Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Just when his time under house arrest is about to end, Scott Lang once again puts his freedom at risk to help Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym dive into the quantum realm and try to accomplish, against time and any chance of success, a very dangerous rescue mission.
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Good movie but grossly overrated
The film creates a perfect balance between action and depth of basic needs, in the midst of an infertile atmosphere.
A great movie, one of the best of this year. There was a bit of confusion at one point in the plot, but nothing serious.
It is neither dumb nor smart enough to be fun, and spends way too much time with its boring human characters.
The MCU obviously has hits and misses, this film is so incredibly average and meh. It certainly isn't terrible but all opportunities to make it a great film were avoided, instead concentrating on a new set piece for the bigger assembled films. It's such a waste as the actors in this film could have done so much more. Disappointing overall.
After the fate-of-the-universe shenanigans of Avengers: Infinity War just three months ago (two months if you live in a country where football isn't that popular), Marvel's twentieth entry into their unstoppable cinematic universe, or MCU, understandably plays the role of palette-cleanser. Infinity War included every Marvel superhero so far, except Hawkeye, and while we still await a solo outing for nobody's favourite Avenger, Ant-Man - who was also absent from the cosmic battle against Thanos - is back for a sequel. The first Ant-Man somehow survived the loss of director Edgar Wright and emerged as a lighter, smaller-scale branch of the ever-expanding MCU. It may have followed the formula of Iron Man's origin very closely, but it was incredibly inventive when its hero suited-up and scaled-down to dodge everything from huge feet pounding a dancefloor, a hungry rat, or the sight of his giant best friend naked. Without the comforts of the origin story however, Ant-Man and the Wasp and returning director Peyton Reed are at a loss which direction to go, and end up throwing multiple storylines at the wall to see what sticks. Sadly, not much does.It's been two years since Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), aka Ant-Man, was drafted into Captain America's crew for a battle against Tony Stark and the Sokovia Accords in Germany. As we saw from the ending of Captain America: Civil War, Lang was imprisoned, but is now being allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest, under the watchful eye of FBI agent Jimmy Woo (a scene-stealing Randall Park). With his new friends off fighting global threats and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) not talking to him for stealing one of his suits, Lang passes the time building huge play-houses for his superhero-obsessed daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), as well as playing drums, watching a lot of television, and crying reading The Fault in our Stars. At night, he is plagued by nightmares of the Quantum Realm, the microscopic world he found himself in during his showdown with Darren Cross, where time and space become irrelevant. He doesn't know it, but Hank and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are also thinking about the Realm, in the hope of finding their wife/mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), who disappeared thirty years earlier during a mission with her husband. When Lang starts to receive strange messages seemingly from Janet, Pym has no choice but to bring the cat-burglar back into the fold in the hope of nailing her location.The first Ant-Man kept its exposition zippy, sweeping you up into its flow so that all the scientific jibberish being explained simply washed over you. Ant-Man and the Wasp must hold the world record for the number of times the word 'quantum' has been used within two hours. Janet can communicate with Lang through quantum entanglement, where particles interact in ways that essentially make them indistinguishable, even when they are separated by a huge distance. The film's 'villain', Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) experiences molecular instability due to an accident during a quantum experiment, meaning that she can phase through solid matter at will. At one point, Lang questions if the boffins tasked with explaining all of this to us simply put the word 'quantum' in front of everything. This is played for laughs, but doesn't necessarily absolve the film of the problem. Also thrown into the mix is slimy businessman Sonny Burch, played by a wasted Walton Goggins, who wants his greedy hands of Pym's tech and will stop at nothing until he has it. For a series that now prides itself on a lighter tone, it's a lot of plot to take in. The trippy Quantum Realm was teased in the first Ant-Man, and it remains a tease here. There's literally a whole new world to explore at sub-atomic level, yet it remains a frustrating mystery.While there's way too much going on plot-wise, Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn't disappoint with its set-pieces. As glimpsed in the trailer, the heroes turn everything from a salt-shaker to a Hello Kitty pez dispenser into a weapon, normally hurled at their enemies and used to block their path. With her ability to fly and shoot from the wrist, Wasp gets to kick the most ass, dispensing a vehicle full of baddies with speed and efficiency, and all brought to life with stunning special effects. Lang's motor-mouthed associate Luis (Michael Pena) also returns for a beefier part, with his gift for story-telling once again proving a highlight. Laurence Fishburne helps establish some gravitas whenever he is on screen as Bill Foster, Pym's former co-worker on the G.O.L.I.A.T.H. project and whose existence was teased as far back as Iron Man 2. It's ultimately two hours of fluff and Peyton Reed (along with his five writers, including Rudd) knows it, and while this was very much part of the character's charm the first time around, many jokes here fall flat. There are nice touches, such as Pym's laboratory, populated by giant ants carrying out maintenance work and tiny objects blown up in size stitching the whole thing together, which can be shrunken down to luggage size with the click of a button. Lang's relationship with his daughter is also very touching. But Reed never fully commits to one idea and refuses to run with the many promising ideas the film touches on. With the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok willing to embrace the crazy, Ant-Man and the Wasp was always going to pale in comparison.
