Category Archives: Marvel

Ant-Man and The Wasp

Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

*Minor spoilers*

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest after his antics on tour with his band, The Avengers (in Captain America: Civil War, duh). Things aren’t all bad though as he’s able to spend lots of time with his daughter Cassie.

He’s no longer in touch with Hank Pym and his daughter Hope (Michael Douglas and beautiful Evangeline Lilly), who are peeved with his decision to ditch them for Cap – but his security business – X-con Home Security – run with pals Luis, Dave and Kurt is going (sort of) okay.

Hank and Hope have been forced into hiding but this hasn’t stopped them doing what they do best. Working on a tunnel to get them into the quantum realm, the pair believe there’s a chance they can find and save Hope’s mother Janet, who might still be alive down there. When Scott has a sort of vision/dream which he deciphers as Janet trying to contact him from the QR, he reaches out to Pym.

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Of course the gang are soon back together though there’s still some bitterness to work through. These squabbles are soon forgotten, however when Pym and co. realise they have bigger problems, namely a very nimble new nemesis called Ghost. Ghost is desperate to get her hands on Pym’s portable lab and therefore the tunnel to the QR for her own means. But what are those means, hmmm?

As with the last couple of Marvel films, we’ve been given a villain that doesn’t fit the usual mold and I like it. Ghost makes questionable, bad decisions and hurts people but she’s not all bad and not unsympathetic. This helps you actually care about her character when push comes to shove – and her arc is an interesting one that raises the question of whether we’ll see more of her later on in the franchise. I hope so, Hannah John-Kamen is a hottie.

With another bad guy and his henchmen on their tail, Ant-Man and Wasp are forced to fight to keep the lab in their possession – which is easier said than done. In addition, is Janet really still alive in the Quantum Realm and will Hank be able to bring her home unharmed?

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While Ant-Man is never going to be as strong as some of the more serious Marvel contenders, I do enjoy these movies. They feel old-school in comparison to the big boys and they perfectly balance the MCU. After the intensity of Infinity War earlier this year, Ant-Man was a fun breath of fresh air.

Paul Rudd never disappoints but I do feel as though this is Evangeline Lilly’s movie. She commands the screen and brings a practical strength to the role of Wasp. I wasn’t all that fussed to begin with but now I’m looking forward to more from her. The way this movie plays with scale is a lot of fun and harks back to Honey, I shrunk the Kids from the eighties.

As for support, Michael Peña is brilliant as Luis (the truth serum gag is a scream), while I really enjoyed both Bobby Cannavale and Judy Greer as Scott’s ex-wife. Also, I haven’t mentioned a very big name because when I went into the film I didn’t even know she was in it so I won’t spoiler it. But she’s kind of a big deal and I love her.

Oh, and while we’re here I bet you’re wondering how all this fits into Infinity War and that cliffhanger, huh? Well, it’s not until the post credit scene that this becomes clear but let me tell you, it makes the movie – and opens up a lot of questions.

So many questions – can Avengers 4 just hurry up already?

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My Rating

3.5/5.

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling cyborg, Cable.

I went into DP2 with the worry that it would be too smug for its own good and therefore, would get on my nerves. It is smug but it also throws in a few surprises and manages to be poignant in places too. It’s also hilarious with so many machine-gun fire jokes that it would be impossible to catch them all in your first sitting.

This sequel introduces several new characters who look set to stick around in future films (hopefully), including time-travelling super soldier Cable (fit AF Josh Brolin), seriously misunderstood orphan Firefist (Julian Dennison) and the lovely Domino (Zazie Beetz), the latter of whom is a member of X Force, Deadpool’s very own X Men tribute band. 

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Up against the wrath of Cable who is after Firefist for future crimes (phew), Deadpool must protect the damaged boy, who is on his own mission of vengeance. All the while coming to terms with his own losses in life.

It’s a rip-roaring adventure and the X Force recruitment/first mission segment is perfection. Special shout out to Rob Delaney‘s every man Peter, who pretty much steals the entire gig. 

My Rating

4/5.

 

Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Sterling K. Brown, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke

IMDB Synopsis

T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.

*Minor spoilers*

First off, I have no clue how I’m supposed to get all my thoughts about this film down coherently. I loved it. I loved it more than any other Marvel movie I’ve seen, that’s for sure.

While I watched, I had similar feelings to those I had while finally seeing Wonder Woman for the first time – it just blew me away.

So T’Challa (Boseman) finds himself freshly crowned King of Wakanda following the death of his father in Captain America: Civil War (at the hands of brain-washed super soldier Bucky Barnes). He’s a fine replacement with his feet firmly on the ground, which is surprising given all the adventures he’s been on recently with his new buddies.

The various friendly (and not so) factions of Wakanda are for the most part happy with this new appointment and they all plan to get on peacefully with life in the technologically advanced (and aesthetically mind-blowing) Wakanda.

Well, that would make for a very short and cheerful Marvel vehicle if that was that, so you’ll be relieved to note that there is a bad guy lurking on the outskirts, the mercenary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis: 100% would bang). Klaue (CLAW!) has got hold of some cheeky Vibranium, the precious metal used to power the whole of Wakanda – and he’s looking to weaponise that shit. Backed by a small crew, Klaue is wreaking havoc much to the dismay of T’Challa and his council.

Pushed to do something about Klaue, particularly by buddy W’Kabi (Kaluuya) whose father was killed by this maniac, the new King rounds up his own team: the mighty General Okoye (Gurira) and spy/crush Nakia (Nyong’o). Teched up to the nines by T’Challa’s precocious sister Shiri (Black Museum‘s Letitia Wright) how can they fail? But there are obstacles along the way, guys – massive, stressful obstacles.

Will the rightful King overcome them, protect the throne, get the girl and above all, do the right thing by his people? I’d say get up THIS SECOND, go to your local picture house and find out for yourselves.

Black Panther is beautiful to look at obviously. The insanely advanced Wakanda is stunning, something to truly marvel at (lol) but it’s not just about the scale, it’s about the colours, the framing, the COSTUMING – the costuming is wonderful, authentic looking and practical. Once again I am reminded of the incredible achievements of the Wonder Woman costume department and it’s very moving to witness practical and attractive (yet not hyper-sexualised) armor worn by the women in battle.

Obviously I have to mention how female this film is, how equal rights and awesome it is that King T’Challa has his back covered by a bunch of women. How the General of his army is a woman and how the whole of Wakanda is powered by his genius younger sister. T’Challa is influenced by the ideals of his true love, a female spy and warrior, who’s first concern is to help those with less than they have themselves – even as he is offering her the world to stay by his side.

The cast in an unbelievable collection of talent, from Angela Fucking Basset to my favourite, Daniel ‘Tealeaf’ Kaluuya. I love the holy trinity of women too, they’re everything.

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And while Black Panther is not the first black superhero we’ve ever seen (uh hello? Blade?), on this scale with this cast it is awe-inspiring to witness. Though it shouldn’t be a big deal in 2018 that we’re finally getting a main-stream film with a predominantly black cast rooted in black culture and the black experience – it fucking is.

My Rating

5/5.