Ant-Man and the Wasp


 Nothing speaks more to the easy likeability and sad inconsequentiality of Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp as the Partridge Family's 1970s earworm theme "Come On Get Happy," which is featured in this, the latest installment of the eternal Marvel Comic Universe film series. Paul Rudd is again the eponymous Ant-Man and comely Evangeline Lilly the equally eponymous but more badass Wasp, both of whom can change their size with the help of "magic" space suits designed by Wasp's dad. Since the first film (2015), Rudd's Scott Lang has been under house arrest for reasons that, frankly, I have little memory of, when he's kidnapped by Lilly's Hope and her father, former Avenger and S.H.I.EL.D. genius Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), to help retrieve Pym's wife / Hope's mother, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, from the quantum realm, which means getting really, really small. To do so, they have been building, with the help of giant ant minions, a shrinking machine -- which looks quite a lot like a huge printing press -- using parts purchased from a lowlife tech dealer (played with gratuitous Southern smarminess by Walter Goggins). Because all of this hoodoo science is easy-peasy, the only things standing between the terrific trio and their rescue mission are the FBI, Laurence Fishburne's rival scientist genius and a mysterious costumed figure who can walk through walls (snarling British beauty Hannah John-Kamen). Ant-Man is decidedly third-string on the MCU bench but, for my money, Michael Pena's turn as Lang's motor-mouthed sidekick Luis is MVP and he owns all of the best parts of this picture.

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