Ant-Man and the Wasp

Review by Hannah Woodhead @goodjobliz

Directed by

Peyton Reed

Starring

Evangeline Lilly Michael Douglas Michelle Pfeiffer Paul Rudd

Anticipation.

This looks… fine.

Enjoyment.

Michael Peña continues to be the MCU’s MVP.

In Retrospect.

Fun but forgettable – and not enough Michelle Pfeiffer.

Marvel checks in with their most diminutive hero in this entertaining Infinity War Part Two pit-stop.

With the dust still settling from Thanos’ antics in Avengers: Infinity War, the third Marvel outing of 2018 promises something slightly more light-hearted than global genocide. Disney’s decision to offset the doom and gloom of the “most ambitious crossover event in history” with a comedy caper about a man who talks to ants is a testament to their relentless movie machine, which sees at least two titles per year dominate the box office.

Set two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War, which saw Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) team up with the government-disavowed side of the Avengers, our diminutive hero is cooped up on house arrest. He passes the time playing with his daughter, helping his friend Luis (Michael Peña) with their burgeoning security business, and generally pottering around at home in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, old pals Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have been beavering away, attempting to work out how they can rescue their missing family member Janet from the mysterious Quantum realm, where she’s been trapped for 30 years. In order to do so, they reunite with Lang, but have to contend with thieves out to steal their next-level tech, in the form of reality-tripping Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and dastardly southern gent, Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins playing Walton Goggins).

Considering the plot was heavily hinted at in its predecessor, it’s difficult for Ant-Man and the Wasp to really keep any tricks up its sleeve. Director Peyton Reed has a gift for comedy, and (again, much like its predecessor) the film excels when it’s being funny – this comes down to perhaps the strongest ensemble cast in the MCU, with the relentlessly charming Paul Rudd on fine form as #relatable Scott Lang, and motor-mouthed Michael Peña delivering another scene-stealing turn as Lang’s best buddy, Luis.

Despite the cast’s best efforts, Ant-Man and the Wasp is hardly gripping viewing – Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Infinity War all run circles around it. There’s a lot of technobabble which undoubtedly sets things up for Infinity War Part 2 (as does the obligatory post-credits scene) and the film’s stand-out is a car chase which makes good use of the shrinking tech on which the entire premise hinges, but none of this  is enough to make up for the film’s curiously low stakes.

This a film that’s difficult to actively dislike – Rudd and his equally charming co-stars take care of that – and fun in the moment, but there’s precious little that lingers after the credits roll. The whole things feels suspiciously like filler material intended to tide audiences over until the arrival of Captain Marvel next spring.

Published 29 Jul 2018

Tags: Ant-Man and the Wasp Evangeline Lilly Michael Douglas Paul Rudd Peyton Reed

Anticipation.

This looks… fine.

Enjoyment.

Michael Peña continues to be the MCU’s MVP.

In Retrospect.

Fun but forgettable – and not enough Michelle Pfeiffer.

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