Ant-Man and the Wasp

Wow, I haven’t updated this site in an eon, have I?  Well, I figure that it’s best to get back into the habit of regular updates.  And I just saw the latest Marvel film yesterday, so that gives me something to talk about.

The film begins with Scott Lang (the titular Ant Man played by Paul Rudd) spending time with his daughter.  Being under house arrest for three years after the events of Captain America: Civil War has left him out of the superhero business and he’s spending more time with his family.

But this is a superhero film, so things don’t stay very domestic for long.  Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evengline Lilly), have built a machine that can travel to the subatomic quantum realm.  There, they hope of rescue Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer)  after she was lost on the subatomic scale while performing a feat of heroism back during the Cold War.

And that’s the gist of the plot.  It’s one of the few superhero films that I can think of where the plot is wholly created by the protagonists instead of having the heroes react to something.  There’s no major metropolitan cities in danger and no villain hell-bent on conquering the world.  But this wouldn’t be much of a superhero film without something to hinder out heroes.

That’s where the villain Ghost comes in.  She almost feels shoehorned in because people assume that a superhero film has to have a villain.  Not to say that Ghost is a bad addition.  Like I said, no one is trying to conquer the world and Ghost’s motives are rather neutral and she is only considered a villain because her motives are at odds with those of the protagonists’.  She’s played by Hannah John-Kamen, who gives the character a gravitas that is almost at odds with the tone.  Her presence is the darkest thing in the film but still manages to fit.

And that’s the plot.  It’s not an ‘epic’ film but it is certainly the most personable of the Marvel films.  Definitely the most child-friendly of the bunch.  Don’t be afraid to take your kids to see this one.  If I have to compare this to another movie, it wouldn’t be another Marvel film or even another superhero film.  “Ant-Man and the Wasp” has more in common with sci-fi comedies like the “Back to the Future” films and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”.

Michael Peña and his buddies from the first film also make a comeback.  I admit, I wasn’t a fan of the sidekick trio from the first Ant-Man film.  I thought that they were tacked-on and that more screen-time should have been given to other characters like Hope Van Dyne.  In this film, their presence feels much more organic and natural.  Peña’s performance is a scene-stealer and I hope he comes back for Ant-Man 3.

Shrinking is a pretty silly superpower and the people who wrote this film know that and know how to use it to the fullest extent possible.  The film is very much an action-comedy in the guise of a superhero film.  The movie climaxes in a car chase that involves shrinking and growing in amazingly inventive ways.  The special effects are not the most polished, but that’s almost irrelevant because realism is not the point of this film.

A lot of folks complain about Marvel’s continuity and how difficult it is to keep track of.  There’s nothing to fear here.  Ant-Man and the Wasp is fairly standalone, even as a sequel.  There are references to previous Marvel movies but the script keeps the audience on track and up-to-date on everything they need to know.

If you’re looking for something sweeping and heavy, then you’ll be disappointed.  But if you like a lighter fun ride, then I heartily recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp.

So, yeah, I certainly recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp.

 

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