I saw Ant-Man 2 with Nick at Top Ryde. I first saw the original in 2015 with another friend. A story of family, love, and friendship, Ant-Man conveys these themes in a lighthearted and breezy manner. There are different units in Ant-man’s life, of varying consequence. Like spending time with his workmates, 3 units. Discussing world issues with Pym (Michael Douglas) and Van Dyne/Wasp, five units. Escaping the baddies, four units. Killing time at home: six units. Doting on his daughter (five units). He does all these while being stuck in his abode due to house arrest.
Set again in San Francisco, Cali, the movie occurs during the last days of his forced home detention. In between visits from his daughter and colleagues, Scott Lang a.k.a Ant-Man is torn between venturing out or staying bored at home. With the aid of his friends, he manages to overstep his banal existence and live out his dream – outside of the norm. He struggles with powers, and has trouble with transforming to the right size. His shrinkage often leads to comical situations, while his ‘growth spurts’ make him headline news. He also manages to get a partner (Hope) in fighting crime, and they become a formidable duo.
There is no shortage of adversaries in Ant-man 2, making it a little like Spider-Man 3 (2007). In terms of villains, there are three parties to contend with. First, there’s the FBI who always arrive unannounced just to ensure that Scott stays at home. Then there’s the opportunist Sonny Burch (veteran Walton Goggins), who has eyes on Pym’s office. The building contains everything nice, and can be shrunk into the size of a carry-on. Finally, Ava/Ghost can ‘phase’ and avoid punches and bullets. She has the same objective as the good guys, making her a baddie. Up and coming actor Hannah John-Kamen is irresistable as the supervillain. In more than one occasion, these three parties collide with the goodies to foil each other’s plans. Scott has to slalom through FBI agents, hungry hunters, and a tough Ava, all while keeping his family safe.
Hope’s quest to find her mother is a major storyline. Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet) joins the cast and delivers a solid performance as Pym’s long lost wife. Ant-Man acts as the bridge between the subatomic world and the real world, and the search for the lost heroine is both poignant and effective. After not seeing Janet for thirty years, Hope wondered whether the latter had changed or even forgotten her. This, and Scott’s response, was a more touchy scene. Moreover, Lawrence Fishburne was also convincing as Pym’s old friend, who became Ava’s mentor. Even Scott’s associate, Luis (played by Michael Pena), had rants that hit the mark. All in all, the film has deserved that universal acclaim, with strong performances all round. The smooth plot, light material, and locked-in cast, made me enjoy this session. No doubt, this offering demonstrates another big screen grand slam from Marvel.
If you want danger and fireworks, I’m sorry to break it to you but this isn’t that one. Through two hours of running, laughing, and interfacing, there is no real danger here. The bad guys get thwarted, the mainstays join forces, everyone is happy. Isn’t that what audiences want? The heroes always getting the girl, the evildoers either done or turned? At least with Ant-Man, we can have that escape.
Three and a half stars (out of five)