Ant-Man and The Wasp
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen
After the bleak conclusion of Avengers Infinity War, Marvel Studios lighten matters up considerably for the second standalone picture for thief-turned-shrinking-superhero, Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. Set before the events of Infinity War, it begins with Scott (Rudd), going stir crazy in his San Francisco apartment he shares with his daughter Cassie, after he has been placed under house arrest for going rogue inCaptain America: Civil War (ask your friendly neighborhood geek). When Scott has a vision in which he sees Janet van Dyne (Pfiefer) the missing wife of his estranged mentor Hank Pym (Douglas), he breaks curfew with the help of Pym’s daughter Hope aka The Wasp, to help find her. But Pym’s miniaturized lab (he has a miniaturized lab) is sought by a corrupt tech dealer Sonny Birch (Goggins) and Ghost (John-Kamen) a white-clad spectral figure with the ability to phase in and out of reality. It’s complicated, okay. Returning director Peyton Reed recreates the first picture’s combination of character-driven laughs (if anything this one is funnier, thanks again to Michael Peña as Scott’s bewildered but enthusiastic colleague Luis) and imaginatively-staged anything goes action sequences, particularly a frantic car chase, involving, among other things, a giant ‘Hello Kitty’ Pez dispenser. The dialogue occasionally descends into pure faux-scientific gobbledygook, and with a two-hour running time, it feels a little baggy in the middle, but Reed manages to pull it all together for a climax which, hearteningly, does not just involve CGI creations hitting each other. NB: there are two additional sequences in credits.