Big ac­tion, small fun

The Hitavada - - PASTIME - By Fa­rina Salim Qu­raishi

AF­TER lay­ing low for two years, the world’s small­est su­per­hero An­tman is all suited and booted to pack punches above his size, with a charm­ing Wasp for com­pany. An­tman And The Wasp with its heart­en­ing hu­mour and non-global de­struc­tion con­cerns is per­fect an­ti­dote for over­whelm­ing sense of dark­ness and doom that Avengers:

In­fin­ity War un­leashed upon un­sus­pect­ing fans a few months back. Swap­ping the all-too-som­bre shad­ows hang­ing over the MCU for some fun and fizz, An­tman... re­fuses to toe the se­ri­ous line and in­stead is con­tent be­ing a light­weight in a uni­verse over-crowded by su­per se­ri­ous he­roes.

Post align­ing forces with the Cap, Scott is forced serve two years of house ar­rest as part of his deal to stay out of prison for vi­o­lat­ing the Sokovia Ac­cords. Even as the re­lease day is near­ing, Scott gets a vi­sion about his men­tor’s wife, Janet van Dyne, who is miss­ing in Quan­tum Realm.

Scott re­luc­tantly calls Hank Pym (Michael Dou­glas) and Hope van Dyne (Evan­ge­line Lilly), both of whom are wanted by the FBI, cour­tesy Scott’s mis­ad­ven­tures. The Pyms by now have as­sem­bled a lab con­tain­ing a Quan­tum Tun­nel to rescue Janet. How­ever, there are sev­eral road-blocks along their way, in­clud­ing shape-shift­ing an­tag­o­nist Ghost (Han­nah John-Ka­men) and con­niv­ing arms dealer Sonny Burch. Torn be­tween want­ing to be a free man for his daugh­ter to set­ting things right for Hope, Scott is faced with an im­pos­si­ble choice with time run­ning out.

Di­rec­tor Pey­ton Reed re­turned for the se­quel and has re­tained the goofy charm and in­ge­nu­ity which made An­tman a block­buster. All of pre­quel’s take­aways - the hu­mour, emo­tional heft, and sci­en­tific bounc­ers - are packed in by the dozen mak­ing An­tman... so very fa­mil­iar yet dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent. De­spite the shared ti­tle, An­tman... firmly re­mains a Scott Lang film. Sure Hope has a pow­er­ful mo­tive - bring­ing back her mother – and im­pres­sive fight scenes too, but has lit­tle in name of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment. The story too is just func­tional, run­ning straight and easy with hardly any twists and turns. The straight­for­ward nar­ra­tion, de­spite be­ing hu­mor­ous and breezy lacks the right­eous zeal of Black

Pan­ther or the clever cheek­i­ness of Thor: Rag­narok ; the two re­cently break­out Marvel en­tries.

The scaled-down ac­tion how­ever is top notch, with tiny su­per­pow­ers mak­ing a big im­pact. The rapidly size-shift­ing ac­tion se­quences are fast, fu­ri­ous and loads of fun. Build­ings and cars get­ting minia­turised are stun­ning ac­tion-pieces and there’s plenty of laughs to be had from a Scott’s mal­func­tion­ing An­tman suit.

Paul Rudd is nim­ble-footed as An­tman, hav­ing much fun in the suit and even out­side it. The all-heart out­ing of Rudd is evoca­tive and his flawless comic-tim­ing and quips go a long way in el­e­vat­ing the un­der­whelm­ing film. Evan­ge­line Lilly shines as the sharp, suave su­per­heroine. How­ever, the Marvel trend of tooth­less bad­dies con­tin­ues with Ghost be­ing one of the most ill-de­fined vil­lain of all time!

With its stakes scaled down and en­ter­tain­ment amped up to max­i­mum, Ant-Man And The Wasp is per­fect break for MCU fans still mourn­ing the dev­as­ta­tion un­leashed by Thanos and the In­fin­ity Stones. All fun and fizz, this one is just for the chuck­les.

PS: Do stick around for two end-credit treats, while one is all fluff, the other is a pointer to the ca­latalmic events in store af­ter Avengers: In­fin­ity War.

The Hi­tavada Rat­ing: ✯✯

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