Ant-Man and the Wasp is released tomorrow in UK cinemas and before I discuss it, I will say that I was NOT a fan of the first one, but since I go into each film with an open mind, can the sequel be an improvement?
In the pre-Marvel logo scene (which always appears instead of actual opening credits), we go back 30 years and see Hank Pym (Michael Douglas, with a bit of help with some CGI to make him look as he did in the Fatal Attraction era) telling a young Hope that her mother (Michelle Pfeiffer, with the same enhancement) is gone, never to return. But is she dead or just resting? If it’s the former, then ask the question – is being dead is the career setback it used to be when you’re a superhero, since they always find some way to come back… or can they?
I’ll only discuss things I’ve seen in the trailer before anyone panics I’m going to reveal too much.
Scott Lang (the ever-charmless Paul Rudd) has been under house arrest for the last two years following the events of Captain America: Civil War, which made me wonder how come he’s the only person who has to do that? Everyone else has been running round with impunity, and going up against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, so why is it one rule for one, and one rule for everyone else?
Another oddity is that this film is set *before* the events of that overlong bloatfest (yes, I’m rather tired of superhero moves, of late, since there’s so much that can be trimmed out of them to get them down to a decent running time), so after everything that happened in that film, none of it has so far. Got it? Good.
Still, in the time while Scott’s been at home, Pym and Hope have been building a tunnel to the Quantum Realm with a view to finding mumsy and bringing her back. It’s a massive huge laboratory, but in Ant-Man world, everything can be shrunk down, and every baddie wants a piece of this.
This shot is shown in full in the trailer, but cut down in the film!!! WTF?!!
Okay, so let’s at least hope that the director’s doing a decent job of the special effects… well, no. There’s a scene where Wasp is running along the edge of a sharp knife (above), which is very similar to what we saw Ant-Man do in the first film, but rather than see her run along it, she starts to do so, then it cuts back to the person who threw it, and then when it returns to her, she’s *just* finished.
How stupid can you possibly be to cut away from the moneyshot?! THIS SCENE IS IN FULL IN THE TRAILER!!!!!!
There’s also terrible dialogue, and again, this was featured in the trailer so I’m safe to include it here. After seeing Hope (Evangeline Lilly) fly about and shoot baddies, from their vantage point, Scott says to Pym, “Wings and blasters? I take it you didn’t have that tech available for me?”, to which Pym replies, “I did”.
Erm… THAT is a witty one-liner?! I was expecting something to follow AFTER “I did”. Gah. who let these idiots out with a pen? Then again, the story is so weak from start to finish.
In addition, that moment when the small car goes under the baddie van and flips it over… well, that could’ve hit someone! Oh, and when the building suddenly goes big in the middle of the street…. well, that road will need resurfacing! But seriously…
Add in the usual scenes of budget-saving toys – with some CGI – being used to create the effect of Ant-Man & co. driving round, but again, we’ve seen this joke before and it’s not funny with subsequent airings.
And don’t forget an age-old joke with men arguing about size, but this time it’s because – as per the trailer – we see that Scott can grow to a giant rather than just going small.
Michael Pena still has zero personality, Walton Goggins is as cardboard cut-out a baddie as he was in Tomb Raider, and is Laurence Fishburne the only person to be a main character in both the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes? Ol’ Larry was The Daily Planet’s editor Perry White in the modern Superman films, and now takes the role of Dr. Bill Foster, here.
Along the way, you’ll come across the mysterious Ava (Hannah John-Kamen), but when it comes to the eventual resolution of her storyline, (whichever way it goes out of the two possibilities available?), it’s as limp as a four-week old lettuce. One thought about her (no, not THAT sort of thought!), I’ll put behind a spoiler header:
About the only remnants of humour that seem to have any effect are a handful of lines from Randall Park (who made a great Kim Jong Un in The Interview), but he rarely gets many chances to shine. At least he seems to be putting in the effort. It’s always a pleasure to see Ms Lilly onscreen, but she plays second fiddle to Rudd, and I still question the sanity of anyone who thinks he is ‘leading man’ material.
Stan Lee is back, as usual, so cue spoiler section in case you don’t want to know:
When it comes to what’s in the credits… Ooh, time for another spoiler section:
What did you think of this film? Let me know in the comments below.
Available now is the Movie soundtrack, Ant-Man and the Wasp: The Official Movie Special Hardback Book, Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: The Art of the Movie Hardback book and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp Prelude on Kindle
Wasp: “Well, don’t fart in your suit.”
Running time: 118 minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K), ARRIRAW (6.5K), Dolby Vision, Redcode RAW (6K) (8K) (visual effects)); 1.90:1 (IMAX version: some scenes)
Released: August 2nd 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Producers: Stephen Broussard and Kevin Feige
Screenplay: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari
Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby
Music: Christophe Beck
Scott Lang / Ant-Man: Paul Rudd
Hope Van Dyne / Wasp: Evangeline Lilly
Dr. Hank Pym: Michael Douglas
Dr. Bill Foster: Laurence Fishburne
Janet Van Dyne / Wasp: Michelle Pfeiffer
Luis: Michael Peña
Sonny Burch: Walton Goggins
Paxton: Bobby Cannavale
Maggie: Judy Greer
Dave: Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris
Kurt: David Dastmalchian
Ava: Hannah John-Kamen
Cassie: Abby Ryder Fortson
Jimmy Woo: Randall Park
Elihas Starr: Michael Cerveris
Uzman: Divian Ladwa
Anitolov: Goran Kostic
Knox: Rob Archer
Agent Stoltz: Sean Thompson Kleier
Agent Burleigh: Benjamin Byron Davis
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.