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.

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and many more

IMDB Synopsis

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Where: Odeon Brighton
When: Saturday 28th April
Snacks: Popcorn and drink combo

*Spoilers*

My Review

Well this one is going to be a doozy to recap but I’ll do my best. Not all heroes wear spandex and hang out with Thor, you know?

In two words I think I could sum up Infinity War – “My heart” – but since this is a supposed film blog, more words are required. Here goes…

This film blew my tiny mind, made me feel excited once more to be immersed in the MCU (though to be fair this had already started with the first Guardians movies and from Homecoming to Black Panther) – something I never saw coming. Marvel Fatigue is an actual thing, a new sickness sweeping the nation but the fever’s broken and all is well again – that’s how I see it.

I want to be part of the action again and have strong feelings for so many of our protagonists – so you can imagine that this was a hard one to stomach given the way it leaves things.

Yes, yes – so many theories about the future of our favourites, I know but let’s just grieve for a little while.

Infinity War has so much going on that I won’t got through the plot bit by bit as I might normally, instead I think I’ll pick out the bits I super loved and scratch away at the tiny bits that didn’t work for me (there’s not much).

Best Bits

  • Literally everything and everyone in Wakanda, obvs. From Okoye (Danai Gurira) to BP himself (Chadwick Boseman) by way of Shuri (Letitia Wright) and M’Baku (Winston Duke) and his crew – it’s spot on. Wakanda forever indeed!
  • All the Guardians (not you Quill, see below) – particularly Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper).
  • Special shout out to teen Groot (Vin Diesel) who dominated his scenes in the most subtle way – and the teenager stereotype wasn’t overdone here, even though it is so accurate (step mum of a 13-year-old, yo).
  • Thanos (Josh Brolin) the super villain with an actual heart and an almost understandable agenda, even though it’s evil and obviously hugely misguided. As with Killmonger’s raison d’être in Black Panther, there’s a social commentary being made and it’s refreshing that these motivations are a grey area. It also allows us to feel something for our antagonists, if not total understanding – and I like that feeling, frankly.
  • Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), surprisingly. He featured way more than I expected and I like him, I really like him.
  • Spiderman’s (Tom Holland) scenes were all top-notch but I really enjoyed his film references and particularly replicating a scene from Aliens to save the day (temporarily). It would also be remiss to not mention his final scene which broke my heart cleanly in two.
  • Rocket and Groot teaming up with Thor (Hemsworth), the “Pirate Angel” – this new dynamic kept things fresh and really showcased Rocket’s comic timing. See also Rocket on the battle field with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Groot’s initial meeting with Cap (Chris Evans): “I am Steve Rogers”. PERFECTION.
  • Cap’s beard – also perfection.
  • Peter Dinklage as Eitri. I loved the whole forging of the axe segment on Nidavellir. Glorious and funny as Hell.
  • Girl power on the front line – when Okoye and Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) rock up to fight alongside Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), I cheered and then got a lump in my throat. Female unity hasn’t exactly been a thing like this before (or before BP, that is) and I’m here for all of it – more please Marvel. Also, the line: “She’s not alone”, pass the fucking tissues.
  • Hulk in hiding is a new exploration of PTSD and I liked this too – plus we get more Ruffalo screen time and the contrast between Bruce Banner and Hulk is really interesting – I look forward to seeing the jolly green giant again but for now: oh hai, Mark!
  • Also the awkward reunion of Romanoff and Bruce – so many emotions in one simple, brief exchange.
  • We got more from Scarlet Witch and her skills which I’m here for, as well as more Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) – although I don’t think Gamora can come back, I’m hopeful they’ll find a groove for Nebula somewhere and evolve her character more.
  • Dat post-credit scene, man. “Motherfu…”
  • And so many other scenes and little details that I’ve probably forgotten to mention.

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The Not So Best Bits

  • Could take or leave the Scarlet Witch/Vision (Paul Bettany) love-in. Wishy-washy as fuck. Also, how does he get into human form, is this a thing now?
  • Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) at the best of times but in this his petulance really came through and irritated me, not least because he fucks things up for the others. I get he’s got some grieving to do but look at the bigger picture, dude.
  • Not enough Wong (Benedict Wong) – where did he go, off to make a cuppa while the universe imploded? (Actually, fair play, that’s where I’d be).
  • It did seem just a teeny bit easy for Thanos to get all those Infinity Stones one by one (sacrificing his daughter aside).
  • No Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) or Korg (Taika Waititi)? Criminal!

So all in all, I am one happy fan-bunny (and I’m seeing it again tomorrow). While I had initial reservations about keeping up with so much, I think it was handled perfectly with little splinter groups mixing things up. Introducing new dynamics and building new relationships was a stroke of inspiration and one of my favourite elements. I can’t wait for Avengers 4 now.

All that build up over a decade and we get this: if not a masterpiece, then pretty blimmin’ close.

My Rating

5/5.