Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Movie Review (4/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp is sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I am really amazed at how Marvel Studios have managed to maintain the timeline over a period of 10 years with 20 very successful films employing multiple writers/directors, something at which others big franchises like DC, Star Wars etc. have failed. Another thing that I love about Marvel movies is their ability to be part of the larger cinematic timeline and yet be individual standalone entertainers. This one is no exception and fits right well with in timeline, 2 years after Civil War and just before the events of Avengers – Infinity War and yet can be viewed individually. Initially when I saw the Marvel Studies release schedule for 2018 I wondered how “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will survive after the Avengers Infinity War release but let me just say this is the perfect film to come after the massive 5 starrer action-packed Marvel super hero extravaganza that Infinity War was.

This film is light, low on action, extremely funny with bright visuals and lower stakes, a complete contrast to Avengers Infinity War and that’s exactly what Marvel audience required to undo the heavy impact of Avengers Infinity War. There are a lot of people credited for the writing part including the main lead Paul Rudd. I don’t want to spoil the screenplay so all I would say is that, it is well written and perfectly paced. Comedy and action flow naturally throughout the narrative and never even once feel forced or unnecessary. All the characters including the villain/supporting cast are written very light and properly into the plot. The conflict among them is also believable. The only thing that annoyed me little is the discussion around the quantum realm/technology which got a lot more than it should be. Paul Rudd explained my feeling exactly at one point in the film when he said annoyingly that you guys add quantum to every statement you say intentionally or is it like that. But I guess this quantum realm will play a major part in next Avenger’s movie, so makers are just making sure we understand it properly.
All the performances are light, fun and convincing. Paul Rudd as Ant-Man has perfect comic timing and his interactions with Randall Park as FBI agent (who keeps a check on his house arrest) are the best, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp has the right spark and Michael Peña as Luis also one of the funniest scenes which carries perfectly. Rest of the cast including Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne are all spot-on.

Action sequences are few but unique as per the nature of this franchise and are very well choreographed. Almost 90% of action sequences are available in the trailers already and I wonder why makers do that, because the 10% that are not in the trailer have more impact than the rest.
Peyton Reed’s direction takes all the perfect ingredients like screenplay, performances, action etc. as mentioned above and creates one wonderfully balanced entertaining experience. Usually Guardians of Galaxy is regarded as the funny one in MCU but I guess Ant-Man deserves the mantle, I go with 4 stars.
I would like to thanks Novo Cinemas for the invite to Dubai Premiere and making this review possible.

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