The first movie in the continuing Marvel Universe was good fun and did reasonably well at the box office, a sequel was probably expected, and I hoped that it could be even better, directed by Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down with Love, The Break-Up, Yes Man). Basically in 1987, Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer) shrank between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile, it was disabled, but she became trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realm, her husband Dr. Hank Pym aka the original Ant-Man (Michael Douglas) raised their daughter Hope, believing that Janet is dead. Years later, former criminal Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has taken the mantle to become Ant-Man, but since secretly helping Captain America during the skirmish between the Avengers, he is under house arrest, while Pym and Hope (Lost's Evangeline Lilly) are in hiding and have cut ties with Scott. Two years on, Scott has a realistic dream about the quantum realm, and he sees Janet, with whom he is quantumly entangled, he gives Pym a call to tell him about it. Hope kidnaps Scott, leaving a decoy, a giant ant, to mimic Scott's movements, so as not to arouse the suspicion of the FBI and agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). Seeing the dream as a message and a confirmation that Janet is alive, Pym and Hope work to create a tunnel stable enough to launch a vehicle into the quantum realm and rescue Janet. There is one part required to complete the tunnel, Hope arranges to meet black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) to buy it, but he knows the potential profit that could be earned from Pym and Hope's research. Burch double-crosses them, Hope, as the Wasp, fights him and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman, Scott, as Ant-Man tries to help fight off this "ghost", but she escapes with Pym's portable lab. Pym reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) who helps them locate the lab. The ghost restrains Scott, Hope, and Pym when they arrive, she reveals herself to be Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), her father Elihas (Michael Cerveris), another former partner of Pym's, accidentally killed himself during a quantum experiment, which resulted in Ava's unstable state. Foster reveals that he has been helping Ava, they are planning to cure her, using Janet's quantum energy, Pym refuses to help them, believing that this will kill Janet, the trio manage to escape. With the needed part, the tunnel is now stable, Pym and Hope are able to contact Janet, who through Scott communicates her precise location, but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them for a century. Burch learns their location from Scott's business partners Luis (Crash's Michael Peña), Dave (Tip "T.I." Harris), and Kurt (David Dastmalchian), and informs a contact at the FBI. Luis warns Scott, who rushes home before Woo can see him breaking his house arrest, leaving Pym and Hope to be arrested, and for their lab to be taken by Ava. Scott is soon able to help Pym and Hope escape custody, and they find the lab. Pym decides to take the risk to enter the quantum realm, Scott and Hope distract Ava while he does so, but the pair also have to fight Burch and his men. Luis, Dave, and Kurt help apprehend Burch, allowing Pym to successfully find Janet, and Scott and Hope manage to stop Ava before she can take Janet's energy. Pym and Janet safely return from the quantum realm, and Janet voluntarily gifts some of her energy to Ava to temporarily stabilise her. Scott returns home, in time for a now suspicious Woo to release him at the end of his house arrest, while Ava and Foster go into hiding. In the mid-credits sequence, Pym, Hope, and Janet send Scott into the quantum realm to harvest quantum energy to continue helping Ava, but before they can bring Scott back, Pym, Hope, and Janet all disintegrate (the ending of Avengers: Infinity War), leaving Scott drifting. Also starring Bobby Cannavale as Jim Paxton, Judy Greer as Maggie, Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie and Stan Lee as Shrunken Car Man. Rudd is much more convincing this time as the leading hero with deadpan quips, Lilly gets more time on screen as the second hero of the piece, Douglas remains good as the wise scientist, Pfeiffer is good but limited for obvious reasons, and the supporting cast are all good too. The story is more though-out, much slicker and wittier than perhaps previously, and the special effects are even better, much more shrinking and growing this time, and fantastic fast-paced chase and fight sequences, and funny stuff as well, a really fun superhero action adventure. Very good!
3 August 2018 Second Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight - Ant Man and The Wasp. So we journey into the world of Ant Man once again. I am a big fan of Marvel and DC, and even the bad films will get my time. This film wasn't bad, it was entertaining, it kept me interested, there were some great effects, I loved everything changing size all the time. However I felt the storyline was a little weak and the comedy of the first film was just not there. We had a bad guy who was chasing the good guys all through the film and if he wasn't there, the film would still get to its conclusion in the same amount of time. We did however get some great action from Ant Man and The Wasp themselves and several fabulous car chases involving varying sized vehicles and people. Michael Douglas was great as Dr Hank Pym and there were several amusing one liners. Once again people it's Marvel, don't leave until the very end.