This year has been full of nail biting and heart thumping moments in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man and The Wasp is set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Everyone here is facing the consequences of the incidents in Civil War while the audience is all too aware of the looming dread.
Reed’s superheroes are better suited to the grand scale of Marvel now than they were in 2015’s Ant-Man. But he never makes the action too over-powering though the fast paced visual changes are just as dizzying. With this movie, we are diving head-first into the quantum realm, and the rules are a little thinly drawn.
The movie opens with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the Ant-Man being your average Joe. He plays with his daughter, trying to keep his small security company afloat but he is on parole and hasn’t left his home in over two years. It’s all dull and obvious until Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), the Wasp abducts him while putting his freedom at risk two days before his parole was over. Hope and her father Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) are set on rescuing her mother from where she is still stuck in the quantum realm. Scott holds some key information without even realising it. But there are too many opposing forces and a tug of war ensues based on different motives. It is stretched at times but the movie manages to pull through with steady pacing and action.
Rudd plays a superhero with a stronger emotional feel and clever jokes but Evangeline’s Hope steals the show. She is skeptical and is in control enough to not give away any control to the usual superhero charm. The two of them come together for an equal partnership with a refreshing dynamic. Michael Peña, playing Luis, Scott’s former cell mate and business partner, brings one of the best comic sequences with a “truth serum” gag that will remain memorable.
All along, the movie is happy basking in its cleverness. Scott at one points asks if they just “put quantum in front of everything” they say and answer is pretty much a yes. I called the movie an indulgence in the beginning because it slows down in moments that hold no plot significance, just pure scientific fascination. The close up magic tricks are employed for quick laughs but the easy resizing of objects throughout the movie doesn’t feel deeper either. No one is trying hard, but it’s kind of a reprieve for the core audience who has had much trauma already.
At times the movie feels like filler, giving us characters arcs, actions and humour but only to hurtle to the end point. We are going somewhere bigger. It would be difficult to stay away from that sentiment until the next Avengers. But the easy going nature of the movie, along with its emotional appeal and the usual Marvel charm, makes it a worthwhile watch.