Ant-Man and the Wasp first reactions call sequel 'a freaking blast'

Contrary to what its title may suggest, Ant-Man and the Wasp is super-sized fun and a fantastic follow-up to the heartbreak of Avengers: Infinity War — at least according to the film's first reactions, that is. 

Marvel Studios held screenings for Ant-Man and the Wasp on Friday, where entertainment press dove into the superhero sequel. Those lucky attendees seem to have had a wonderful time watching Paul Rudd's Ant-Man (a.k.a Scott Lang) and Evangeline Lilly's Wasp (a.k.a Hope van Dyne) suiting up alongside one another, teaming with Michael Douglas' Dr. Hank Pym to find Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne, Hope's mother and the original Wasp, and working to take down the villainous Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen

Initial responses to the Peyton Reed-directed film applaud it for being both silly and seriously action-packed, for having a focused story that feels personal and hits all the family-friendly notes one would expect an Ant-Man sequel to, and for including so many gut-bustingly hilarious moments — from Scott Lang singing karaoke to another that had Collider's Haleigh Foutch giggling so hard she burst into tears to one that comes midway through the film, when Michael Peña's Luis "brings the house down."

Beyond crying from laughter, Foutch wrote that she "dug the heck out of Ant-Man and the Wasp," which she stated is "clever and charming with lots of heart." The only gripe Foutch had with the flick is that "it's a bit exposition heavy," though that didn't negatively affect her watching experience. 

Terri Schwartz was super complimentary of Ant-Man and the Wasp as well, writing on Twitter that she "had a blast" watching the film: "It's super funny, which is its greatest charm. Very personal, small scale story (again) and definitely focused on being light and family friendly. Evangeline Lilly is a badass, and Scott's daughter Cassie [Abby Ryder Fortson] steals the show."

Film and television critic ReBecca Theodore-Vachon agreed that Lilly's performance as the Wasp was top-notch, and also made an important point in calling Ant-Man and the Wasp "the perfect comic chaser to the doom and gloom of Infinity War." After all that death and destruction, what Marvel fans need most is something light-hearted and bouncy — and it seems the Ant-Man sequel is just that. 

However, viewers shouldn't go into Ant-Man and the Wasp thinking that every post-Infinity War worry they have will be eased. As Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta explained, "Don't go in expecting to get answers to questions from Infinity War. The movie is mostly a standalone film, even more so than the first one."

Sciretta then added that Ant-Man and the Wasp "has some surprising heart, great action, lots of laughs," and is "at its best when it's almost an over the top silly comedy, less so when it's about the comic booky villain driven moments."

It was Legion of Leia founder and editor-in-chief Jenna Busch who offered perhaps the most unbridled response to the film: "Ant-Man and the Wasp is a freaking blast! Absolutely hysterical and the effects [are] incredible!"

The icing on this positive-reactions-to-a-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-installment cake? The film includes two post-credits scenes that people can't stop thinking about. According to Foutch, one sequence is "easily one of Marvel's best." And, in Kylie Erica Mar's words, one is the "best part of the whole film."

Oh yeah, and there's also a Stan Lee cameo, because this is a Marvel movie and why wouldn't it?

Overall, buzz around Ant-Man and the Wasp is incredibly positive and will only get louder as the film's July 6 launch date grows nearer. When the sequel pic officially flies into cinemas next month, we just might have to clear a spot for it on our list of sequels that are better than the original