‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: What parents need to know (for The Buffalo News)

Film Frame-Marvel Studios

One of my latest Buffalo News parents guides looked at Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Marvel has it all figured out. Just a couple of months after the release of the rather somber “Avengers: Infinity War” comes the lightest entry in the studio’s history. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an action-comedy with an emphasis on comedy, making it a unique addition to the Marvel canon.

A perfectly cast Paul Rudd returns as the superhero with the ability to shrink — and expand. He’s joined by Evangeline Lilly as his crime-fighting partner. With more laughs than most summer comedies, a tremendous supporting cast (Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, a scene-stealing Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, and, best of all, Michelle Pfeiffer), and an engaging story, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a July family treat.

What’s the story? Nearing the end of a stint on house-arrest, Scott Lang — a.k.a., Ant-man — balances being a father and a superhero, while also helping scientist Dr. Hank Pym and his daughter, Hope, search for their long-missing wife/mother.

What is it rated? “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is rated PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence and, like its predecessor, includes some mild profanity. There is nothing here more worrisome for parents than most PG-13 entries.

What’s the ideal viewing age? With a sometimes complicated plot and some adult themes, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is most sensible for kids ages 7 or older. The film clocks in at about two hours, which is just right for a superhero flick, and there are ample dialogue-heavy moments for bathroom breaks.

Will my little one sit through it? Kids, tweens and teens should have a blast watching Rudd and Lilly take on bad guys in both super small and, in Ant-Man’s case, super-large form. Minute for minute, it’s as enjoyable as any Marvel film. This is a summer movie that holds appeal for pretty much all age groups, and counts as an improvement on its so-so predecessor.

Is there anything else parents need to consider? If there is worry for parents, it’s only that kiddos might be even more stoked to dip into Marvel’s back catalog of cinema, few of which have this film’s ultra-fun, low-stakes feel. There are not many comic-book films that see shrunken superheroes flying on the back of insects, and that’s a bummer.