F-ant-as­tic ac­tion in new Marvel movie

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Ant-Man and the Wasp, with Paul Rudd, Evan­ge­line Lilly, Michael Pena, Michael Dou­glas, Michelle Pfeif­fer. Di­rected by Pey­ton Reed. 4.5/5

FOL­LOW­ING its tried and tested for­mula, the Marvel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse has come out with an­other crowd-pleaser in Ant-Man and the Wasp, the se­quel to 2015’s Ant-Man.

Hon­our­ing the Marvel Comics on which the char­ac­ters are based, the movies delve deeper into the fact there was an Ant-Man be­fore re­formed crim­i­nal Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) started wear­ing the suit that al­lows its user to shrink to ant size while still in­flict­ing nor­mal body mass punches.

A flash­back shows the orig­i­nal Ant-Man, Dr Hank Pym (Michael Dou­glas) and his wife Janet van Dyne aka the Wasp (Michelle Pfeif­fer) on a des­per­ate mis­sion to stop a Soviet nu­clear mis­sile, af­ter say­ing good­bye to their daugh­ter.

Un­able to cut through the metal shell, they re­alise their only hope of stop­ping it is to shrink through the mol­e­cules of the metal to dis­rupt the rocket’s elec­tron­ics. As Pym’s suit is short­ing, only Van Dyne can do it and saves the day, but dis­ap­pears into the sub-atomic quan­tum realm.

Pym be­lieved her lost for­ever and raised their daugh­ter Hope alone. Years later, with Lang hav­ing taken up the man­tle of Ant-Man, he dis­cov­ered a way to both en­ter and re­turn from the quan­tum realm. Pym and Hope (Evan­ge­line Lilly) be­gan work on re­peat­ing this feat, be­liev­ing they may find Janet alive. Lang and Hope also started a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. Lang’s re­la­tion­ship with the Pyms was thrown awry, how­ever, by the fall­out of Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War. Lang was placed un­der house ar­rest while Pym and Hope cut ties with him and went into hid­ing.

When Pym and Hope briefly man­age to open a tun­nel to the quan­tum realm in the present day, Lang re­ceives an ap­par­ent mes­sage from Janet, with whom he shares a quan­tum con­nec­tion.

Lang is re­united with Hope and Pym, and a most ap­pro­pri­ate dop­pel­ganger is left in his place to not arouse sus­pi­cions from the FBI.

Hav­ing worked on a ma­chine to cre­ate a tun­nel to the quan­tum realm, Pym and Hope need only one more part, which they or­der on the black mar­ket. But the seller dou­ble-crosses them, which sees Hope trans­form into her Wasp iden­tity to thwart the crim­i­nals.

The skir­mish be­comes fur­ther com­pli­cated by the ap­pear­ance of a third party, a “ghost” that phases in and out of re­al­ity and steals Pym’s shrunken lab.

It be­comes a cat and mouse chase for the lab and tech­nol­ogy within, with the he­roes fight­ing crim­i­nals and their new su­per-pow­ered foe as well as avoid­ing the ever-watch­ful FBI.

Also in the Marvel for­mula, there’s a good dose of hu­mour amid all the ac­tion and spec­tac­u­lar ef­fects.

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