10 Reasons Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Fun, Feminist-Friendly Family Film – SPOILERS

SPOILER WARNING

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Marvel Studios movie that was released in 2018. The movie stars Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne.

Here are ten refreshingly feminist details and plot points the writers of Ant-Man and the Wasp got right.

SPOILER WARNING

1. Co-protagonist Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) has her mother’s surname, not her father’s. Her mother is Janet van Dyne; her father Hank Pym.

2. Although the movie centres around rescuing Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), she is no damsel in distress. She is lost in the quantum realm due to her own heroic self-sacrifice, during which she saved millions of lives.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne

3. Instead of waiting helplessly to be rescued, Janet applied her mind to a particular problem she knew would occur and managed to resolve it theoretically. When her chance to use her solution arose she executed her plan without hesitation or error – effectively rescuing herself. Some might argue that this makes her a too-perfect Mary-Sue, but she’s not a main character so we can let this slide. Also: there’s the self-rescue… And an older female character… Portrayed by a woman over the age of 60…

4. Hope van Dyne is a kick-ass protagonist. Sure, there’s a magic quantum-tech suit — and wings — to explain her said kick-ass-ability, but this is a Marvel Comic movie.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne

5. Hope’s motivation is to find and save her mother.

6. The main character’s mother is not dead. Her mother is a wonderful, loving mother. Her mother is a brilliant scientist and a superhero.

Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost

7. Ghost/Ava (Hannah John-Kamen) is a multi-dimensional intriguing antagonist with a solid, believable motivation. Not simple villainy, or revenge, or desire for power – she’s in physical pain and her cure is within reach.

8. Hope and Scott (Paul Rudd) work as a team and/or save each other’s bacon at various points during the movie AND there is no comment or “I owe you/now we’re even”. It just happens because they’re equals and they’re working together.

9. Janet heals Ava, treating her with compassion and altruism despite the fact that Ava has just tried to kill her. (Yes, it’s a Mary-Sue characteristic, but so what? Men fight wars for less.)

10. Hope’s parents both take the view that her love life is entirely her own business and she neither needs their opinions nor their interference. Other than a couple of quips in the moment, she’s treated as the competent adult she is.

And a bonus

11. Scott’s relationship with both his ex-wife and her new partner, who share custody of daughter, Cassie, is portrayed with warmth, respect, and friendship. It’s played for laughs, sure, but the scenes are entirely positive and uplifting.

Paul Rudd, Abby Ryder Fortson (as daughter, Cassie), Judy Greer (Maggie), and Bobby Cannavale (Jim)