‘Ant-Man and the Wasp:’ a comic stinger for summer

As far as Marvel films go, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” may surpass positive reviews by critics and audiences alike. This film marks the return of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp. Michael Douglas and Michael Peña return as their supportive helpers.

“Ant-Man” is like a superhero version of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” The film serves as a small plot leak for the “Avengers: Infinity War” and the upcoming “Avengers 4” next May. The latest installment centers on Scott Lang (Rudd), who is trying to balance his life and career as an ordinary house-father and his superhero role as Ant-Man. When the new mission arrives, he must team up with another ant-hero called the Wasp (Lilly).

Peyton Reed’s direction, while outstanding, is somewhat cheesy compared to the original “Ant-Man,” which he also directed, and others including “Baby Driver” and “Doctor Strange.” The comedy also adds a nice touch, thanks to the screenwriters and supporting actor Peña who keeps his personality real and plays the part pretty straightforward just like it was before.

I enjoyed the comedic moments provided by Douglas as Hank Pym, Randall Park (Jimmie Woo) and Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie, Scott’s daughter. Tip "T.I." Harris as Dave and David Dastmalchian as Kurt were humorous as well.

I love the action sequences which create a stunning experience. They were highly detailed in comparison to the “Fast and the Furious” films, “Baby Driver” and just about any road-race films you may have seen. There are extra-points when the visual effects are well-done.

The villain portrayed by Hannah John-Kamen (Ava/Ghost) appears on and off screen, which is more problematic. The villain in this film is much more irreverent than in other Marvel films. The setting is a big question. The filmmakers did not consider the time period, although there is a theory that the film takes place after “Captain America: Civil War.”

My favorite scenes from “Ant-Man and the Wasp” featured Peña’s character, Luis, which will bring down the house. Marvel comic legend Stan Lee has a funny cameo and the post-credits scene produce non-stop laughs. The sequence builds anticipation for “Avengers 4” and is the best post-credit scene to date out of many of the Marvel films.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is delightful in that it delivers action-packed sequences, laugh-out-loud experiences and stunning stunts. Rudd, Lilly, Douglas and Peña really fit the bill. Fans of Ant-Man, or any Marvel character, will enjoy this bad boy. It’s a fun-filled adventure with Ant-Man with more funny stories from Peña.

GRADE: B+