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Darren says

A satisfying follow up to the surprise hit Ant Man, they keep the flow going with familiar jokes, fun characters and solid action sequences.

Tym says

Bigger, bolder, better!

The Ant-Man series is the most underrated of the Marvel Studios films, the little movies that can.

Now past the set-up of Scott Lang’s origin, the chuffed sequel goes full-flight with the widely-anticipated debut of The Wasp. Evangeline Lilly, who brought such vital energy into Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy as the archer Tauriel, grabs the movie by the title and jets full-throttle. From the startling hotel fight sequence to the repartee with Paul Rudd, she glides fly.

Perhaps some dismiss the films as family fodder on a toy scale. But this would miss how director Peyton Reed’s movies have laced the surreal intricacy of Fantastic Voyage (1966) with the heady slapstick of Innerspace (1987) to hybrid something much more. Sure, they can shrink to the size of dolls, but then they can also access the subatomic Microverse, a hallucinatory dimension as weird and unpredictable as anything Doctor Strange has encountered. To Reed’s credit, this sequel plays havoc with size ratios which gives the heroes a play range unmatched, while always staying clear, funny, and surprising. (The end credits sequence using table-top models is especially inspired and charming.)

A tenant of Marvel Comics since the early-’60s was to humanize their villains, often casting them with good intentions gone awry from desperation. This core tenant has stayed true on the screen, from Magneto in X-Men (2000) and Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 (2004) to all the antagonists on the Netflix/Marvel shows. (In the comics, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Hawkeye, and Black Widow all started as villains who were later redeemed.) Here, Ghost vibrates into freshly nuanced form with the tortured anguish of Hannah John-Kamen.

Jimmy Woo was a Marvel hero before there was a Marvel. He debuted as a crime detective in 1956 during their Atlas Comics phase, a Chinese-American breaking ground as the first positive Asian lead after decades of Mandarin stereotypes. He kickassed through Jim Steranko’s storied 1968 comics as a key agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and was recently leader of the spin-off team, Agents Of Atlas. Here, he’s played for laughs as a bumbling FBI guy by comedian Randall Park in an admittedly funny turn. But, if the movie has a failing, it’s in slighting such an important and potent character many of us had been waiting for.

The films also boast a generational gravitas. The hijinks of Scott and Hope are offset by the pain of their mentors, two lovers separated across decades and distance. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer, as the original Ant-Man and Wasp, suffuse the film with wisdom, romance, and a dynamically active rebuke against ageism.

Ant-Man films are treated by both the creators and the audience as side fun from central Marvel films. But consider how their singular themes of a secret superhero history, legacy hand-off, heists, parenting, and the Quantum Realm then went on to frame the entire structure of Avengers: Endgame (2019). So expand your perspective with this: if Captain America: Civil War can be seen by many as an Avengers film, then Endgame can also be seen as a really epic Ant-Man 3. Grow on that.