'Ant-Man and the Wasp' review

'Ant-Man and the Wasp' review

Second time right

Hope van Dyne and Scott Lang in their respective suits in a still from the film. Photo: YouTube/Marvel Studios

Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Randall Park, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen
Score: 4/5

Marvel Studios, the proprietor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has come a long way. The studio has gone from men in iron suits to Universe-threatening calamities, and yet they feel the need to size up every story they tell. In this ever-raging tornado, a little guy like Scott Lang might seem out of place. After all, he is no God, he does not have any super-soldier serum that gave him strength, and he is not rich. What he does have is a light vibe that he brings to every situation he enters.

Taking off 2 years after Captain America: Civil War, Scott, formerly known as Ant-Man is under house arrest for violating a certain law. He no longer has his suit and Hope resents him for going off on his own and getting arrested, leaving her and Hank as fugitives. However, when Scott has dreams of Hank's wife, Janet, they reluctantly come back together as a team to save her from the quantum realm, where Scott was almost lost in the first film.

Entering this mix, however, is 'Ghost', an assassin who can go through objects and people, and will do anything to get the technology Hank is putting together to save Janet, and Jimmy Woo, Scott's parole officer, who for all intents and purposes, rules over the film with his comic timing. Returning to the fold are Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie, Scott's ever-lovable daughter and Luis, complete with his tactical wit.

'Ghost', played by Hannah John-Kamen in Ant-Man and the Wasp. YouTube/Marvel Studios
'Ghost', played by Hannah John-Kamen in Ant-Man and the Wasp. YouTube/Marvel Studios

Marvel films, as good as they may be, have had a slight character problem. The studio has of late, put mind-numbing CGI action over organic characters. Peyton Reed, for the lack of better words, breaks out of the mould and puts making the characters feel like real people above the action set-pieces. The characters don't feel overburdened with some great destiny of saving the world or the universe, allowing the film significant breathing room.

Scott and Cassie having some time to reflect. Photo: YouTube/Marvel Studios
Scott and Cassie having some time to reflect. Photo: YouTube/Marvel Studios

With a runtime of 118 minutes, the film wastes little time on unnecessary exposition. The almost buttery smooth pace of the film afforded to it by the smaller scale of the stakes allows Reed to comfortably re-acquaint us with the returning cast and show the motives behind the actions of the new additions.

The action is crisp and spread healthily throughout the film. The fight choreography is solid and combined with Ghost's powers, it adds to a truly marvellous sight to behold, leaving no single moment that feels tiring or monotonous, building up to a satisfying final multi-way confrontation where the stakes for all the parties involved truly shine.

Unfortunately, what does not always land is the music. This could just be a side-effect of the excellently-written characters and action, but the music fizzles out in comparison to everything that's happening on the screen. Some of the comedy could also have used some work because it feels out of place and doesn't quite stick the landing.

The first Ant-Man suffered due to Peyton Reed attempting to fill the shoes of Edgar Wright, creating a confused film that tried too hard to be both an action film and a heist film at the same time. Ant-Man and the Wasp, for its flaws, does not distract much from the experience and is a vast improvement. Reed fires on, and for the most part, hits on all cylinders, delivering an overall enjoyable experience.

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