Ant-Man and The Wasp is without a doubt a smooth palette cleanser from a packed year of Marvel films with high stake wins and losses. This film allows us to take a step back and soak up some of the lighter parts of the cinematic universe without needing to overthink every single detail. Before we get into the highs and lows of Ant-Man and The Wasp, I should say SPOILER ALERT!
Do not read any further unless you want to be spoiled.
Also, be prepared to hear the word “Quantum” a lot.
Everyone Wants Access To The Quantum Realm
It’s no secret that Hank Pym’s technology is genius, but everyone in this movie is obsessed with grabbing a piece like the one hot girl at a frat party. Pym’s Quantum Realm dimensional lab (which can shrink for safekeeping) that he built to rescue his wife Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm she’s been stuck in over 30 years ago, is tossed around from “bad guy” to “bad guy” like a hot potato — which makes for some great action scenes, but not a lot of story.
Also, all the “bad guys” aren’t really that bad. Everyone is just operating on their own self-interest for obtaining the Quantum Tech and they’re far less sinister than Yellowjacket in the first Ant-Man film. In fact, the Quantum Realm changed the molecular evolution of Janet Van Dyne to the point where she’s somehow now, more than human, having the ability to reassemble fragmented cells and “heal” the body back together (she helps Ghost reassemble herself).
This could definitely have been a small detail that may play a big role going forward in the next stage of films.
Marvel Women Take Center Stage
What’s great about this film is so many women are kicking ass without having to be extra sultry like Black Widow has been known to do in past films. Hope aka The Wasp, Ava aka Ghost, Janet Van Dyne, and even Cassie Lang are all incredibly important to the synergy of this second installment.
Let’s start with Hope. Hope dealt with a tremendous emotional load the last film upon learning her mother could possibly still be alive. Despite being wanted by the FBI for providing the Pym Tech to Scott for him to fight in Captain America: Civil War, Hope didn’t mope around, she got to work on building a Quantum tunnel device with her father to pinpoint the location of her mother once she went subatomic. She traded in her business suits for wings and I have no doubt she would dominate her own stand-alone movie if the time ever came.
Ava Starr aka Ghost is the daughter of Elihas Starr, a former SHIELD colleague of Hank Pym. A big part of this movie is how Hank Pym is a nightmare to work with/for and basically, everyone he’s crossed has some ill feeling toward him. Ava lost her parents in an explosion of Quantum Field Research that her father was conducting to rebuild his reputation after Hank threw him to the curb. Naturally, Ghost blames Pym, she actually isn’t wrong here. Also, her body is constantly being torn apart and reassembled through phase shifts… can’t assume she had a pleasant childhood. Still, Ghost is productive as hell working on a way to use the Quantum Realm dimensional lab as a means to keep herself alive. Luckily… Janet is a cool mom!
Janet Van Dyne, a prisoner of the Quantum Realm after having gone subatomic, could have easily allowed her 30 plus years of shrinking into oblivion destroy her faith (or sanity) that one day someone would rescue her. Nope! She took her time trapped there to allow the Realm to physically evolve her until she managed to imprint a message in Scott’s mind when he entered the Quantum Realm at the end of the first Ant-Man to give Hank and Hope a location of where to find her in the vast abyss. Talk about an ironclad will!
Then there’s sweet Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter, and his number one fan. She’s smart as a whip and despite the consequences, gives her dad the reverse pep talks he needs to get out there and fight. Cassie will no doubt be an important player in the MCU going forward as they already planted the seed here; she doesn’t need to be a super-hero, she wants to be like her father and help people. Even if they age the actor up for future projects, there’s no doubt Cassie Lang has the heart of a hero.
Small Ant, Big Problems
In a not-to-miss end credit scene, Hank, Janet, Hope, and Scott have set up a small Quantum Realm dimensional portal to go in and extract particles that Janet says will heal their “Ghost friend.” Everything seems to be going smoothly as Scott enters and obtains the goods, but something else seems to be happening out in the real world… something that happened in a SNAP. Scott, who thinks the trio are screwing with him, screams to be pulled back out, only for the viewers to see that all three of the finally reunited family have turned to dust… with no one there to flip the switch to bring Scott back.
Now, this could seem like a major dumpster fire, but considering what we know happened to Janet during her time in the Quantum Realm, this actually could be the best place for Scott — or anyone — to be during a cataclysmic event! If this means Scott can harness the ability to phase shift through realities, he can travel to points of time when certain Avengers have yet to be destroyed and maybe change the outcome of Thanos’s end game. Hell, maybe Scott can go all the way back to a time when baby Thanos wasn’t so fond of genocide!
The key takeaway here is that we have a new playing field and this time its one that could work in our heroes favor.