Ant-Man & The Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer
Running time: 118 minutes
With the seismic world shifting ending of Avengers Infinity War it would be easy to dismiss Ant-Man & The Wasp as a pallet cleanser before the larger story kicks back into gear with next year’s universe shattering double of Captain Marvel and the as yet untitled Infinity War follow up (Snap back to reality?).
Instead, what Ant-Man & The Wasp does is heighten the stakes of the other films by showing the real human consequence of an all-out intergalactic war. Half the galaxy disappearing means all the more if it includes those most important to you.
Set between Civil War and “The Snap” the film sees Scott Lang (Played by the eternally youthful Paul Rudd) counting down the final few days of his house arrest. However, a vision – not that one – of Hope’s mother Janet, played here by Michelle Pfeiffer, forces him back into contact with Hank Pym in order to try and rescue her from the quantum realm glimpsed at in the first film.
Along with trying to avoid the FBI which includes the hilariously brilliant Randall Park, the heroes attract the attention of a sinister Foghorn Leghorn in the form of the king of southern sleaze, Walton Goggins. If that wasn’t enough there is the metaphorical and literal Ghost from Pym’s past to contend with.
Despite its title and its position in the MCU, Ant-Man & The Wasp never feels small. In fact, a number of threads set up, along with a post-credits sequence that hints at an actual story progression, plant the seeds of far-reaching consequences for its box-office busting brethren.
It is the only Marvel movie that seems self-aware of its surroundings, including a cracking line about superheroes trying to disguise themselves in public. It’s entertaining (never more so when Michael Pena is on screen), engaging and enthusiastic. Rudd and Lilly are the first Marvel double act that feel like equals and Pfeiffer and Douglas bring an old-school movie star charisma that can’t be taught.
Those burned out by this year’s relentless wave of superhero movies may feel tempted to give this a miss but that would be the biggest little mistake you can make. Ant-Man & The Wasp is a joy from start to finish.
4 out of 5
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- Andy McCarroll @andymc1983