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Ant-Man and the Wasp: the joy of insects

02 August, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Directed by Peyton Reed
Certificate 12a
☆☆☆☆

ASK yourself what you want from a superhero film, and the answer to such a question surely lies within this two-hour summer treat from Marvel.

It is funny, imaginative, adventurous, silly. It has a wacky tale, heroes you’ll love, cracking action and marvellous special effects.

Scott Land (Paul Rudd) is Ant-Man, who we meet in the fallout from his previous appearance in the Marvel film Captain America: Civil War. He is under house arrest in San Francisco, and in a brilliant opening scene we watch as he tries to entertain his daughter while being stuck indoors.

The days of his incarceration are ticking down, and he has to put up with the visits from small-minded FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park with some killer lines), intent on making life hell.

But we know Ant-Man is going to have to don his costume and go miniature sooner or later – and things get moving when the gang who created the Ant Man suit, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), appear with a mission for him to get to grips with.

Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), we learn, has sent a subliminal message to Scott.

Apparently, a few decades ago, while she was saving the planet from a nuclear blast, she was sent spinning into a sub-atomic mini world and was presumably lost for ever… except, perhaps, she is alive and awaiting rescue.

This is the main plot thrust, but there is more than a Journey to the Centre of the Earth-type adventure to contend with. The story brings in Hank’s ex-colleague Bill (Laurence Fishburne) and Ava (Hannah John-Kamen), a particle-shifting ghost who as a girl was smashed every which way by an accident caused by Hank and Bill’s miniaturisation work, and hopes by rescuing Janet and then sucking her quantum power Ava will be re-made…

There is also gadget-sourcing baddie Burch (Walter Goggins), a wonderful sleazeball, who knows that Hank, Hope and Scott are up to something – and whatever it is, he wants a piece of it.

Look out for some of his lines towards the end, where a thinly disguised pop at Donald Trump lurks.

Pacy, with wonderful effects (there’s plenty of imagination poured into the concepts of shrinking and growing), this has all the required hallmarks for a classic Marvel movie for the summer blockbuster season.

An enjoyably silly romp.

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