Ant-Man (2015) was a bit of an oddity in the Marvel ‘MCU’ juggernaut. Following the very well-received Winter Soldier and the surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy, and as we were waiting for Civil War, Marvel had a bit of a bum note with the less-than-excellent Age of Ultron. For the next release to be the new, largely unknown character of Ant-Man was something of a risk, and the film’s lighthearted tone and apparent disconnect from the rest of the series made it a little hard to love.
Looking back, however, Ant-Man is a fun movie that benefits from being rather stand-alone. The sequel picks up after the closing sting, where Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne character announces “It’s about damn time!” to her Wasp outfit – and, indeed, about damn time for a female character to be named in the title of a Marvel movie!
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I think one of the reasons Ant-Man doesn’t quite work is that the story being told isn’t wholly that of the main character, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), but of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) – certainly, as pointed out in this excellent article for writers, the protagonist is set against Pym, leaving Lang as a bit of a hanger on in his own movie. With this sequel, that dynamic doesn’t really change, and once again we get a movie where the narrative is a collection of things that sort of happen around the main character, that he gets involved with, but overall aren’t really about him.
That said, there are some really good bits here: Paul Rudd is cute and funny. Evangeline Lilly is fantastically kick-ass. The supporting cast are all excellent. The sense of humour is strong, particularly with the shrinking/expanding technology and Michael Peña’s fantastic Luis.
Overall this is a lot of fun in different bits, but never going to be all that memorable.
Released: 2nd August 2018
Viewed: 11th August 2018
Running time: 118 minutes
My rating: 7.5/10