, Ava's father Elias Starr, but Hank fired both Bill and Elias when they were working on a prototype Quantum Realm tunnel. Angered at Hank, Bill and Elias continued working on the project on their own but a catastrophic accident caused an explosion of quantum radiation that killed Elias and destabilized Ava's molecular structure, giving her the power to phase through matter but causing her constant immense pain. Bill adopted Ava and promised to find a cure for her, growing up S.H.I.E.L.D. trained Ava as a stealth assassin and developed the Ghost suit which helps her control her powers while Bill developed a special chamber that feeds her quantum energy to temporarily stabilize her molecules; however Bill discovered that Ava's mutation will cause her molecular structure to progressively worsen over time and the chamber can only do so much to slow down the symptoms, Ava is already very ill and if they don't find permament a cure soon she'll die.
Bill and Ava plan to use Hank's Quantum Realm tunnel to extract quantum energy directly from Janet in order to cure Ava, but doing so will kill Janet. Hank is able to trick Bill so he, Hope, and Scott can escape with the lab and find a place to hide. Enraged, Ava suggests kidnapping Cassie and use her as hostage but Bill refuses to let her do so. Scott happened to tell Luis where he's hiding, later that night Sonny and his goons capture Luis and apply truth serum on Luis to force him to spill out where Scott is hiding, with Ghost also hearing Luis ramble on. The next morning Hank and Hope activate the quantum realm tunnel, at that moment Janet takes control of Scott and gives her family the coordinates they need to find her, but they only have a few hours before the coordinates change. After the connection breaks Luis calls Scott to warn him that the FBI and Ghost are coming their way. Infuriated, Hope and Hank kick Scott out of the mission, Scott rushes home to prevent the FBI from finding out he had sneaked out, Hope and Hank are arrested, and Ghost takes the shrinking lab once more. Cassie encourages Scott not to give up and reminds him how much she missed her dad when he was in prison, Scott realizes how much Hope misses her mother and vows to fix the mess he's caused.
Scott breaks Hope and Hank out of prison and brings Hope her Wasp suit. The three come up with a plan to take the lab back in time to go rescue Janet, but they'll need Luis' help much to Hank's annoyance. Ant-Man and the Wasp lure Ghost into attacking them outside the lab while Hank personally confronts Bill; Hank apologizes for being a selfish egotistical jackass back when they were colleagues and promises to heal Ava, once Janet returns. Hank takes the ship and drives it into the quantum realm tunnel while Bill walks out of the lab. Luis shrinks the lab and tries to flee with it, but Sonny's goons come back once again.
Ant-Man, Wasp, Ghost, Luis, and Sonny all chase the lab through out San Francisco while Hank makes it deeper and depper into the quantum realm. Hank reaches the coordinates where Janet should be but his mind begins to collapse under the influence of the quantum realm. Right before Hank loses his mind he's found by none other than Janet; she stabilizes Hanks mind and reuintes with her husband for the first time in 30 years. Having spent so long in the quantum realm, Janet's mind and body has "evolved" and given her mutant powers which keep her mind from collapsing, regardless the two safely make it back to the ship but the ship can't grow back as long as the lab is still shrunken.
During the chaos in San Francisco Scott's Ant-Man suit continues to malfunction again and makes him "Giant-Man" once more and Sonny flees with the lab in a ferry. Giant-Man catches up to the ferry and takes the lab from Sonny but being giant quickly exhausts Scott, he manages to put the lab back in land safely but he collapses and falls into the ocean. Wasp rushes to rescue Scott from the ocean, but in doing so leaves the lab unguarded and Ghost gets the remote control to grow it back from Luis. With the lab big again Hank and Janet can turn on the ship and start growing back to normal, but Ghost has already begun extracting quantum energy from Janet. Ant-Man and the Wasp intercept Ghost while Luis, Dave, and Kurt take down Sonny's goons for good. Ghost overpowers the superhero duo but at that moment the quantum realm ship comes back, finally bringing Janet home.
Bill walks into the lab to see Hope, Hank and Janet reunited. Ava's body begins to collapse, but Janet uses her mutant power to save Ava's life. Now calmed down, Ava ends her hostility towards Hank and everyone flees before the FBI arrest them, Bill decides to remain by Ava's side while Scott sneaks back home right before the FBI arrives. With that, Scott's home arrest is over. In the aftermath, Hank, Janet, and Hope can now catch up for the 30 years that Janet was missing and the Ant-Man and the Wasp superhero duo is now officially back.
In the post-credits scene, the group has installed a portable quantum realm tunnel into Luis' van, Scott goes in to harvest quantum energy for Ava while Hank and co. monitor the tunnel when suddenly Scott loses contact with them. Back in Earth everyone turned into dust, leaving Scott stuck in the quantum realm with no one to bring him back.
Why it Rocks
- While the first Ant-Man was setup as a heist movie, the sequel is setup as a "chase" movie.
- Evangeline Lillie plays the role of the Wasp very well, she's a very competent female superhero.
- Laurence Fishburne also makes an entertaining performance as Bill Foster.
- Very fun and exciting action scenes, including the kitchen fight scene.
- Pym Particles are given a much more creative use, from shrinking down cars to making an entire building portable.
- The film avoided going for yet another "world-ending crisis", the stakes in the story are fairly low but very personal both for the heroes and the villains.
- The film is filled to the brim with entertaining comedic scenes that is usually accompanied by Paul Rudd/Ant-Man and the goofy tone.
- Once again, very cool visuals and CGI from the perspective of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
- The special effects used to demonstrate Ghost's powers are impressive.
- It has good lessons about teamwork and not being selfish.
- Ava Starr/Ghost (portrayed by Hannah John-Kamen) is a big step up from YellowJacket by being a cool, intimidating villain with dimension and actual character outside of 'the prodigy turns evil' trope that was Cross.
- Ghost also has a compelling backstory that makes her a sympathetic character.
- Luis once again served as an excellent comic relief and he was given a much bigger role.
- The Quantum Realm is impressive and more awesome than before.
- The film is a good comedic palette cleanser after the events of Infinity War.
- The mid-credits scene is very impactful.
- The pacing is too fast with little room to breathe.
- Ghost, while better than most generic MCU villains, is still below the popular ones such as Killmonger or Vulture.
- While the climax is very exciting, the final fight against Ghost is somewhat anti-climactic.
- Much like the first movie, the story focuses more on Hank Pym's conflict rather than Scott, though Scott is given more background.
- The Wasp was initially supposed to debut in Captain America: Civil War but it was decided to save her until a proper Ant-Man sequel. This is briefly mentioned in this movie when Scott asks what would've happened if she had been at the Avengers conflict.
- Laurence Fishburne stated that he wanted to be in the MCU for a while and had even pitched a few characters he could play before being cast as Bill Foster.
- This was the last MCU movie to feature a Stan Lee cameo prior to his death in November 2018. However, he made two more posthumous cameos in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.
- Bill Foster in the comics is the superhero Goliath, who was killed during Civil War.
- Ghost was originally male and was an Iron Man villian with no relation to Elias Starr (Who is the villian known as Egghead in the comics)
Ant-Man & The Wasp received positive reviews and is generally considered a step up from the first Ant-Man movie, however it was also considered more "forgettable" compared to recent Marvel movies. Although the movie was profitable, it did not do as well as expected.