This image released by Marvel Studios shows a scene from “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” (Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)


DO YOU like watermelon?

I certainly do, especially a large yummy slab on a hot summer day. Ice cold and delicious.

Just thinking of it sends me back to a great dinner I had at the China Hotel by Marriott in Guangzhou more than 10 years ago. I was hosted by the (then) General Manager Rauf Malik, who told me a special secret about watermelon as at fine restaurants, like those at the China Hotel by Marriott, it is presented to guests as a refreshing appetizer.

At this dinner it was a luscious serving of watermelon ice crème sherbet—before the main course—as a way of “cleansing the palate.”

Raul Malik—like the folks at Marvel Studios—are so smart.

So, after the riveting rollercoaster two months ago that was “Avengers: Infinity War” which ended with Thanos wiping out one half of humanity (and one half of all other forms that exists in our known Universe) crumbling to dust, we moviegoers needed a pause.

A break of levity.

“Ant Man & The Wasp” is akin to a spoonful of Raul Malik’s watermelon ice crème sherbet; serving to “re-set” the Marvel Studios Universe (and ourselves) as a two-hour, fun-filled romp with Ant Man (comedian Paul Rudd) and his newly minted partner/lover Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) aka The Wasp who really does steal your heart in this film.

This movie is nowhere as serious and stoic as “Infinity War” and there are chuckles abound—just like in the first “Ant Man” a few years ago. However, this new outing does not pick up from there—rather we are immediately taken to the aftermath of Scott Lang/Ant Man’s siding with Captain America during “Captain America: Civil War.”

For the past two years, Lang has been under house arrest at his San Francisco/Bay Area residence which has taken this diminutive hero out of action for “Avengers Infinity War.”

Yes, “Ant Man and the Wasp” is a goofy and silly—more than just a bit—as “Ant Man” has become the comic relief of Marvel Studios and to be honest, it is well worth the effort.

This image released by Marvel Studios shows Paul Rudd in a scene from “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” (Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)

As the collective movie going world waits another YEAR for the conclusion of the “Infinity War” saga (coming in May 2019), this second “Ant Man” movie is a very compartmentalized superhero film which deals with just a few interconnecting threads:

Scott Lang’s house arrest and angst with his young daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson); the arrival of Hannah John-Kamen as a nascent villain (later turned hero) known as “The Ghost,” and a scientific threat from Dr. Bill Foster (Lawrence Fishburne)—a contemporary of uber-super scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Years earlier Foster was also a size-changing hero who took on the moniker of “Goliath.”

Although offering the weakest villain of any Marvel Studios movie, the importance of “Ant Man & The Wasp” and its tie-in to “Avengers 4” cannot be ignored as the real thrust of this film is deepening exploration of the dimension known as the “Quantum Realm” … a micro sub atomic world where the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), had descended and disappeared into several decades earlier.

Returning director Peyton Reed has Lang exploring this world and brings the aged Van Dyne back into our current mortal dimension. Her arrival creates more than its share of “drama” with her husband Hank Pym who was at one time, the original Ant Man; and there is plenty of comic relief with returnees Michael Pena, and Bobby Cannavale now running a security firm that Pym hires to help track down the “Ghost.”

Okay, now we come to some spoilers.

So, if you don’t want to know how “Ant Man and the Wasp” is connected into next year’s Avengers movie … stop reading NOW.


This image released by Marvel Studios shows Paul Rudd in a scene from “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” (Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)

“Avengers 4” is set several years into the future after the “snap” by Thanos and the obliteration of one half of humanity. Using Pym’s shrinking technology, Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Ant Man/Scott Lang use the “Pym Particles” technology to shrink down into the “Quantum Realm” and then move “sideways” into the past to steal several of the infinity stones during the first Avengers film in 2012 before Thanos retrieves them in 2018.

Are you paying attention?

This is why the Pym shrinking technology and “Ant Man & The Wasp” is critically important link between “Avengers Infinity War” and next year’s “Avengers 4.”

And yes—when Thanos snaps his fingers in “Avengers: Infinity War”—a number of important characters from this “Ant Man” film also turn into fairy dust, so be sure to watch this movie through to the very end of the credits to find out.

Like a good portion of Rauf Malik’s watermelon sherbet, “Ant Man & The Wasp” is served up as the sugar sweet connection between the “Infinity War” appetizer and next year’s main course helping of “The Avengers.”

‘Nuff said!

Questions, comments or travel
suggestions, write me at
[email protected]

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