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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 9, 2018

Antman And The Wasp Movie Review: Somewhat Anti-Climactic After Marvel's Earlier Mega Blockbusters, "Black Panther" And "Avengers: Infinity War"

MARVEL STUDIOS scored a one-two punch early this year with “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” that are both mega-blockbusters. Now comes “Antman and the Wasp” and it certainly pales in comparison to the ambitious scope and scale of the first two flicks. The expository first part, in particular, is slow moving and our grandkids got bored at some point.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest after helping Captain America in “Civil War”. He is now trying to be a good dad to his daughter, Cassie (Ryder Fortson), who remains in the custody of his ex-wife (Judy Greer),

While helping run his security firm called X-Con. But Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) now want him to help them in trying to get back Hope’s mom, Janet (now revealed to be Michelle Pfeiffer). In a dream, Scott sees her trapped in the quantum realm and they want Scott to go to that realm to help retrieve Janet from there.

But it’s not that easy as they have to cope with the tormented Ava aka Ghost (Hannah John Kamen), whose body is disintegrating and in pain, so she urgently needs an infusion of quantum energy to regenerate and save her. Ghost wants to get the laboratory of Hank where he invented a Quantum Tunnel leading to the Quantum Realm. This could help give her new life.

The whole building has been shrunk and reduced by Hank to a small size like antman. It is now about the size of a carry-on luggage, so it’s easy to snatch it away. Also running after the shrunken laboratory is the gangster Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) who wants to use it for his own nefarious purposes.

So what we have in the movie is a series of long chase sequences where Scott and company repeatedly lose, get back, and again lose their miniaturized laboratory to the villains. It becomes repetitive after a while as there is no other big conflict in the story.

Ava aka Ghost has her own interesting back story but this is not so well developed and where her story eventually goes is also not that really well handled. Her guardian and ally is Laurence Fishburne in a lesser role as Dr. Bill Foster, Hank’s former colleague who he claims has betrayed him before.

What saves the movie from being a total bore are the cute and hilarious moments involving other characters, led by Scott’s assistant, the motormouth Luis (Michael Pena), and his bumbling sidekicks with their truth serum. There’s also FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) who’s trying his best to nail Scott while comically trying to learn some magic card tricks from him.

In the first “Antman”, we see a giant Thomas the Train and now, we get a pink Hello Kity turned into a monstrous weapon hurled at the pursuing villains. Evangeline Lilly’s role as Hope is expanded as Wasp and she’s given the movie’s first action scene while fighting some goons in a restaurant kitchen and later on figuring in a car chase ala-Bullitt around San Francisco, including the most crooked street in the world. Antman turns into a Giant Man in some sequences, particularly in the climax shot at the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.

As usual, don’t leave the theatre right away as there are two special previews during the end credits. The first one is relevant as it shows three characters dissipating into thin air, like some of the superheroes in “Infinity War”, while one is left behind, marooned at the Quantum Realm. The last sneak preview is actually a waste of time and you need not spend about five minutes of your time waiting through five minutes of various names being credited on the screen. Not worth sitting through at all.