Ant-Man and the Wasp (AU - PG/UK - 12A/US - PG-13)

In a Word: Atomic

Ant Man and the Wasp

The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) joins with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) in the second tiny instalment.

 

"After the epic and apocalyptic opus that was Infinity WarAnt-Man and The Wasp is like a palette cleanser. It is a sweet, light and thoroughly enjoyable experience."

The first Ant-Man was a surprise hit. Its refreshingly different “hero”, quirky humor, plot twists and size-shifting action literally brought a new perspective to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now back for the sequel, Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has some much needed firepower on his side as Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) takes on the mantle of the Wasp, who not only shrinks, but shoots and soars.

Following the events of Ant-Man’s outing with Captain America in Civil War, Scott is under house arrest, focused on being the best possible father to his adorable daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), and on earning his freedom by being a model prisoner. These plans are upset when Scott receives a vision from Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, who has long been thought lost in the Quantum realm after she sacrificed herself to disarm a bomb. After years of searching, Janet’s husband, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and daughter, Hope, now have a chance to reunite the family and the key to it all is in Scott’s head. 

Together they must evade the police, deal with shady arms dealers and battle a new villain, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) - a tortured soul who can phase through objects, in a race against time to bring Janet back to this world. It all sets the scene for some thrilling fight choreography and over-the-top chase sequences that use the shrinking and growing abilities of the heroes to spectacular and hilarious effect.

The charm and comic timing that Rudd brings to Ant-Man is undeniable. That, together with Michael Pena’s always amusing portrayal of Luis (Lang’s former cellmate and now somewhat incompetent business partner), places Ant-Man more in the comedic end of the superhero spectrum. And it's so entertaining that I found myself forgiving the thinly veiled plot holes and hokey science.

Director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man, Down with Love) sprinkles elements of romance, rivalry and family drama in among the action. It’s nothing too deep, but what could you expect from the director who turned cheerleading into a franchise? There is an ongoing theme of redemption as the story poses the interesting question: how does a former criminal become a hero? Ultimately we learn that being a hero isn’t about how hard you hit or the strength of your powers but what you are willing to sacrifice to save others.

After the epic and apocalyptic opus that was Infinity WarAnt-Man and The Wasp is like a palette cleanser. It is a sweet, light and thoroughly enjoyable experience. But we all know that this is not the main event as these small heroes are preparing the way for the next big thing.