This is part of a series of blog posts, discussing my rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe FOLLOWING my viewing Avengers: Endgame on opening weekend. If you HAVE NOT seen Endgame, I suggest you wait to read these posts as I will be mentioning and referencing plot points from the most recent film(s) including Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.
20. Ant-Man & the Wasp (2018)
“WASSUPP?! What? You don't remember that beloved commercial? WASSUP?!" - Luis to Hope, Scott and Hank as he shows up to save the day.
This film includes my favorite Stan Lee cameo in the MCU. Stan is about to get into his luxury sedan when Hope is driving by and hits it with a shrink dot. Stan shakes his head and says, "Well, the 60's were fun but I'm paying for it now!"
It also was only the second MCU film I didn’t see in theatres. I missed this and Doctor Strange, other than that, I’ve seen every single one on a big screen. The real kicker though, is that I missed this one (or big chunks of it anyway) even when I watched it the first time on digital. I found whole scenes and even a plot thread or two that I had completely missed the first time. I don’t know why I had paid so little attention either, as this film is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
It also showcases something that Marvel understands better than any other studio, I think. You have to hit your audience where they are. After Infinity War, no high stakes movie was going to hold our attention. We didn’t want to wallow in our sorrows either, worrying about all the heroes that had vanished with Thanos’ snap. So they jumped back in time slightly, and lowered the scales across the country for an adventure with Scott Lang and the Pym’s.
The chase scenes here are amazing, on par in their own way with the fights and chases in The Winter Soldier, but the Ant-Man series (and Rudd as the lead) allow for a level of humor that is almost on par with The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise or Thor: Ragnarok. The combo is very cool, especially when Luis finally gets to join the fun in the final act driving his Hot Wheel and shrinking and growing with the rest of the team.
Bill Foster’s introduction here (with Laurence Fishburne) is great for comics fans and again gives us cool past adventures to think about and possibly see play out someday on TV or on film. I sincerely hope we get the adventures of Ant-Man and the Wasp somewhere someday. Please don’t keep all that fun just in my head?
One thing that jumped out at me on this viewing is that the suit Hank uses to visit the Quantum realm to save Janet looks VERY similar to the suits the Avengers wear in Endgame to go on their “time-heist”. It’s not spoken about in either film that I can remember, but I’m guessing that there’s a loose, comic-book-science explanation for why white and red color schemes are better for Quantum jumping. Regardless of the reasons, that’s another example of small things being consistent across the films, adding to the “lived-in” feel of the universe. It’s stuff like this that makes me so desperate to see all the adventures in between and hinted at off screen. If it felt like the characters all woke up for the first time when the camera hits them, we wouldn’t care about what happens off screen, but the MCU makes sure we do.
There are few rumors of a forthcoming Ant-Man & the Wasp 2, but I am VERY excited for the continuation of this story. I love the supporting characters in this franchise as much as any of the Marvel films, and with the reintroduction of Janet, there are a million new stories to tell here. As long as they keep Luis around to summarize everything for us, I’d be happy with a dozen more.