Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp ★★★ 1/2

After the epic events of Avengers: Infinity War left half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s inhabitants for dead, it’s nice to check back in with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). A reformed small-time crook, Scott moonlights as the even smaller Ant-Man. Or rather, he did, before his participation in the superhero battle royale during Captain America: Civil War landed him under house arrest in San Francisco. With only a few days left in a two-year sentence, he’s focused on becoming a better father to pre-teen Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), who he co-parents with ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) and her huggy husband, Paxton (Bobby Cannavale). He’s also set to launch a startup—X-Con Security—with former cellmate Luis (Michael Peña, who nearly steals the movie with more of his hilarious digressions). Alas, Scott’s new life is threatened when he’s kidnapped by a pair of fugitives: septuagenarian scientist and original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Scott’s onetime trainer and old flame. Both are on the run since they developed the shrinking (and enlarging) tech that helped land Scott in trouble. Since the previous film, Hope has taken over the role of the Wasp from her long-missing mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), whom the trio set off to rescue from a microscopic, 30-year purgatory trapped inside the Quantum Realm. Despite an end-credit scene that ties into the larger events of Infinity War, returning director Peyton Reed’s fizzy sequel remains refreshingly small. (At Assembly RowBoston Common, Fenway, Seaport, South Bay and in the suburbs.)

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