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Ant-Man and the Wasp - Film Review

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by JC (subscribe)
I have a had a life-long love of the arts; enjoying theatre, ballet, art and movies. We are all time poor and have limits to our entertainment budget so I hope an honest review will help make your choices easier.
Ant-Man and The Wasp, seen this weekend at Dendy's new Coorparoo Cinema Complex, is Marvel's latest superhero offering and it's super fun.

Ant-Man and The Wasp
Ant-Man and The Wasp

Ant-Man and The Wasp is the sequel to Ant-Man; Marvel's 2015 movie hit. In the Marvel timeline, this story takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. To fully appreciate the storyline and jokes in Ant-Man and The Wasp you should see Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War first. However, don't let this stop you from going as the storyline for Ant-Man and The Wasp can stand alone and the film is a joyous riot of family-level action and fantasy.

In the original Ant-Man, Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) a down on his luck, criminally inclined but loving dad joins up with Dr Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) and Pym's daughter Hope Van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lilly) to protect Pym's sensational shrinking technology from his former protége, the evil scientist Darren Cross. Motivated to pay child support and gain visitation with his daughter, Scott agrees to use his criminal 'gifts', don Pym's shrinking suite, and learn to control an army of ants with his mind - Ant-Man is born. Along the way, we discover that Hope's (later to become Wasp) mother, has been trapped in the quantum realm since 1987 after saving thousands when disarming a Soviet nuclear missile.

Ant-Man and The Wasp
Scott and Hope

The central mission in Ant-Man and The Wasp is to rescue Hope's mother from the quantum realm; a frightening sub-atomic world. However, there are multiple side plots; the movie is like a riotous roller coaster—fast and fun. In addition to the rescue from the quantum realm, Ant-Man, The Wasp and their side-kicks must protect more world-changing technology from an evil black market dealer; ensure Scott completes his two year house arrest (a consequence of his unlawful involvement in Captain America: Civil War); set up a new legitimate business for Scott and his criminal friends (Con-Ex ...hee, hee); and deal with Ghost, a new and mysterious marvel villain who's story unravels throughout the film. Phew, the life of a superhero is super busy.

As a Sci-fi/Fantasy fan, I believe Marvel's tongue in cheek approach to superhero movies is a magic ingredient. While I desperately want to believe in a world where I can have superpowers of my own, a healthy dose of humour helps to legitimise attendance and enjoyment of these movies at any age. Ant-Man and The Wasp, aiming for the young/family viewer, is on the funnier end of the tongue-in-cheek spectrum. The visual and verbal gags are delightfully frequent.
Ant-Man and The Wasp
Ant-Man and The Was - All Star Cast

My son, a purist no doubt, felt that Ant-Man and The Wasp was not as good as the original Ant-Man because many of the gags were carried over. I personally didn't mind that some of the jokes were familiar. I love the anthropomorphised ant antics; Scott's super fast story-telling friend Luis (Michael Pena); the visual effects of enlarging and shrinking everything from cars to buildings; and most of all Paul Rudd's self-amused and naive portrayal of Scott/Ant-Man.

For the uninitiated to Marvel films, my son suggests you should look out for the 'Easter eggs'; a hidden message or image, placed as a wink to true Marvel fans. See if you can spot the city in the Quantum Realm during the rescue of Wasps mother. You should also make sure you stay for the entertaining Post Credit Scenes - a fun bonus, that will whet your appetite for the next Marvel adventure.

Directed by Peyton Reed, the 118 minutes long - PG13 film is a must for all those who are young or, at the least, young at heart.
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