Reviewed by: Francisco Gomez Jr.
Paul Rudd … Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly … Hope Van Dyne / Wasp
Michael Peña … Luis
Walton Goggins … Sonny Burch
Bobby Cannavale … Paxton
Judy Greer … Maggie
Laurence Fishburne … Dr. Bill Foster
T.I. … Dave (Tip “T.I.” Harris)
Michelle Pfeiffer … Janet Van Dyne / Wasp
Michael Douglas … Dr. Hank Pym
David Dastmalchian … Kurt
Hannah John-Kamen … Ava / Ghost
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|Director||Peyton Reed—“Ant-Man” (2015), “Yes Man” (2008), “The Break-Up” (2006)|
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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Prequel: “Ant-Man” (2015)
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is the sequel to the 2015 film “Ant-Man.” It stars Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym). It is a Marvel film set within its cinematic universe shortly before the events of “Avengers: Infinity War,” and takes place after the actions of “Captain America: Civil War.”
Scott Lang finds himself under house arrest after assisting Captain America escape capture. He takes a deal from the federal government to be put under house arrest for two years and three years of probation after that. However, Hank Pym thinks there may be a way of rescuing his wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the entrapment in the quantum realm through Lang, and requests his help. The process attracts three other interested parties, and now they are on the clock to bring back Janet while avoiding capture. All the while Lang tries to keep his heroic outings a secret. Let’s talk about moviemaking quality before we get into content for concern.
The film is very different from the tropes that have been set in the genre, and yet does not tread any new ground. Likewise, the film is entertaining despite often lacking a meaningful pace. Summarizing the plot is difficult, and that speaks to how messy the film can be. There are effectively three antagonists: Ghost, Sonny Burch, and law enforcement. The movie has way too many opposing forces for such a straight forward film, and its straightforward rescue mission may be the reason for so many antagonists, as it would struggle to push the plot forward without them. However, it makes for an unnecessarily crowded film. You could pick just one of the antagonists, and the story would be essentially the same.
The film shines in its action set pieces, and that is where director Peyton Reed is the most comfortable. Their powers are used in unique manners, and it is great fun to see how they get out of predicaments. Furthermore, the performances are fantastic. The cast seems like they enjoyed filming, and it shows on screen. Rudd and Lilly have amazing chemistry. Michael Peña delivers the laughs more often than not, and Pfeiffer makes the most out of her minutes. Abby Fortson is emphatic and charismatic with promising potential to be an amazing actress. The performances in the film are what make the film meaningful, motivations credible, and blemishes tolerable. Without the cast, the film could have crumbled. Instead, we get a genuinely heartwarming film about love and family.
Family is the central theme of the story. All characters involved are motivated by the love of their family. Lang in particular strives to be a good father figure to his daughter. He wants to do what is right so she can have a good example. Whether that be fulfilling his house arrest or standing up to villains, he is a man on a mission to make things right. The same is true for the love Hope and Hank have for Janet. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for one another in order to save Janet. They are there to support one another. It reminds me of the blessing it is to be a part of the Christian church.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” —Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Often times we forget that we are a team in the ministry of our Lord, and as such are here to support one another. We support one another by pointing out shortcomings, helping each other get back up, and rejoicing in victories. This can only be accomplished through Biblical love; it is what holds us together as a family in Christ. For the redeemed, we are brothers and sisters as children of God. It binds together all the positive virtues gained by our walk with God.
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”-Colossians 3:14
Scott finds out that when of the best examples he can set for his daughter is the sacrificial love to his friends. He can be known as a hero to her in that manner. Similarly, we can be an example to non-believers by how we treat our Christian family. Christ said:
What a cause for praise to know we can sharpen one another for the glory of God! This is true for those who have chosen Christ as their Lord and been adopted into God’s family. If you have questions about entering a relationship with Christ and becoming a part of God’s family, click here.
Janet helps heal a character despite the character attempting to kill her before. She showed compassion despite experiencing wrong doing. Similarly, our love is not reserved just for believers, we are to be minsters of reconciliation and love others as well. We are called to treat others with compassion, even though it may be hard at times. We are to avoid vengeance and to show love instead. God will deliver justice if he deems it so.
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,‘ says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” —Romans 12:19-20
The film is one of the cleaner ones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but hardly any movie produced by Hollywood is without its concerning content. Here’s the content that may be of concern.
Violence: Heavy. There is an abundance of action sequences in which characters are punched, kicked, or shot with blasters. Most of the violence is presented in a nonrealistic manner featuring the shrinking or growing capabilities of the suits. No blood or gore is present.
Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Minor. There is no recreational use of drugs. The only presence they have in the film is when characters are tranquilized or given “truth serum.”
Language/Profanity: Heavy. This is the film’s biggest concern. It contains language that is inappropriate for children. God’s name is misused at least ten times, with one instance of it empathically coupled with d*mn. There are instances of the s-word, one b-word, and a few of a-words.
Sex/Nudity: Moderate. There is no nudity besides a shirtless Lang who takes a quick bath in his tub, and another instance in which he has a shirt and boxers the size of shorts. There are a couple of instances of innuendo’s that are not overt, but that many adults will understand.
Occult: None. There are no occult themes.
While the film’s story can often feel haphazard, but it is lifted by the charismatic and comedic performances of the cast. Reed has steady control of other aspects in the film and his direction shines in the action sequences.
The film does have its content for concern—particularly inappropriate language—that would not make it a film to take children to, but may be platform for discussions of love, family, and compassion with your teens. As always, use prayer and spiritual discernment when deciding what to potentially open your heart to.
“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” –Proverbs 4:23
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.