Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Review #1,589

Director:  Peyton Reed
Cast:  Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen 
Plot:  As Scott Lang balances being both a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds Ant-Man fighting alongside the Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Genre:  Action / Sci-Fi / Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  118 mins
Rating:  PG (passed clean) for some sci-fi action violence
Distributor:  Walt Disney Studios

“Thanks to you, we had to run.  We're still running.”

Like its predecessor, Ant-Man and the Wasp is enjoyable insofar as it is a self-contained comedy coated with sleek action.  As such, its light-hearted treatment is surely a welcome distraction.  It is not just a counter-programming to the heavy, mentally-sapping Avengers: Infinity War (2018), but a quick throwback to the Marvel movies that most audiences felt were fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously i.e. the 'Guardians of the Galaxies' and 'Ragnaroks'.  

Director Peyton Reed returns with main cast Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in their titular roles, alongside veterans Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, and Michelle Pfeiffer as his long-lost wife of 30 years.  There are new faces to the franchise, including Laurence Fishburne, and in a memorable comic performance, a turn by Michael Pena as a motor-mouth boss of a struggling security firm.  

The existence of this sequel to Ant-Man (2015) very much explains the superhero’s notable absence in Infinity War.  And do stay on for the post-credit scene, which reveals his present fate.  Plot-wise, Ant-Man and the Wasp moves into familiar territory as the heroes attempt to weave their way out of a complicated web that they themselves had spun.  

Two groups of people are chasing them to get the secretive quantum-realm technology that Dr. Pym possesses, including a nefarious black-market agent, and a mysterious spectre-like figure (played with huge promise by Hannah John-Kamen) suffering from an incurable affliction.  The authorities, of course, are also waiting for Ant-Man to make a wrong move, so that they have reason to put him in prison.  

There is not much suspense in this one, not least because it is superseded by the movie’s single-minded focus on trying to make itself a breezy, laugh-out-loud affair, in particular its frequent use of sight gags (e.g. Ant-Man in varying sizes, cars and buildings scaling up and down in a split-second, etc.)  It is, therefore, entertaining whilst you are seeing it, but only mildly satisfying when you think about it after.  

Still, as we lead up to next year’s important missing puzzle piece, Captain Marvel, and the epic grand finale to Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp should serve as that comfort snack to tide us for another half a year.  

Verdict:  This light-hearted action yarn is akin to a Marvel counter-programming, but as much as it is a welcome distraction, it is only mildly satisfying.





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