Among the three blockbusters that Marvel has in store for fans in 2018, Ant-Man And The Wasp arguably has the least buzz. While Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are both a pretty big deal for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (T’Challa’s first solo movie, and the culmination of ten years of build-up to Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet), Ant-Man and the Wasp just seems like a fun, low-stakes sequel.
Sure, Peyton Reed’s second MCU movie will mark Evangeline Lilly’s first adventure as as The Wasp, but besides that it just looks like your typical superhero popcorn flick. At any other given year, that may have worked, but on MCU’s 10th anniversary year, it might feel a bit out of place. However, dissecting how the franchise works and its current project timetable, a standalone movie following Infinity War and officially closing the year for the studio makes perfect sense.
Since the movie wrapped principal photography in November, we’ve learned a little about Ant-Man 2, but we still don’t know much. The official synopsis is vague enough that it’s still unclear what Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) are up to this time – other than dealing with the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War. It does, however, have a similar vibe to its predecessor with a more personal, family-centric story that could involve saving the original Wasp and Pym matriarch, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has been trapped in the Quantum Realm for decades now.
Here’s why Ant-Man and the Wasp is exactly what we’ll need after Infinity War.
IT KEEPS THE MCU GROUNDED
As the MCU continues to expand, its individual narratives are also becoming more and more complicated in order to cater to the notion that everything is interconnected with each other. Over the last few years, after they’ve established their brand, Marvel Studios has started branching out with some of their more obscure characters such as Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The universe is only going to get bigger and more complex with upcoming heroes like Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and the formal introduction of Wakanda, as well as Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Having a straightforward hero in Ant-Man with a very simple super skill – size changing, (albeit technically, there’s a lot going on to make it happen) gives the series the ability to stay grounded and more palatable to the general viewing audience who may not be up-to-speed with the whole franchise.
Now, that is not to say that Scott and the shrinking tech won’t be as significant as other players in the MCU. Ant-Man And The Wasp‘s imminent exploration of the Quantum Realm where time and space don’t matter is perhaps as groundbreaking as Strange entering various alternate realities. And supposedly, the tech is posed to have some sort of impact in the MCU moving forward. However, due to the lighter tone established in the series, tackling this narrative doesn’t feel as heavy and complicated. That and the movies’ strong familial beats with both heroes’ respective families playing a part in their journeys allow the subfranchise to maintain its simplistic approach to storytelling.
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