Ant-Man and the Wasp Review
Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym, Lang must once again don the Ant-Man suit and fight alongside the Wasp. The urgent mission soon leads to secret revelations from the past as the dynamic duo finds itself in an epic battle against a powerful new enemy.After Thanos clicked his fingers and delivered that gut-punch of an ending to Infinity War, it feels strange to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe bounce back up off the mat, fighting fit, eager and willing to please with another frisky caper. Especially as it’s the sequel to the series’ friskiest and most capering entry to date, the fun but lightweight heist comedy Ant-Man. A movie, lest we forget, that featured Thomas The Tank Engine. It’s like we’ve flipped from the MCU’s hugest epic to, well, as small as it gets.
As you’d expect from a Marvel joint, the action comes thick and fast, except now it’s Lilly breaking the most sweat, whether zippily neutralising a clump of goons in a restaurant kitchen (mind the tenderiser, Wasp!) or participating in a Bullitt-echoing car chase around and over San Fran’s pretty hills. Hope is far more capable than Scott, and is a joy to watch in fully suited action. However, Ant-Man does still get his big moments — or should that be Giant-Man, now.
Ant-Man And The Wasp You won’t be surprised to learn — and it’s no spoiler — that Ant-Man And The Wasp predominantly takes place before Squidward and his giant spinny thing rocked up in the Avengers’ manor. The concerns here are not of impending cosmic calamity, but family matters and survival at the individual, rather than universal, level. Best new car deals for under £100 per month Best new car deals for under £100 per month Powered by Parkers On the one hand there is Scott (Rudd), condemned to the ultimate slacker’s lifestyle after his Civil War shenanigans have consigned him to house-arrest.
It’s given the rumpled rogue plenty of time to hone his speed drumming and close-up magic skills, but it hardly helps when he’s got a loving daughter to attend to, a security firm (brilliantly named X-Con) to run and old friends to help out. On the other hand, there are Hank (Douglas) and Hope (Lilly), who, inspired by Scott’s survival of the freaky-dinky Quantum Realm in the last movie, have developed a Quantum Tunnel by which they can go sub-microscopic and, they hope, bring back the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne — now finally revealed as Michelle Pfeiffer, who gets her own, uncanny ’90s flashback prologue makeover. The banter fizzes with the same old charm. As plots go, it doesn’t require the most attention, running straight and easy from A to B, almost entirely on the undulating streets of San Francisco, with a few small-time villains to offer obstruction along the way. Walton Goggins’ predictably smarmy southern gent black-market tech dealer is just out to nab Pym gadgetry for a quick big buck; John-Kamen’s semi-ethereal Ghost, meanwhile, has a more sympathetic motive, putting her on a similarly urgent mission as our heroes. And it is good to see the gang back together.
A brisk bit of catch-up exposition reveals that, since assisting Steve Rogers in Munich, Hope and Hank ditched Scott, not least because his actions drew them heat via the Sokovia Accords — making them an off-the-grid, father-and-daughter renegade outfit. Not too difficult when you can shrink your state-of-the-art facility to the size of carry-on baggage and drive around in Hot Wheels-scaled cars. The banter fizzes with the same old charm, Scott’s apparent inanity still grating against Hank’s curmudgeonliness and Hope’s stiletto-sharp focus. But a few too many gags lean on call-backs, with a shooed-in repeat of Luis’ (Michael Peña) jabbered monologues, and Scott suffering continuing bad luck with his insect sidekicks (though none will earn your tears like poor Anthony did). And while there’s no giant Thomas, we do get a colossal Hello Kitty Pez — the pink end of the toy spectrum now represented as well as the blue. About damn time.
Ant-Man And The Wasp But as massive as Scott grows — or as wibbly as things get in the mercurial jellybean hurricane that is the Quantum Realm — the film still feels comparatively minor and light-hitting. There’s no getting away from the fact that Ant-Man And The Wasp, as fun as it is, lacks the sheer, mind-blowing heft of Infinity War. Or, for that matter, the scope and thematic muscle of Black Panther. Or the all-the-way-out-there, inventive deliriousness of Thor: Ragnarok. In this new era of Marvel over-achievement, it really does feel like a lesser work.