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Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 film directed by Peyton Reed and written by Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Paul Rudd, and Adam McKay, based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name. It is the twentieth film installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe , and a sequel to 2015's Ant-Man.
The film once again follows Reformed Criminal and part-time Avengers ally, Scott Lang / the incredible shrinking Ant-Man (Rudd). Or at least he was, until he once again became a criminal for his decision to side with Captain America in Captain America: Civil War. Now he's just hoping to not break probation and spend some time with his daughter.
However, Scott is soon pulled into an urgent new mission by his now fugitive mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) — the original Ant-Man — and Pym's daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who has taken on the mantle of The Wasp, previously held by her mother Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). Namely, to save Janet from her decades long entrapment in the beyond microscopic Quantum Realm. But first, the group has to get through a black market tech dealer named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and an intangible thief known as "the Ghost" (Hannah John-Kamen), who both want the pieces of tech our heroes need for their rescue for themselves.
Returning cast members include Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, and Tip "T.I." Harris as the members of Scott's crew, Abby Ryder Fortson as Scott's daughter Cassie, and Judy Greer as Scott's ex-wife Maggie, while new additions include Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, and Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is notable for being the first film produced by Marvel Studios to feature a leading woman character with her name in its title, after 2019's Captain Marvel was pushed back a year to accommodate this film's release date.
- Adaptational Heroism: Ghost was an unrepentant villain in the comics.
- Adaptational Badass: Ghost was a non-powered villain in the comics who could teleport and phase with the use of technology. Here (much like in Avengers: Assemble) she has the natural ability of teleporting and phasing.
- Adaptational Villainy: Bill Foster is helping Ghost — or so it seems. While Ghost is willing to kill and kidnap, Bill acts as her Morality Pet, and he antagonizes Hank more out of a petty grudge than being outright evil. It's still a far cry from his comic-book counterpart.
- And Starring: "With Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym"
- Breather Episode: This film's a comedy that comes after the heartbreaking Avengers: Infinity War.
- The Cameo: Stan Lee, as usual.
- Cruel Twist Ending: Or rather, cruel-twist-post-credits-scene. Scott enters the Quantum Realm for Quantum Particles for the sake of continuing Ava's treatment. However, Thanos's snap happens at that exact moment, with Hank, Janet, and Hope as casualties. Scott is stranded in the Quantum Realm.
- Darker and Edgier: Sure, this film may be a comedy focusing on small stakes, this one has more emotionally overwhelming instances the protagonists are in such as Hope finding her mother and a Tragic Monster villain, as well as Hank, Janet, and Hope getting dusted in the mid-credits scene. However, this is still downplayed as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War were more somber than this.
- Demoted to Extra: Egghead, a major villain in the comics (and the closest thing Ant-Man has to an Arch Enemy) is made into a minor Posthumous Character.
- Evil Laugh: In certain advertisements, Scott laughs as he grows bigger, like he did in Captain America: Civil War.
- Family Title: Technically, since the Ant-Man and Wasp legacies originally belong to the Pym/van Dyne family. Unlike the previous Ant-Man film, this one focuses on their family relationship compared to Scott's.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Ava describes the quantum accident that killed her parents and left her in her entangled state by saying that she was the unlucky one. Bill Foster says that her disintegration might not be a clean death.
- Finger-Poke of Doom: Burch is ultimately defeated by a finger poke to the chest... from a guy 85 feet tall.
- Flawed Prototype: Scott's new suit is a "work in progress," and progressively becomes harder for him to control.
- Gender Flip: Ghost was a man in the comics.
- Hypocrite: When Scott claims that he destroyed his suit, Hank is outraged. But when Scott later admits that he kept it, Hank is equally outraged.
- Hypocritical Humor: Scott berates his friends for arguing over small things instead of focusing on helping the Pyms. He then notices his table and is upset over the fact it's smaller than theirs. Then Hope attempts to interject and he promptly declares that they need to focus.
- Lighter and Softer: Than Avengers: Infinity War which came before it. In spite of the film being Darker and Edgier than the first, this is more lighthearted and comedic than Infinity War and reminds us of Saturday morning fare.
- MacGuffin: The miniaturized Pym Lab building is sought after by both Sonny Burch and Ghost and our heroes have to keep it out of their hands, but it's actually the technology and equipment inside the lab that's really important. This means that whoever gets a hold of the building will also need the remote that can return it back to normal size as well.
- Malignant Plot Tumor: As much as the movie TRIES to be a Lighter and Softer Breather Episode, it's still connected to the ongoing Thanos arc. Then again, the arc won't be over until Avengers: Endgame, so it was a Foregone Conclusion (Captain Marvel avoids this by being a prequel set in the 90s).
- Race Lift: Ghost was white in the comics, and is Latina in this movie.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: Ghost and Sonny Burch were Iron Man villains in the comics. Justified in that Tony was busing with the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming during the events of this movie.
- Save the Villain: After Janet is brought back from the Quantum Realm, she uses the quantum healing abilities she attained while trapped to stabilise Ava from phasing into nothingness.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham/Four Lines, All Waiting: Natasha doesn't help Scott because she's too busy with the events of Black Widow.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Thanos' fingersnap renders the entire premise of the movie a moot point. And while we now know (via the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer) that most people are coming back from the snap, Ghost will most likely remain dead