THE MICROVERSE — My Marvel fatigue started setting in right around "Captain America: The First Avenger." Yes, I know that's one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's earlier films, but it's true.
With that in mind, you can guess what my excitement level looked like heading into the screening for "Ant-Man and the Wasp" — right on the heels of "Avengers Infinity War," which was right on the heels of "Black Panther."
It's time for me to swallow my words and my pride, however, because Marvel has delivered in 2018 and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" is an absolute blast and may be the most fun I've had at the movies this summer.
There are a lot of things that make this sequel great and many of them are the same reasons the first "Ant-Man" film was so good. This will be fairly high level in an effort to avoid any spoilers, but here are some of the reasons I had a ball watching "Ant-Man and the Wasp":
Paul Rudd could charm his way into just about anywhere and that's on full display here. His comedic timing is spot-on and his performance is magnetizing.
There is a moment he takes on the persona of another character and it's equal parts hilarious and touching. Rudd is one of the few actors who could pull that off so well.
Her character is strong, witty and brilliant. I don't know if they didn't give her enough to do in "Ant-Man," or if her character just wasn't written as strongly, but in "Ant-Man and the Wasp" she's quickly becoming one of my favorite superheroes in the MCU.
Another actor that needs to be called out is Michael Peña. His character Luis was hilarious in the first film and he's laugh-out-loud funny in this one as well. Every time Luis is on screen you want more of him and we get a bit more in the sequel.
Pena is a fantastic actor giving great dramatic performances in films like "Crash" and "End of Watch," but in "Ant-Man and the Wasp" he reminds everyone that his comedy is every bit as solid as his drama.
Director Peyton Reed actually complained about the villain Yellowjacket from the first "Ant-Man" film, telling CinemaBlend "The villain in that movie felt like a bit of a vestige from the era in which that project was started, (which was) around the time of "Iron Man" 1, where you have an antagonist who has a similar power set (as the hero). I was hellbent on doing something different in "Ant-Man and the Wasp."
He did just that with Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen. I won't give any specifics, but this villain has depth, intrigue and a relatable goal. The villain isn't perfect, but she didn't need to be. She needed to be accessible and not an over-the-top caricature determined to take over the world or make millions.
Ghost is a breath of fresh air when it comes to Marvel villains, and I appreciate what Reed and the filmmakers did with her character.
This section will be short because I refuse to give anything away here, but I absolutely loved the mid-credits scene. Its timeliness and impact will not be missed. The end-credits scene will make you smile, but the mid-credits will have your jaw on the floor.
The truth is, there is so much to like about this movie, but I only get so many words. The movie is funny, action-packed, emotional, unexpected and downright fun.
Many of you know I am not usually a Marvel movie fan, but recent films like "Thor: Ragnarok," "Doctor Strange," "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and now "Ant-Man and the Wasp" are turning me from a doubter to a believer.
"Ant-Man and the Wasp" is rated PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence. Check KSL.com tomorrow to read Dave Clyde's parents content guide for the film.