The first, largely positive reviews for Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp have arrived, with critics praising the sequel's welcome lighthearted tone in the wake of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Evangeline Lilly's increased role.
At this early stage, more than a week from release, the film boasts 96 percent Tomatometer score on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Here's a selection of the early reviews:
Meg Downey, CBR: "Ant-Man and The Wasp is yet another in the MCU’s winning streak. It’s not quite a heist movie, not completely a romcom and not totally an action-adventure, but instead delights in dancing between genres. Its comedy is wonderfully offbeat, its heart is huge and emblazoned on its sleeve, and its intentions are wildly optimistic and bright. It’s so bright, in fact, that it may help to soothe that Infinity War ache, if only for a little while."
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "The thrill of the film is watching Ant-Man and the Wasp team up and raise hell together. Rudd is a winning combination of sass and sincerity. And it's a kick to watch Lilly break out and let her star shine. She hasn't had a part this juicy since she played Kate Austen on Lost; her smarts and screen presence lift the movie over its rough spots. The story tends to bogged down in family-audience pandering when you most want it to embrace its freaky side."
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: "The fun—and surprisingly not frustrating—thing is that the movie doesn’t much care that nothing in it makes sense, and is hip to the fact that a lot of people in the audience won’t care either. So it just zips and bounces along, merrily tossing this concept and that explanation into the mix, as it builds toward a climactic madcap dash through downtown San Francisco. Reed is more playful with the mechanics of his world this time around, more fluidly shrinking and enlarging his heroes to both comic and cool effect."
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist: "Ant-Man and The Wasp somehow manages to organize laughs, action, theme, small MCU connections and even fairly touching ideas about family, responsibility and what it means to be a hero all housed inside of an undersized blockbuster. It never reinvents the wheel and it might even be a little slight, but for what it is and based on its own merits Ant-Man and The Wasp proves size is relative and always in the tiny eye of the beholder."
Germain Lussier, io9: "It also helps that Ant-Man and the Wasp spends so much time with Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp and Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym. They’re such great characters, with dynamic backstories and motivations, that they easily overshadow Scott Lang for most of the film, which isn’t a bad thing. And while Douglas may be the legend, delivering one of his more dynamic performances in ages, every time Lilly is on screen, she steals the movie. The actress exudes a badass confidence and energy that basically makes Ant-Man and the Wasp feel like it should have been called The Wasp, Featuring Ant-Man. It doesn’t hurt that she gets most of the best action scenes, too."
Molly Freeman, Screen Rant: "Ant-Man and The Wasp represents Marvel Studios at its best. The movie balances exciting action, well-timed humor, and a heartfelt emotional storyline to great effect, letting the heroes shine in their own unique way while also tying the movie into the larger MCU. After the weighty and stuffed team-up that was Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp provides a return to form for Marvel. It operates as a reminder of how well the studio works on a smaller scale, even as fans may be more interested in Marvel's loftier goals of tying together a decade's worth of movies for a grand event."
Matt Maytum, Total Film: "A blast of pure popcorn fun, and something of a palate cleanser after the weightier likes of Black Panther and Infinity War."
Brian Truitt, USA Today: "While Ant-Man's technically 'the star,' this is most definitely the Wasp’s movie to own, and the smirking, enjoyably no-nonsense role fits Lilly well. It's all romantic tension and witty banter between Scott and Hope, who needles him about his semi-Avenger status"
Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and The Wasp stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park, and Walton Goggins. The film arrives in theaters on July 6.