There is a small movie that just came out… and I mean tiny. Ant-man and the Wasp is here, and I went to see if this film can grow on me or will it just have shrinking returns.

When you learn a new skill, like making superhero movies, for example, you may display some initial talent, but soon you discover that any skill is hard to master. So you keep at it, and although some early efforts may be clumsy or outright bad, you persevere. Eventually, you begin to hit your stride and things are good… fine, that’s when the experimental phase begins. You take wild risks in order to find your own spin, take, tone, voice, individuality in using this skill. Some efforts will big mistakes and some will be huge wins. When you finally put in your 10 thousand hours, mastery emerges. You are at the top of your game! You make it look easy… so what comes next? You Show OFF! You make something so amazing and seemingly effortless, that the playfulness comes through. Ant-Man and the Wasp is the culmination of 10 years of filmmaking that has given us the most epic on-screen universe ever, and boy does it show.

This film pays homage to its own sci-fi camp origins in a way that can only be described as a masterstroke. The tone is a pitch-perfect Sci-Fi romp through San Francisco. Hope Van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly, gets her “about damn time” moment to shine as plenty of the action is hers. Paul Rudd is as loveable as he ever has been, and may I say has kept his superhero physique up as well, much better than some (cough Star-Lord).

I’m not going to bother laying out the exact plot of this movie other than to say it involves a rescue, a ticking clock, and a pretty damn cool villain/villains whose motivations are very sympathetic. I might have liked to see another heist film with these characters, but really – I am glad they went a different direction with the sequel.

I have not laughed out loud more at a Marvel film, including Ragnarok, yet the tone was different. Less dry, more heartfelt and campy. With Ant-Man and the Wasp Marvel Studios is pretty much just showing off, in a very good way. I believe that this house of ideas is currently the best thing going for our beloved artform!

Matt K’s Grade: 4 out of 4 Jaw-Stars

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