It’s a Small World After All in Ant-Man & The Wasp, and It’s Influence on the MCU

9 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild Spoiler Alert

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a far more comedic film than any other in the Marvel Comics Universe. While it’s tough to beat James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, I can not wait to see Drak and Ant-Man get together. Talk about David and Goliath!

When considering the all-star talent involved in both works, this second outing has a lot more to appreciate. Not all of this tale is a paint by numbers scenario. The main plot is to save the original Wasp (Janet van Dyne, Michelle Pfeiffer) from Quantum Reality and in the mind of many is how does this film tie into the events of Avengers: Infinity War?

Those fans who have kept up can easily figure it out. This spoiler will not be revealed. As with most superhero films, they do better without that origin story. This story picks up two years where the last left off and considers Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) past involvement with the Avengers. He’s serving time after his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and only has a few days left to his house arrest.

Meanwhile, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) manage to build a device to go rescue Janet van Dyne. Although nothing seemingly happens, Scott receives a telepathic message, and the plan is to mount a rescue mission! This cast is in fine form showing off a wee bit of family dysfunction. With a criminal element involved (Hope has to acquire tech from an unscrupulous dealer) and a ghostly figure wanting help from her disability, the cat-and-mouse game is a dizzying one. There is no single villain. The movie functions more like a continuing story than be self-contained.

The better parts of the film come from the comic genius of the three main leads (Ludd, Douglas and Lilly) playing off each other. Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (Tip “T.I.” Harris) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) serve no meaningful role. They are neither side kicks nor fodder. Their bits are painful stand-up comedy acts which I wished I left the room for.

Ava Starr / Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) comes through as a beautiful and tortured soul. Her powers were made by accident; her villainy was a product of manufacture. The people who found her are far more troublesome than had she gone off to survive on her own.

With a lot of emphasis on getting the parts needed to build the quantum room generator, I had to wonder if the clues are being laid out in how to defeat Thanos. Shrinking him is not the key, but to know the Quantum realm is where everything comes together may well show how the jewels can be destroyed. There may be some truth to how crystals often vibrate in their own independent frequency (energy state). To disrupt that can shatter the crystal and return those energies back into the cosmos for a new big bang. The MCU is due for a reset when considering the real-world factors of some actors contracts being finished.

Another consideration also includes how this film showed Scott channelling Janet. She was telepathically projecting herself onto him. I believe getting into Thano’s head is key to defeat. Infinity War showed how defeating his body is nigh impossible. Pulling the glove off is neither easy too. The only times he showed weakness was when he realized sacrifices have to be made. He cried when he knew he had to throw Gamora off the cliff and still mourned when in battle (as revealed by Mantis).

Since the movie series is not following the books, just how the mad despot will be defeated is anybody’s guess. It’s possible to see many heroes shrink down to size and deal with erasing the stones than Thanos. The people who “died” due to Thanos snapping his fingers were not random. He banished anyone who could be a threat. They could be locked away in a quantum reality. Matter cannot be destroyed and only transformed into another state. Just where it exists can be anywhere, waiting to be reverted back at Thano’s whim. The reality stone can do that.

Back on our world, the wait is for the next film to provide further clues to part two. Captain Marvel is next, and this film takes places mostly in the past, prior to all the Infinity hooha. If there’s a sequence to see her connect with the fight, it will be in the post-credit sequence where we may meet a prior incarnation of Adam Warlock or seeing either rescue poor Scott since time is irrelevant.

3½ Ants out of 5

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