The Avengers: Infinity War Part I was released slightly before Ant-Man and the Wasp, but I am changing up the order in my reviews. Somehow, it seems weird to me for the light-hearted romp of an Ant-Man movie to follow the deadly (to say the least) seriousness of Infinity War. The only reference to that war is in an end-credits scene, which works in whatever order you want to see the films. If you wish to read the reviews of the movies as they were released, you can read Infinity first.
Two years ago, Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was placed under house arrest for violating the Sokovia Accords with the Avengers. Meanwhile, his mentor and the original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) have managed to open a tunnel to the Quantum Realm, where they believe his wife and her mother Janet Van Dyne (Michele Pfeiffer) is trapped and still alive in a sub-atomic state.
Lang, who had been to the Quantum Realm himself and come out alive, believes he has received a message from her and informs Pym. Hope and Pym kidnap Lang, leaving behind a giant ant wearing Pym’s monitor anklet to fool FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). They work on building a stable quantum tunnel and a vehicle to rescue Janet. Lang’s sketchy contacts, including Luis (Michael Pena, just as charming and funny as in the first movie) come in handy to buy an important part from black-marketeer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), but Burch double-crosses them. In her Wasp outfit, Hope fights off the criminals but is attacked by a quantum-unstable figure, who steals Pym’s entire lab, shrinking it to the size of a suitcase.
Pym is forced to ask his former partner Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) to help them find the lab. The Quantum Ghost turns out to be Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), the daughter of another one of Pym’s former partners. There seem to be a lot of them, most of whom have turned out dead or his enemy. Ava is dying and Foster wants to sacrifice Hope to save her. Pym, Hope, and Lang contact Janet, who tells them how to find her, but reveals they have only two hours to get her out or wait a hundred years. All of this comes to the attention of the FBI. Lang returns to house-arrest just in time to avoid suspicion but Hope and Pym are arrested, and Ava takes the lab.
Lang helps them escape and they take possession of the lab after one of the most astonishing car-chases in the movies, as the cars, the people, and objects change sizes from miniature to gargantuan and back again in the Streets of San Francisco, where Michael Douglas played his first TV role. Pym enters the Quantum Realm to find Janet, but Ava remains a threat. Still, he finds her in the nick of time, and they return safely. Janet volunteers to help Ava by giving her some of her energy. Lang is freed from house arrest, Ava and Foster go into hiding. In mid-credits, Pym, Lang, Hope and Janet plan to use quantum energy to keep Ava stable, but the events of Infinity War come to pass, and they all disappear, except for Lang, who is trapped in the Quantum Realm. In a post-credit scene, the giant ant is playing a solo on Lang’s drums.
The film was directed by Peyton Reed, who had directed Ant-Man, and it was written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd. Several actors were de-aged for flashbacks, but this is hardly worth noting now. It was the first MCU film with a female character in the title.