Director: Peyton Reed
12A | 1h 58min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 2 August 2018 (UK)
Moderately fun in a whimsical, near-slapstick way at times, with the odd bit of unironic hero musings splashed in here and there, Ant-Man and the Wasp, helmed once again by Peyton Reed, left me feeling much the same about it as I did it's predecessor: this film feels pretty superfluous. Disconnected, until the very last minute, from the world-changing events of the Avengers: Infinity War crossover event movie despite this film being released after that Marvel movie juggernaut, Ant-Man and the Wasp also largely wastes certain elements that you'd think would be front and centre.
Thus, just like as previous Ant-Man outing only gave co-leading lady Hope Van Dyne (AKA 'The Wasp') a mere glimpse at her own superhero suit in the post-credits stinger, this sequel boasts the addition of Michelle Pfeiffer (enjoying something of a welcome career resurgence it seems this side of the decade) to the cast, but gives us very little of her until the very end. Likewise the film advertised in huge neon letters via its title and poster that this will be a team-up of equals in the shape of Ant-Man (still effectively played by the untagging goodwill Paul Rudd) AND The Wasp, but although Evangeline Lilly as Hope gets to do plenty of ass-kicking and glaring at dumb male decision making (or lack of it), its only really Rudd who gets those golden comedy beats. What worked in the last film still works in this one though, Michael Pena gets a mile-a-minute recall scene, Michael Douglas does amusingly grumpy paternal mode riffs with Rudd in the gaps between action sequences, and said action sequences still remain pretty watchable thanks to imaginative exploitation of the Ant-Man suit's ability to change size in the blink of an eye and also (perhaps the smartest idea in this franchise) to shrink other objects around it. Last time we had an oversized, dementedly-grinning Thomas the Tank Engine sprawling out onto a front lawn, whereas this time we have buildings shrunk down to carry-case size and cars reduced to compact Hot Wheels size. That, at least, still hasn't got old for me