Story

The events in Ant-Man and the Wasp happen after the events of Captain America: Civil War and at the same time as the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The movie opens with Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) awaiting his freedom after serving a two-year home detention sentence for aiding Captain America. Unfortunately for Scott, his final few days of home detention are interrupted when his former partners-in-crime, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and her father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), kidnap Scott so he can help them rescue Hank’s long-lost wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), from the quantum void.

Rescuing Janet won’t be easy. This is because Ava/the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) is also seeking Janet as a way to save her own life. Ava has been physically altered by a quantum experiment that went wrong. Also, a street criminal named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) wants to steal Hank’s quantum technology and sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) monitors Scott’s every move, requiring Scott to outsmart both the good guys and the bad guys while trying to save Janet from the quantum void.

Themes

Superheroes; quantum physics and technology; family relationships

Violence

Ant-Man and the Wasp has some violence, although it’s less intense than in other superhero movies. For example:

  • A superhero sacrifices her life by shrinking to sub-atomic size to disarm a missile and save thousands of people.
  • There’s a fight between a female superhero and several men who have handguns, large carving knifes and meat mallets. The superhero miniaturises herself to dodge bullets and knives as they whiz past her body. She then grows to normal size and attacks the gangsters using stylised fighting moves with lots of kicks and punches to the body and face. She also blasts her attackers with a laser-like weapon attached to her wrist. She dodges a meat mallet smashing down on a counter top and a large carving knife thrown through the air. A man’s sleeve catches on fire, and other men are hit in the face and knocked unconscious with large pots and pans.
  • In several scenes a rogue superhero called the Ghost attacks superheroes. The Ghost has the ability to make her body transparent and walk through walls. Bullets and weapons can pass through her body without seeming to harm her. In one scene she passes her fist and wrist through a man’s neck, forcing him to obey her instructions. Several scenes feature stylised fights between the Ghost, Ant-Man and the Wasp. In these fights, the Ghost moves in and out of visibility, dodging punches and kicks, while Ant-Man and the Wasp change size from miniature to normal to dodge the Ghost’s blows.
  • Two superheroes are knocked unconscious. When they wake up they’re tied to chairs and their attacker tells them, ‘I’m not going to hurt you unless I have to’. They escape uninjured.
  • An extended action scene shows a car chase that involves both cars and motorbikes pursuing a van in a reckless and perilous way. Men in cars fire machineguns. Motorbikes are miniaturised, which causes riders to be thrown off. A PEZ dispenser is enlarged to car size and flipped into the path of an oncoming motorbike, knocking the rider from the bike.
  • Two men are shot with tasers and fall to the ground unconscious.

Sexual references

Ant-Man and the Wasp has some sexual references. For example:

  • A man asks another man if he’d like to have dinner. The scene has both sexual and funny meanings.
  • A man tells another man to stop daydreaming about the first man’s daughter.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Ant-Man and the Wasp shows some use of substances. For example:

  • One scene shows a man drinking wine at a restaurant.
  • A man is forcibly injected with a truth serum drug, which is described as a ‘little concoction’.

Nudity and sexual activity

Ant-Man and the Wasp has some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • One scene shows a man in a bubble bath. We see his bare shoulders and chest.
  • Female superheroes wear skin-tight suits.
  • A man describes a version of events and we see what he imagines. We see a brief image of a man and woman embracing and passionately kissing each other. The woman wraps her leg around the man. The actions of both people are exaggerated for comic effect.
  • A man touches another man’s face in an intimate way, and the same two men hold hands in a romantic way for a short time. The scene is meant to be funny.
  • A man and woman hug and kiss briefly.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Ant-Man and the Wasp: several US consumer products, as well as Hot Wheels toys, Mercedes Benz vehicles, and Dell computers.

Coarse language

Ant-Man and the Wasp has some coarse language, name-calling and insults.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good sequel to Ant-Man, targeting younger teenagers as well as fans of Marvel movies. It’s more light-hearted than many previous Marvel movies, with clever humour and less realistic violence.

There are, however, scenes and characters in this movie that could disturb younger viewers, so it isn’t recommended it for children under 10 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 10-13 years.

The main message from Ant-Man and the Wasp is that it’s important to make up for past misdeeds and mistakes. Selflessness and self-sacrifice are also important.

You could talk with your children about the way that female superheroes are portrayed in this movie. Are female superheroes presented as equals to their male counterparts?