Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
USA, 2018. Marvel Studios. Screenplay by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby. Cinematography by Dante Spinotti. Produced by Stephen Broussard, Kevin Feige. Music by Christophe Beck. Production Design by Shepherd Frankel. Costume Design by Louise Frogley. Film Editing by Dan Lebental, Craig Wood.
The superhero who can turn into a microhero is back for another adventure, beginning the story under house arrest for having broken the law when he traveled to Europe to help Captain America out. Just days from the end of his sentence, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is unhappily visited by his old friend Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas) and Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who want his help with a very important project. As Lang is the only person they know who could successfully go subatomic and come back alive (I don’t know what they’re talking about either), they’re hoping he’ll help them find Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), who went the way of the microbe decades earlier and hasn’t been seen since (and apparently they have grocery stores and makeup counters in the miniscule world she has been wandering in the intervening years). The hardware they need to acquire to get the job done forces them to deal with some shady individuals, not helped by the appearance of a nasty arms dealer (Walton Goggins) on their tail to steal their research, the feds showing up at Lang’s house to make sure he doesn’t break his house arrest early and, most upsetting, the entrance of a villain who can walk through walls and is attacking them at every turn. Despite some nifty effects, this is among the weakest entries in the Marvel Movie Playland, combining a by-the-numbers plot with a superhero whose abilities are preposterous even in the context of the world it takes place in. Rudd is phoning it in and Lilly barely makes an impression, while Douglas steals the show with the kind of charisma that the passing decades cannot dampen. Pfeiffer is lovely in her few moments on screen.
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Outstanding Stunt Ensemble