It Takes Two

Spoilers for Ant-Man and The Wasp. I'll let you know when to stop reading to save yourself.

Quantum realms. Science-y.
I've grown to like the superhero movie and television productions where the superheroic activities aren't the whole focus. Don't get me wrong. I can really go for flying people punching each other and humans becoming giant green rage monsters that go on rampages smashing everything. Those are both good. But character development and an engaging plot where if you removed the more fantastical elements it could still stand on its own is even better. Marvel Studios has already attempted and succeeded with this format with Captain America: Winter Soldier, which was a take on a classic spy movie. They have done it again with the comedic drama that is Ant-Man and The Wasp. This is a heist movie, love story and rescue tale combined in a film about a shrinking man who can communicate with ants. It's very enjoyable.
She was awesome.

We arrive at this movie after the events of Civil War but right before Infinity War. Scott Lang is on house arrest for the part he played in the German airport fight. Hope and Hank are in hiding for creating the suit and tech that Scott used. They are also searching for a way to rescue Janet from the quantum realm. This is all set-up to a movie with a mission that requires Scott to help Hope and for Hope to fully embrace the role of The Wasp that we got hints of in the prior film. We have a conniving villain in the form of black market technology dealer Sonny Burch, played excellently by Walton Goggins. Sonny and the Ant-Man team are also being pursued by the enigmatic Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, who has some strange talents of her own. Add to that the return of Michael Pena's Luis and company and you have the makings of a fun MCU entry. A caper film with quantum power, cool special affects and awesome fight moves from The Wasp and Ghost.

SPOILERS beyond this point.

Beyond all of that I think what this movie is really and truly about it the relationships between fathers and daughters. This seems to work well in the MCU since most films deal with a man-child trying to deal with the fall out of his father's issues and mistakes. Ant-Man and The Wasp takes that and gives it a twist.

Type A-ish duo.
Let's start with Hank and Hope. Yes, there goal in the movie is to rescue Janet from the quantum realm where she has been trapped for decades. Hank misses his wife and Hope's wish to be reunited with her mother is huge. But there is also their relationship. Hank has been the sole parent in his daughter's life for the majority of her life. This has both shaped her into a truly competent person but also made her a bit of a stubborn perfectionist and a bit of a lone wolf. Hank has created someone very similar to himself and this is seen in the first movie.Hank knows what his daughter is capable of but tries to remove her from the danger of the situations they engage in. In this second go-round, Hank has began to realize who he has raised and her ability level. He has had to grow up and let go. Hope has begun to accept that things aren't always in her control and also that her father is a smart guy but needs an attitude realignment at times. Hope has becomes the bridge between her father's no-nonsense excellence and Scott's creative ingenuity. Or, more likely, she has taken everything she has learned from her father and wrapped it in the comfort from her mother that she was without for her life. Either way, her growth has made their teamwork better and gives them success this time. It has also allowed her to start to trust Scott more.

Everyone is showing growth. Wonder what Stature Cassie will reach?
Speaking of Scott, his relationship with his daughter Cassie is everything. Scott felt right about helping Captain America during the events of Civil War but regrets how it has hindered the current relationship with Cassie. He starts a security company with Luis and constructs a giant ant-maze for her to show his love. Scott has to adjust with life within the four walls of his home and that means his daughter is stuck there when she wants to see him as well. He wants to live on the right side of the law not because he fears prison but because he fears losing his daughter. Scott will give up his life as Ant-Man for Cassie. Cassie, on the other hand, doesn't want him to. She doesn't want him to return to prison but she sees the hero in Scott even when he doesn't. Cassie realizes even at her young age that some risk is necessary to do the right things at times. She is encouraging and would understand if her dad got in trouble because she knows it is in the pursuit of something good. Cassie just wants him to be smart about it and choose the right partner to do it with- Hope.

This brings us to our final father-daughter duo, although they aren't actually related. Ava, or Ghost, has a tragic story that begins when her father Elihas Starr (yes, EGGHEAD) tries to run an experiment using quantum energy. Elihas is a former SHIELD scientist who was fired by Hank Pym. His experiment ultimately fails taking his life and the life of his wife. The experiment also leaves Ava with a body that is constantly phasing between different quantum states. Enter Bill Foster, portrayed by Laurence Fishburne.

A Goliath size heart in this guy.
Bill is another SHIELD scientist and Hank's former partner in his size changing experiments. They had a falling out but Bill remained with SHIELD. Bill constructs a containment unit and a suit to help Ava gain some measure of control of her condition. SHIELD uses her in a similar manner that Hydra used Bucky as the Winter Soldier- an operative to kill the enemies of America. The only thing that kept her from fully turning into a monster was Bill. He became a surrogate father figure to her. When SHIELD was dismantled he began to work on a way to solve Ava's problem before she fully phased out of existence which gives us Ghost's motivating mission for this film. Ava's relationship with Bill is important because it gives her hope and also sets a limit on what she is going to do to fight for her survival. There is a moment where Ava suggests that she is willing to abduct Cassie Lang to compel Scott to help her and Bill refuses to assist her if she does. She quickly backs down and tackles the problem from another angle. Ava is a character with the goal of surviving so she is less of a villain here and Bill recognizes this. Eventually, so do Scott and his cohorts. Bill is also important for Ava because even at the end of the movie where she was going to go on the run alone he stepped up and said he would do whatever was necessary to help her, which is the most dad of all dad moves.

The movie IS a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie so it ends by running into the events of the end of Infinity War. This leaves Scott Lang in a weird position. It's a cliffhanger to be resolved next year but the ride to get to that moment was fun. This movie had tons of laughs and great action scenes. It was a fun ride and a nice slight breather after the heaviness of that Thanos movie. I would recommend seeing this film. It's a good date movie or hang out movie. It's also a nice movie to see for fathers and daughters together. Check it out.

The Dynamic Dating Duo?

Oh yeah. Interesting theory from a plot point in the film that has the potential to introduce mutants into the MCU. Let me know what you think.

Sean Fields is an aspiring writer and has been in the education field for more than a decade. He works mostly with teenagers nowadays which both keeps him well informed on pop culture and makes his hair turn grayer daily. He has a few blogs but is currently focused on this one and this other one. You can also find him on TumblrTwitter and Instagram, if you want to be entertained or infuriated.

It Takes Two It Takes Two Reviewed by SeanFields on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 Rating: 5
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