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  1. Published on: 24/08/2018 06:16 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: With his house arrest just days away from ending, Scott Lang is forced to undergo a new mission as Ant-Man with potentially dangerous consequences.

    It is another busy year of superhero movies, and the last one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now among us.

    It has been quite a 2018 for the MCU. With the huge box office success and pretty good critical ratings of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel continue to grow at a rate that will not see their fans suffer from fatigue anytime soon.

    I myself really enjoyed 'Avengers: Infinity War'. I have it as my new favourite Marvel film and one of the best superhero films of all-time. One of the most impressive things about it was how everything worked after 10 years of build-up through 18 films beforehand.

    Now after all that, their 20th feature for me looked to be just a fun side-note paralleling the main story. The first Ant-Man I thought was alright. I liked the heist concept and the origins of the Ant-Man character. It had solid action, made great comedic use of the technology used by the characters, but with a couple of annoying supporting characters and like most Marvel films a forgettable villain. This one brings its strong aspects, and maybe a little bit more to get your teeth into.

    From the very first scene, I was already smiling. It starts off with one of the sweetest scenes I have seen in quite a while. That put me at ease and I just had fun with this throughout.

    The more time they were expanding and playing with the technology, the more exciting the action scenes were, I was enjoying the introduction and development of some new characters.

    Also, I was surprised at myself at how much I was laughing at regular intervals. I was amazed at how much it felt more like a comedy then a superhero film, and yet still having that Marvel magic touch to it.

    While the main story was moving nicely, I noticed some fun little sub-plots carrying on throughout the film. That was cool to see and you don't see many films these days pull it off that well anymore. Those moments just showcased the minor characters so well and made them mean something.

    All of those components made it a very satisfying final act and made me want to see another Ant-Man film, which I was not expecting to say.

    The performances all hit the spot for me and contributed well to the cause. Paul Rudd continues to prove that he is worthy of being cast as Ant-Man. His mix of comedic-timing, action and general likability works so well with the tone. Every time he puts on the suit, Rudd just proves me wrong that he deserves to be part of the MCU.

    His chemistry with Evangeline Lilly is still believable and good value viewing. Also, the addition of the always great Michael Douglas makes a terrific trio to watch and get engaged with.

    I was not a fan of Michael Pena in the previous Ant-Man. But I am happy to say that he did not annoy me in this one, and got some solid laughs out of me.

    Going back to Rudd and his chemistry, his partnership with child actor Abby Ryder Forston is so sweet to watch. Right from their first scene, it is a lovely relationship to see develop and enhance. It instantly makes you care for what happens to them for the rest of the film and it was thanks to their brilliant comradery.

    There were also plenty of strong and solid supporting and minor performances played by Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and the always good Laurence Fishburne.

    What I liked about it the most was the fun factor. I was surprised at how I could feel I was enjoying it, and there was never a moment that slowed the momentum down. Whenever it was action set-piece, or a character development piece, it all felt important to moving the story along and each section's arch got resolved in the end.

    Marvel's current phase has seen each new release almost become more than just a superhero film. We've had a high school film, a space comedy, and this one plays out more like a straight comedy.

    Also, the visual effects are obviously impressive. With the type of technology involved with Ant-Man, you've got a lot more to play with and they use it with great effect both from an action viewpoint and comedic one. I would not be against them getting an Oscar nomination.

    The only negatives I have with the film is that it's might not be as good as some other Marvel films as the stakes in the story are not as impactful as some others. Other reasons could be that certain aspects just aren't as strong as some others.

    There is nothing wrong with a superhero film that does not have end-of-the-world stakes and still be really good. They made up for it in other aspects. It comes close to be one of Marvel's best. But not quite.

    I am really enjoying this current phase of the MCU, and they have made one of the most fun features of the franchises. The only ones I feel can compete with this in terms of fun are probably Avengers Assemble, Guardians Of The Galaxy and possibly Spider-Man: Homecoming.

    I like it that you can get as much enjoyment and investment with these small scale stories as you can with the big ones.

    This 20th film of this cinematic universe will have you smiling from start to finish. I had a much better time then I had with the first one. The performances are really good, there's strong chemistry with various characters, the action is super-entertaining, it had me laughing pretty consistently throughout the film and I like how much they explore and play with the technology within its action set-pieces.

    I did have my doubts of superhero fatigue towards the end of Marvel's second phase. But since Captain America: Civil War, I have just had a very entertaining time with each new release since then. This studio are in a real sweet spot at the moment from a critical standpoint and I hope this continues for a good while. The next two films will have stupidly high expectations, as this could very well be the big transitional moment that will effect the potential existence of any future phases.

    In the compulsory Marvel credits scenes, there are a mid and post credits in this one. The mid-credits scene is pretty cool and sets you up for the next installment from the MCU. As for the post-credits scene, it was disappointing and a missed opportunity. I was fine with their idea. But the execution was a bit timid and half-hearted. They could have really gone to town with this and it would have been much more memorable. But if you do watch this, the mid-credits is the only worth waiting for.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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