Ant-Man and the Wasp
Aida Vucic | 18/07/2018
You may have been wondering where Ant-Man was when Thanos clicked his fingers and wiped out half the population of the universe. Ant-Man and the Wasp winds back the clock, and gives use the answers.
It’s a couple of years after the events of Civil War, and our unlikely hero is still under house arrest. But he only has days left before he’s released. Scott (Paul Rudd) has used his time in confinement wisely, honing his drumming skills and building elaborate fortresses with his daughter. Meanwhile, Hank Pym (Douglas Michael) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are building a quantum tunnel to rescue their wife/mother; the original Wasp who they now believe to be alive, following Scott’s quantum journey at the end of the first film. After a brief success alerts them to a mental connection between Scott and the original Wasp, the pair and Scott team up to open the tunnel.
Running in parallel to the story is the story of Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who has sustained permanent damage following a quantum blast. As she battles against our heroes, they also have to contend with the scheming Sonny (Walton Goggins) and his goons, who are hoping to steal the quantum technology and sell it on the black market.
Most the great action sequences come from Lilly herself. She takes on Sonny’s pack of goons in a great kitchen fight, and backs that up with a tremendous fist fight sequence against Ghost. The original Ant-Man made its mark with its tremendous action sequences, and Peyton Reed doubles down on the innovation here; literally, because now he has two bite size heroes to shrink and grow. What’s great is that Lilly’s character isn’t sidelined or a sidekick, but rather the Wasp is held in the same esteem as Ant-Man.
Rudd has no difficulty reprising the role of the loveable larrikin. He’s only too familiar with these shoes, and he hits the lines perfectly. Lilly’s version of Hope in this chapter feels more genuine, and whether a by-product of the additional screen time or the new haircut, it is certainly welcome. John-Karmen’s performance as Ghost is particularly fantastic, though her character somewhat disconcertingly quickly shifts from being concerned samaritan to evil calculating villain.
The diverging storylines are also slightly problematic and disorientating, as Ghost is both villain and victim, whereas Sonny is entirely villain. On the spectrum of Marvel villainy, however, Sonny would be a cold 1; there’s really no sense of dread for our heroes, and it means the focus is more on the jokes. Unfortunately, the gags don’t hit nearly as well as they did in the first instalment, particularly in shoehorned attempts to recreate that Guy Richie inspired dialogue from Luis’ (Michael Peña); although it’s funny, it’s lazy writing.
Irrespective of these slight downfalls, the film is fun and light-hearted; attributes that make the Marvel films so successful as opposed to the darker DC universe (which could use some more comic relief).
While we’re still grappling with Marvel’s unique timeline, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a welcome, light-hearted relief from what had been a devastating turn of events in Avengers: Infinity War.
Upbeat and genuinely entertaining, it may not be the best Marvel film, but for a film with ant sized heroes it packs a punch.