The Cambridge Geek

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Or, Ant-Man 2: The Search for Mum.

Having gotten more than a little involved in his Ant-Man guise in the Marvel Civil War a couple of years ago, Scott Lang is just coming to the end of his two year house arrest, heavily enforced by an ankle tag. He's not been lazy in all that time, having helped Luis re-establish his security firm, built elaborate mazes to amuse his daughter, learnt close-up magic and started playing the drums.

It's not been the easiest time, with the FBI tending to drop by unannounced annoyingly often, but he's put the effort in, done his best to behave and is looking forward to his life getting back to normal.

Which is why it's a bit of a shame that two days from freedom, he finds himself having dreams about Janet Pym, who was trapped in the qunatum realm thirty years ago. Hank and Hope have been tinkering with tunnels to the quantum realm, and it seems that one of their recent efforts allowed a message through. So they're going to have to go on a big (small, big, small) adventure to get her back. Not the best news for Scott, given he's still technically under house arrest.

Of course, we need a few antagonists, and we've got two separate threats here. (I'm not counting the FBI, they're a bit too useless.) The first is Ghost, a mysterious stranger who can phase through objects, who has an interest in the quantum realm for her own ends, and the second is Sonny Burch, a black-market super tech dealer, who wants the Pym's work for simpler reasons. Money.

It's something of a chase film, with the various different teams all passing around and stealing some tech of Pym's, handily shrunk down to a portable size, with each team having their own use for it.

Obviously, since it's an Ant-Man film, shrinking (and occasionally growing) is pretty damn vital to the plot, while also remaining a good source of comedy. It's an unusual sort of car chase that has the lead car switching size when tactically convenient, and it happens to be bloody funny when you've effectively got a hot wheels style miniature car driving away from a three car full-size pile-up. I'm not quite sure how they succeeded so well in making shrunk vehicles look like toys, but it's a good trick.

I love how much thought they've put into the ways to use and abuse the shrink tech. This also applies to the action sequences, which are generally balletic.

Weirdly, the naffness of the villains works, in that they're all setting a particular feel, of mundane people muddling through a fantastic situation. Spider-Man: Homecoming had aspects of this, but I think this film is probably the most realistic to how people would be likely to cope in a world full of superheroes. We're all a bit rubbish at certain things, and so are they. Most obviously in the form of Burch and his minions, who are balanced off by Luis and his staff.

Of course, we need some heroes, and here Hope is the best. Not to play Amalgam, but Evangeline Lilly's approach in this feels very Wonder Woman-esque. That's very definitely a good thing. Lang has always been positioned as an everyman trying to keep up, and it gives a really nice comparison to Hope as someone raised and trained to heroism. Michael Douglas is still amazing as grumpy old man, especially when he gets into a shouting matching with Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster. I could be very tempted by a Logan equivalent with those two in the starring roles.

I still think of this as a family friendly Deadpool, though the Girl strongly disagrees. That's a recommendation, rather than a dig.

Score 4

Tagged: Film Superhero Marvel Fiction Cinema