Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp picks up where Paul Rudd’s size-shifting superhero left off at the end of Captain America: Civil War. Placed under house arrest after breaking the law to help out the Captain, he is forbidden from leaving his home or having any contact with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) or Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). But he is forced to get in touch when he dreams about Hope’s mother, Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer), stranded in the quantum realm. The old team join forces to rescue her.
A whole host of characters get in the way. Hapless FBI Detective Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is determined to ensure Lang serves out his house arrest, providing plenty of amusement along the way. The delightfully named Walton Goggins (Sonny Burch) is a drawling, swaggering southern black-market tech trader who fancies some of the quantum action for himself. Goggins is wonderfully greasy, and satisfyingly easy to recognise and detest.
Main-event villain Ghost uses her ability to shift through walls, people and just about anything else that gets in her way to reach Wasp first. Ghost’s power is visually arresting and combines nicely with Lang and Van Dyne’s in fight scenes. She’s simultaneously incredibly powerful and vulnerable, brilliantly portrayed by a smouldering Hannah John-Kamen. Her backstory’s a little clichéd and quickly drawn, but with so many baddies to pack in, that’s forgivable.
The sheer volume, and variety, of antagonists keeps the plot ticking over nicely. Unfortunately, this means that the rescue of Wasp from the quantum realm – set out at the start as the heart of the film – feels a bit tacked on by the time it arrives.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is firmly family friendly, with as much there for adults as there is for kids. Rudd’s performance as Lang is again pretty much perfectly pitched, somewhere between schmuck and superhero. He’s the everyman who the audience can laugh with, root for and relate to – blurting out “Do you guys just add quantum to the front of everything?” after some particularly impenetrable dialogue. His chemistry with Abby Ryder Fortson, who plays his daughter Cassie, makes their relationship especially poignant and heart-warming.
The excellent performances, and genuinely funny moments, make up for the limited action sequences, which are not on the same scale as other Marvel Universe films. That said, Ant-Man’s newfound ability to grow as well as shrink is fun to watch. When an enlarged Lang repurposes a pick-up truck as a kneel-on scooter, one giant leg propelling him around downtown, it’s laugh-out-loud stuff.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is released nationwide and at IMAX cinemas on 2nd August 2018. Book your IMAX tickets here.
Watch the trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp here: