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Ant-Man and The Wasp (3D/IMAX)


Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip 'T.I.' Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

Director: Peyton Reed

While Marvel/Disney's Ant-Man was fast and flashy, in the final analysis it was fun but mostly forgettable.

Here, thanks to hard work on both sides of the camera (the special effects, in particular, that convincingly create the titular characters, along with bizarre quantum realms and sizzling screens of action and fantasy in Darkest San Francisco are Oscar-worthy) along with car chases that would make Bullitt envious, Ant-Man and Wasp Woman fly high.

This time out, Rudd spends his time polishing his drumming skills while consigned to house arrest until he boldly goes where no Ant-Man has gone before into weird and wonderful quantum zones along with Wasp-Woman to solve his emotional hang-ups and save lives...

The convoluted and visually amazing storyline keeps you watching happily without suffering any major brain strain from trying to keep up with the narrative. Rudd, who co-wrote the screenplay, strikes an enjoyable balance between daffy dad out to make good and Marvel superhero out to do even better, Lilly stings along as the Wasp, Douglas, returning as super scientist Dr Hank Pym, displays an unexpectedly pleasant sense of satire, while his gleaming teeth are an Oscar-worthy tribute to American dentistry.

Movie magic creates everything from giant seagulls to a building that conveniently shrinks to the size of a briefcase so that it can be picked up and carried variously by the villains and the Good Guys, Pfeiffer makes a welcome appearance, Fishburne, Pena and Goggins do all that is required of them while director Reed does a splendid job of making the fun (if hardy credible) story move briskly with fortunately few narrative lacunae.

And stay on after the credits when Disney/Marvel promote things to come.

(Sadly - as appears to be the problem with Marvel movies - there's one unfortunate, unnecessary and irritating scene. The egregious Stan Lee (Marvel comic book creator) appears in yet another pointless scene where, sadly, he doesn't come under attack by the vicious seagulls who take it out on San Francisco.

Alan Frank

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Disney. Colour.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 05 Aug 2018