By Michael Foust, Crosswalk.com
Scott Lang is under house arrest, but he’s making the best of it.
The superhero known as Ant-Man got himself in legal trouble a couple of years ago when he broke international law by helping the Avengers, and he’s been wearing an ankle bracelet ever since.
Instead of fighting crime, he’s now trapped in his own house and doing his best to find entertainment.
Ant-Man is merely days away from his probation ending when he is kidnapped by fellow superhero and friend Hope Van Dyne, also known as the Wasp. She wants his help in finding her superhero mom, who disappeared decades ago when she shrunk herself to the subatomic level while dismantling a nuclear bomb and never came back. Van Dyne and her father assumed she was dead but now believe she may be alive and can be found by going to the “quantum” realm. Will they survive?
Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp (PG-13) opens this weekend as a sequel to 2015’s popular movie Ant-Man. It stars Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man, The Hobbit series) as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp, Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer as Hope’s mom.
Here are seven things parents should know:
1. It’s a fun summer flick.
Superhero movies traditionally have spotlighted the big and the brash. Not so with Ant-Man and the Wasp, which -- like its 2015 predecessor – highlights the smallest things around us. We see our superheroes drive through the busy streets in Matchbox-sized cars. We watch them whip the bad guys despite their half-inch stature. We see them watching a “drive-in movie” … by sitting in a tiny car in front of a laptop. Ant-Man and the Wasp can transform from tiny to adult size and back in a millisecond, and it’s fun – even amusing. Kudos to Marvel for giving us something different than the typical superhero film. Marvel also deserves credit for not filling the film with low-brow humor. Most of it is clean and truly funny.
2. It has a bit of language.
I counted about 34 words: d—n (11), h-ll (8), OMG (5), s—t (2), a—(2), misuse of “God” (2), GD (1), SOB (1), misuse of “Jesus” (1), misuse of “Christ” (1). We also hear “screwed” and “jeez.”
3. The violence is typical for a Marvel movie.
Ant-Man and the Wasp get into a fight seemingly every 5-10 minutes, and we see plenty of punching and kicking – and some shooting, too. Unlike some recent superhero movies, there are no torture scenes in this one, although we do see a character given “truth serum.” The most disturbing scenes for children involves the villain, a woman named Ava/Ghost. She flickers on and off like an old television screen and is able to walk through walls, although she is desperately trying to cure herself of her powers, which cause her physical pain.
4. The sexuality/sensuality is minimal.
The movie includes two short kisses. Ant-Man and the Wasp have a growing romance. The most risqué moment in the movie involves a dream scene in which Lang/Ant-Man is seen making out with a woman. We also hear two or three jokes that could have double meaning.
5. It has a family-centric theme.
We learn at the beginning that Van Dyne’s father is trying to make contact again with his long-lost wife. Van Dyne – who misses her mom greatly – is thrilled. We then see Lang and Peanut playing games throughout a laughter-filled house. His daughter will do anything for him, and he feels the same about her. It’s a father-daughter bond that any moviegoing parent will enjoy watching. Finally, the film gives us what can only be described as the perfect situation with a divorced couple. Ant-Man, his ex-wife, and her new husband are truly great friends.
6. It raises lots of interesting questions.
Such as: When, if ever, is it OK to lie? When is it permissible to break the law in order to do good? Also: Would you ever help a villain? Ant-Man does all of these things in the movie. For families who watch the movie, it’s worth a discussion on the ride home.
7. It has mid-credit and post-credit scenes.
The mid-credit scene has major implications for the plot. The post-credit scene isn’t as important. But both set up a third movie nicely.
Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.