Movie review: Ant-Man And The Wasp
This sequel sort of addresses the mystery of where Ant-Man was when Thanos wreaked havoc on Earth in Avengers: Infinity War.
The plot in Ant-Man And The Wasp picks up after the shenanigans in Captain America: Civil War, where Scott is under house arrest for two years for taking Cap's side.
Tech genius Dr Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne were implicated and are now fugitives from the government.
While father and daughter are angry with Scott for exposing their tech, Hope is more furious because Scott didn't invite her to the Berlin bash.
Hank and Hope are devising a way to rescue the original Wasp, Hope's mum Janet (Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm, and they need Scott's help.
There's also someone else after Pym's quantum tech - the mysterious Ghost (John-Kamen), who wants to cure herself of her ability/curse to "phase" through buildings and people.
After the emotionally-charged Avengers: Infinity War, it is a nice change to have a light, breezy Marvel flick that's more like a heist than a save-the-world superhero film.
The plot is rudimentary, and don't expect any drama. The Infinity War link during the mid-credits is also so-so.
At least director Peyton Reed ups the action ante, making better use of the big-small action sequences, resulting in effective car chase scenes around San Francisco that are reminiscent of the 1968 Steve McQueen classic Bullitt.
The back-and-forth big-small-phasing technique works particularly well in the fights between Ghost and Wasp, making them the gems in the movie.
Other stand-outs include the comedic moments, such as when Scott "becomes" Janet and when scene-stealing Luis (Pena), a member of Scott's crew, goes into his fast-talking recap mode.
Lilly gets the lion's share of the action, and she is the best thing in the film. As both the headstrong Hope and lethal Wasp, she holds her own among the Avengers.
With the Wasp finally in the picture, Marvel should really consider a spin-off starring its roster of kick-ass superheroines.
Black Widow, Okoye, Valkyrie and Gamora will give Cap, Thor and Iron Man a run for their money any time.
Rating: 3.5 stars
MOVIE: Ant-Man And the Wasp
STARRING: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
THE SKINNY: Scott Lang (Rudd) is one weekend away from getting off house arrest. But his freedom is at stake when Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) present an urgent new mission that finds Ant-Man fighting alongside the Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
ESCAPE PLAN 2: HADES (PG13)
Rating: 2 stars
In this action sequel to 2013's Escape Plan, Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as prison escape specialist Ray Breslin.
This time, he checks himself into a futuristic secret prison to rescue his proteges (Huang Xiaoming and Jesse Metcalfe).
Watched over by a sadistic "zookeeper" (Titus Welliver), the inmates are inexplicably forced into gladiatorial fisticuffs to relax in a tranquil "sanctuary" room.
Ever-vigilant robots, laser barriers and mass electric shocks enforce compliance to the twisted rules.
Understandable as it may be for director Steven C. Miller to update the prison escape trope, the film relies far too much on deus ex machina and too little on Breslin's wits.
A near-omnipotent hacking team, devoid of any characterisation, can somehow partially disable the jail's defences, while Breslin and his proteges contrive to smuggle and assemble complex electronics despite their impregnable fortress.
These clunky plot conveniences make for far-fetched sequences with little emotional investment.
The tense MacGyver-style improvisation that made the first film such an endearing watch I could suspend my disbelief for is sorely missed. Also, TV series Black Mirror does sci-fi dystopia better. - TAY HONG YI
THE BRITS ARE COMING (M18)
Rating: 1.5 stars
The only saving grace of this criminally convoluted yet predictable heist comedy is its impressive star-studded cast and stylish wardrobe, harking back to the eccentric 1960s.
The rest of it is, well, a big con.
Uma Thurman and Tim Roth play Harriet and Peter Fox, a con-artist couple who try to pull off a heist to repay their gambling debts to Russian mobster Irina (Maggie Q).
Along the way, the pair meet Peter's ex-wife Jackie (Alice Eve), now married to megalomaniac movie director Gabriel (Crispin Glover).
Jackie and Gabriel's marriage is complicated, with Gabriel indulging in a secret affair with his loud-mouthed and demanding mistress Vivienne (Sofia Vergara).
Harriet and Peter cozy up to Jackie as they sneakily devise a plan to steal her enormous, flashy ring.
How? Harriet becomes faux dog whisperer to Jackie's pet canine.
The movie tries too hard to be funny and Maggie Q's attempt at a Russian accent makes it even harder to watch. - TATIANA MOHAMAD ROSLI
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