10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

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ant-man and the wasp
‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ image via Marvel.

This review of Ant-Man and the Wasp will be as spoiler-free as possible, only mentioning things you could have picked up in the trailers. There are a couple spoiler-ish items that we have set inside special formatting which may or may not work on your browser, so if that’s a concern, be careful with items 1, 4, and 8.

  1. What is it about?
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    Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, has been under house-arrest since ‘Civil War’ for helping Cap out, and all he wants is to finish his time so he can spend time outside with his daughter, Cassie. Hank and Hope are working hard on finding a safe way back into the Quantum Realm, but there are other, less-scrupulous people after their tech.
    The light tone of the original is back, and without needing the exposition of an origin story, there’s more time for fun action and all the characters we loved to grow and get more screen time.
  2. Will I like it? If you liked the first one, then absolutely. This movie is more of the same from the first one, which in the case of the Ant-Man corner of the Marvel universe, is a very good thing. You can call this a “small” Marvel movie, with a wink and a nod, because the stakes are personal rather then Earth-threatening. Like the comics, not every story is about saving the world.
  3. Will my kids like it? Again, if they liked the first one, then absolutely. There’s more of doing wacky things with shirking and growing, especially with toys and bugs. In fact, the opening scene with Scott and Cassie playing together will have parents and kids planning some amazing adventures. And it’s really refreshing to see the family dynamic of Scott, just trying to be the best dad he can, Cassie, who is wise beyond her years, and the positive interactions with his ex-wife and her new husband. This is a modern family that has broken and re-formed, where everyone gets along okay. It feels wonderfully positive.
  4. When is a good time for a bathroom break? There are a couple reasonable spots: about 35 minutes in, when they
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    go to Cassie’s school,
    and at about 1:10, just as
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    Hank and Hope get caught by the FBI.
    You can pop out and then back in with minimal loss in plot detail or action breaks.
  5. Is the rating appropriate? The movie is rated PG-13 “for some sci – fi action violence.” There are some shoot-outs, but no blood, no obvious human deaths that I remember (which is a step up from the first movie), and no swearing or “mature situations.” This is about as tame a PG-13 movie as you can get.
  6. Do I need to have seen the first movie? Yes, it would really help. There are details about how the technology works, and how the characters are related to each other that were established in the first one that might confuse people in this movie without the background.
  7. How is the 3D? It’s fine. We did see it in 3D, and had seats near the back of the theater (which I think helps), and the 3D was unobtrusive and added some depth to the action, without being gimmicky or making things seem darker. However, if you want to save a few bucks, and avoid the headaches if you’re sensitive, it’s fine to skip the 3D.
  8. When is the movie set, in relation to Infinity War? There are no indications in the body of the movie about when it’s set. However, in the mid-credits scene, we get the answer:
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    everything up to the post-credits scene happens before Infinity War.
  9. Do I need to stick around for the credits? As suggested above, yes. There are actually two post-movie scenes (or, as we like to call them, shawarma). The first one, which is mid-credits, gives those of us who are fans of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, some context. The second, at the end of the credits, is kind of a throwaway joke.
  10. Does it set up a third installment? This is the MCU. Of course it does.

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