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| 11 July 2018 | Reply

Written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Directed by Peyton Reed
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Doulas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Bobby Cannavale, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The years and nineteen mega-squillion-dollar blockbusters later, and the bottom shows no sign of falling out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Peyton Reed’s second outing directing Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is another home run for the MCU, though it almost totally avoids the darkness which has crept into the Avengers series. In fact, Ant-Man And The Wasp is a comedy-caper flick – nothing more nor less – complete with bumbling cops, double crossing bad guys, comic sidekicks, a race against time, and even a cool chase through the streets of San Fransisco, affectionately homaging Michael Douglas’s early TV career.

With only a few days left of two years under house arrest, Scott Lang (Rudd, upon whose everyday charm this movie leans a little too much) is as stir crazy as they come. Adamant that following his arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War he is done with alter-ego Ant-Man, Lang has done his level best to be a good parent despite not being able to leave the house, and is eager to be done with his penalties and get on with his life.

He receives a kind of telepathic message from Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), whom he became entangled with in the Quantum realm in the first Ant-Man movie, and before he knows what is happening he is out in the world, effectively being kidnapped by ex-girlfriend Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Janet’s daughter, and her Dad Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).

Pym and van Dyne need Lang to help find Janet van Dyne I the Quantum realm, where she has been lost for thirty years, and return her to reality, but complications arise with both black market tech criminal Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and phase-shifting walk-through-walls anti-hero Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) both attempting to steal Pym & van Dyne’s shrinkable mega-lab.

It’s fast and furious fun, especially when Lang starts not only shrinking to ant size, but also, thanks to a suit on the fritz, growing to 65-feet tall, and trying to evade notice by the FBI, which would extend his house arrest or worst.

As expected from Marvel, the effects are astonishing – not just the transformations from normal size to huge to nano, but also the intricate action scenes that jump frantically between the three. The plot does get a little convoluted, but with a little suspension of belief (it is a superhero movie, for goodness’ sake) there is a lot of fun to be had just strapping in and enjoying the ride and the rapid-fire gags. Reed and Rudd have worked hard to also ensure that Lang’s motivation is family, and the scenes with his daughter are touching, and it’s great to see some legit female superhero action – though with Hope now reunited with her long-lost Mum, hopefully she will be allowed to become a stronger focus in future movies.

Of course, make sure you sit through the credits for the now-ubiquitous Marvel end vignettes, which neatly tie us into the recent Infinity War film.

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Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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