With the dust just about settled from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is giving us no more time to mourn those lost in the battle as it’s thrust the next, but actually previous, chapter of its grander narrative upon us. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is set before the events of ‘Infinity War’ and explains the absence of everyone’s favourite miniature hero from Thanos’ bloodbath! Marking the twentieth film in this outstanding cinematic universe could returning director Peyton Reed make it a memorable milestone?
The narrative here is comparatively small in scale to what has been released previously to it, then again anything would be. Nonetheless, its lighter tone is a refreshing change of pace however with audience knowledge of what is to come next it does hold a certain ominous foreboding as well. I remember when the original ‘Ant-Man’ was announced how I had the most apprehension to the project that I’d had of any Marvel film and that is true to date. It’s still somewhat baffling just how this concept has been made to work on the cinematic stage and to be made to feel so natural too. Albeit, the story for this sequel isn’t the most thrilling we’ve witnessed in the MCU but the entertaining action sequences and solid cast make it work. It features a lot of complicated scientific content which whilst it’s completely achievable to grasp the general gist of things few will be able to follow the details. This is addressed in the film with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man mirroring the predictably confused audiences. This allows the film to get away with its complex science speak and offers another avenue for humour in a film with comedy as one of its main components.
Leading man Paul Rudd once again gets the chance to use his comic ability in several instances proving that he is still one of the best additions to the MCU. He nails the everyday hero vibe, excelling in all aspects of his performance ranging from his father/daughter relationship to his crime fighting alter ego. The other returning cast members are great with the Michaels excelling. Both Douglas and Peña are in their element once more with Peña’s Luis in particular stealing the show in one scene which you’ll blissfully see unfolding just before the characters themselves do. Despite this it has to be said that the chemistry and humour featured here doesn’t seem just as natural as the first time around but it’s still of a good quality just not quite as authentic seeming, hopefully any future sequels will fully capture the spirit of the original. As is often the case with sequels ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ has attracted a lot of new cast members and pretty big names too. Although these A-list castings such as Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer and Walton Goggins fail to really contribute anything overly memorable or exciting. They’re all serviceable in their roles but similar and more impressive versions of their characters have already been witnessed in the existing MCU.
Thankfully, the returning cast are enthusiastic enough to carry the film through. Whilst admittedly not as strong as the original film it still holds the fun factor that it did which some of the more recent MCU outings haven’t been able to focus on. It offers a good balance of action and comedy with an endearing father daughter relationship at its core. Any Marvel movie with Paul Rudd fronting it is wholly worth your time and attention despite its potentially underwhelming delivery simply due to where it occurs amidst the overall MCU narrative.
Written by Hamish Calvert
Rating – 7.5/10
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