Big action, small fun
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: ✯✯