Ant-Man and the Wasp is not a ruddy good film but it is a Ruddy good film…

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Directed by: Peyton Reed

Written by: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari

Featuring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Walter Goggins, Michael Pena, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen

Scott Lang, the new Ant Man, is under strict house arrest after his part in the super-hero civil war. Due to this he has to find ways of keeping himself amused and his daughter when she comes over on her weekend visits. This he manages, just about, but the time is weighing heavily on his shoulders. Due to his involvement with the ‘civil war’ and using the Ant Man suit in this he is person non-gratia with Hank Pym and his daughter Hope. That is until Scott starts having weird dreams that seem connected somehow to the quantum realm and Hank’s missing wife….

There is no doubt the easy charm and on-screen charisma of the always fun Paul Rudd drags Ant Man and the Wasp from the mundane to the fun. His amusing asides and observations are somehow more enjoyable and seem less acerbic than the more confident and brash Robert Downey Jnr’s Iron Man.  With his crazy gang of friends, led by the ever-reliable Michael Pena, of the first film still in place the smile and laugh quotient is high and if you are not a big fan of comic-book films this definitely a much needed relief.

Luckily Rudd is surrounded by some acting chops to back up him with Evangeline Lilly back as Hope Van Dyne and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Both seem to act effortlessly and the chemistry between the three is there to be seen on the screen. Smaller roles are competently played with Randall Park playing the comic-relief role of FBI agent Jimmy Woo to the hilt.

It wouldn’t be a fair review if Walton Goggins was not mentioned as his thankless task of Sonny Burch is played without over the top gurning and histrionics and it was pleasing to see a baddie whose motivation was fairly simply – he was greedy and wanted more.

For the all the fun and excitement of the little-big world Ant Man and Wasp does have its faults though. Certainly, on the small screen, and obviously this might by the reason, a few of the CGIs affects looked a bit ‘ropey’ but a bigger problems for me is the gap between ‘that was great’ and ‘hold on a minute…’ which sometimes, like with some Star Trek films, happens the next day but in this case they happened almost simultaneously. Now some people will say it’s only a comic-book adventure, a fantasy, relax, I get that and I can but some of the shrinking and growing parts of the story bordered on silly. In particularly the luggage sized office building doesn’t stand up to the slightest of scrutiny, unfortunately for me that means I’m thinking about it whilst the film goes on.

The story certainly whips along a fair pace and is not as baggy as some Marvel stories and villain is suitable villainy and isn’t motivated by world-dominance, he even has one of the Detectorists as a henchman, I could have done with the side-order of the Ghost, which felt it was shoe-horned in and was frankly a bit, well boring. Having said this equally within the ginormous Marvel Universe Ant-Man and the Wasp does not seem to move on the character much in any way. The only part that ties this in with that Universe is the ending which leaves you in no doubt what’s happened to three of the four heroes but there’s a huge clumsy clue to how this golden goose will carry just before the ‘terrifying ending’.

All in all I was entertained and found Ant Man and the Wasp fun not least because Paul Rudd dragged it way out of the mundane ably assisted by the film’s cast but after watching and reflecting on what I was going write the nagging feeling I get, despite all that has been said and written about the comic-book world and the themes they present to viewers and readers, is fair from adult fare the more I thought about this film and all the others I say is that are childish, very simple and childish.

There I’ve said it. Now I’ll put my tin-hat on.  

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