• Release: 13/07/2018
  • Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michele Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins and Michael Pena
  • Director:  Peyton Reed

The first Ant-Man was a lot of fun. I loved the manner in which the film was funny without making a mockery of itself. It was serious with its plot and yet humorous enough to leave a good taste in your mouth. There was plenty of action and most of it worked. The fact that the “shrinking and growing” thing was a novelty at that time, it worked even better. The action was also peppered equally in both the halves. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” though is a departure from all those good things. It comes after the release of Avengers: Infinity War and we know that they have to tie in this film with the upcoming Avengers film and they do that with an end credit sequence but for some reason, this film felt very assembly line missing out on the heart and excitement of predecessor to a great extent.

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) discover a means to bring back Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, who was lost in the quantum realm carrying out a mission with Hank (the original Ant-Man). As Hank and Hope set out to build the gateway that will help them reach Janet, two other parties learn of the tech and go after them to have their hands on it. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War. He has a vision of Janet in his dreams which Hank and Hope believe could be key to Janet’s rescue. As they reunite in order to save Janet, the villains quickly make their presence felt and things spiral out of control.

A large portion of the first half is devoid of any serious action. What we get instead of action is a lot of running around. Lang is running from authorities. Pym is running from authorities, villains and also some of his old buddies. Pym is also running against time and trying to beat it to get to his wife. Thankfully there are some major comic reliefs in between which keeps the story flowing and doesn’t let the screenplay become boring. Once the stakes are set and the players ready, we finally get to the action. I really liked the chase sequence through the streets of New York which is captured with vitality and pinch of comedy. The director does well to introduce some interesting and innovative set pieces which clearly add to the action.

The 3D here is well used. When the action sequences are on, one can easily see the amount of details and hard work that has gone into it. The 3D is perfectly suited for the kind of action choreography that this film has to offer and it adds an added dimension to it all.

Paul Rudd is a charmer. He is very likable and the script has enough for him to showcase his histrionics which he does efficiently. At so many junctures I felt that he is much better as Scott Lang then he is as Ant-Man and it’s probably one of the best compliments that I can give him. My next favorite of the actors is not Evangeline Lilly but Michael Pena as Lang’s friend and business associate. He is utterly hilarious and brings in another sublimely executed and acted exposition sequence (like the one in the predecessor) towards the end in this film. I loved that gag. It is the kind of sequence that one would love to watch and re-watch even if they ignore the film completely.

Evangeline Lilly is good as Hope and kicks ass as the Wasp. She carries forward her mojo from the first film and is in control of her character. Her scenes with Lang and her father played by Douglas are her high points in this film. Michael Douglas is a charmer. He has always been. Even in the bad films. Here too he does his very best. Hannah John-Kamen plays one of the baddies of the film called Ghost. You all must have seen her in the trailers (the girl in white who phases). I felt her character could have been really good but the manner in which it is written, the character is rendered one-dimensional leaving very little for her to do about it. Having said that, she still excels wonderfully in the action sequences. Walton Goggins, one of my favorite baddies of recent times is a complete waste. Anyone could have been given his part and it wouldn’t make any difference.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a half-hearted attempt at making nothing more than a tie-in film for the next Avengers extravaganza. Unlike the first installment, this one falls short on entertainment, action and making us care for the characters. After sitting through it, I didn’t feel a thing about any of the characters including the protagonist. A crucial portion of the film hangs on the race against time to save Janet and even in this portion, there is hardly any tension. I always knew that she would be saved and never for a second was worried about her well being.

The only shock of the film comes in the mid end credit sequence. Do remember to stay back for that sequence. It is what ties in this film to the Avenger’s timeline. Also, there are a lot of Easter Eggs that this film points to which might assume importance in future films. For now, looking at it as an individual film, Ant-Man and the Wasp was a disappointment for me.

Rating : 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)        


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