BRIAN VINER says Ant-Man's antics light up a brilliant sequel

Ant-Man And The Wasp (12A)

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We are reaching that time of year when no picnic is safe from the persistent attention of at least one wasp, with an eye unerringly frowning for the most terrified person.

So I can not help thinking that those smart Marvel people have lost a trick. The Wasp would have made a perfect name for a singularly malevolent super villain dedicated to ruining everyone's fun. Instead, she is an unequivocal gift filled with compassion and integrity, played last by Michelle Pfeiffer, and now by her screen daughter Evangeline Lilly.

There has been a lot of frothy excitement about the status of The Wasp as the first female character to share ownership in a Marvel movie, although in reality she is a very second banana; the MeToo brigade still can not claim to have conquered the Marvel cinematic universe.

We are reaching that time of year when no picnic is safe from the persistent attention of at least one wasp, with an eye unerringly frowning for the most terrified person of him

We are reaching that time of year when no picnic is safe from the persistent attention of at least one wasp, with an eye unerringly frowning for the most terrified person of him

We are reaching that time of year when no picnic is safe from the persistent attention of at least one wasp, with an eye unerringly frowning for the most terrified person of him

The front and center is Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the former cat thief with the ability to make himself an ant, to command armies of ants, and to make endless ant jokes, a reference to Ant. Onio Flags & # 39; being simply the most awkward of them.

Scott is a superhero like no other in which most of the time does not seem to be especially super or so heroic. But somehow that is the goal of this 2015 Ant-Man sequel.

It is not only the characters who shrink, but also the good ones, the bad ones, the plot, the ambition.

It's not that the budget, which is estimated at $ 195 million, is exactly a small beer (and the special effects are as good as you'll see), but it's about half of MCU's latest production, the great Avengers: Infinity War.

Presumably, this is a deliberate strategy, which allows Marvel to rest from the self-imposed tyranny of each overproduction being bigger, better and stronger than the previous one. More importantly, it gives us a break, too.

At the beginning of the film, Scott is, rightly, languishing under house arrest. His crime was supporting the wrong side in Captain America: Civil War 2016, so now he sports an ankle tag while touring the house improving his battery and learning magical close-up skills.

  There has been a lot of frothy excitement about the status of The Wasp as the first female character to share ownership of a title in a Marvel movie, although in reality she is a very second banana; the MeToo brigade still can not claim to have conquered the Marvel cinematic universe

  There has been a lot of frothy excitement about the status of The Wasp as the first female character to share ownership of a title in a Marvel movie, although in reality she is a very second banana; the MeToo brigade still can not claim to have conquered the Marvel cinematic universe

There has been a lot of frothy excitement about the status of The Wasp as the first female character to share ownership in a Marvel movie, although in reality she is a very second banana; the MeToo brigade still can not claim to have conquered the Marvel cinematic universe

From time to time, his ex-wife (Judy Greer) and his affable new husband (Bobby Cannavale, in a role that barely takes advantage of his charismatic and weak presence on the screen) fall for Scott's cheesy daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) .

The script, which Rudd helped write, carefully uses the attractive father-daughter relationship to push the narrative.

At the beginning of the film, Scott is, rightly, languishing under house arrest. His crime was supporting the wrong side in Captain America: Civil War of 2016, so now he sports a tag on his ankle while kicking the house improving his drums and learning nearby magic skills.

At the beginning of the film, Scott is, rightly, languishing under house arrest. His crime was supporting the wrong side in Captain America: Civil War of 2016, so now he sports a tag on his ankle while kicking the house improving his drums and learning nearby magic skills.

At the beginning of the film, Scott is, rightly, languishing under house arrest. His crime was supporting the wrong side in Captain America: Civil War 2016, so he now sports an ankle tag while kicking the house improving his drums and learning close-up magic skills.

But that does not mean that the story is easy to follow. In fact, if you do not have a PhD in Quantum Physics, then your chances of fully understanding what is happening are appropriately small. And if you do, you will undoubtedly make fun of it anyway.

Like the first Ant-Man, it has something to do with Quantum Realm, whatever it may be, in which Pfeiffer's character, Janet Van Dyne, has been trapped for 30 years.

Their intelligent scientist husband Hank (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Lilly) have built a quantum tunnel for it, but although Hope can also shrink at will, they still need Scott to help them find Janet, since their messages to them They are somehow channeled through their dreams.

Will Hope and Scott will also resume what I guess we can call their relationship & # 39; insectstuous & # 39; of the last movie? Whatever, everything is very silly. If Hank had a son and Hope a brother, he would have to be called Hokum.

Fortunately, the nonsense adds to the fun, which is reinforced by a black market gun dealer, played by the mocking screen king Walton Goggins, who wants to steal all of Hank's lab secrets, and in fact his own laboratory, located in a building that is reduced to the size of a suitcase, for its own economic benefit.

It is far from the usual Marvel villains with their schemes to destroy the universe, but he and his henchmen still offer defiant opposition in a scrap, and there are some great ones in this movie.

As for Scott's own cronies, they are again led by his former cellmate Luis (Michael Peña), with whom he runs a security company called X-Con.

As often happens, Pena is there to provide comic relief, but since the film is indeed a comedy anyway, it offers the opposite of relief. I found your stupid dialogue a bit forced. Nothing, however, is as forced as the plot, which throws us to another, a more interesting evil in the diffuse form of a character called Ghost (very well played by the British actress Hannah John-Kamen).

She suffers from something called molecular imbalance, as I think we may all do, on a bad day, but hers could be the end of it, and she blames Hank firmly. His mentor and potential savior is Hank's former partner, Bill (Laurence Fishburne), now his sworn enemy.

Really, however, the pleasures of this film are not found in the plot or the pseudoscientific dialogue that drives it.

"Can we modify a quantum spectrometer and track it?" Asks Hope, making a good show of knowing what she's talking about, however, is a line that could have been ripped from any piece of sci-fi confection of the past 50 years. more or less.

No, it's the special effects that make them worth seeing, brilliantly orchestrated by director Peyton Reed.

He uses his own increasingly smaller levers to deliver wildly entertaining scenes, like an epic chase through the streets of San Francisco (a nod, perhaps, to Douglas, who starred in the television series of the same name more than any other). we care about remembering). Rudd is excellent, too. He is funny without being simpleton, which in Marvel movies is not always an easy trick to achieve (step forward Robert Downey Jnr).

With a less attractive actor in the lead role, Ant-Man films would not be half as nice.

As things stand, they expect them to keep coming. I imagine that The Wasp will also stay. They always do it.

… and these little ones are also super!

Teen Titans Go! To the movies (PG)

Verdict: silly parody

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While another Marvel movie comes to the multiplexes, here is the perfect antidote, an animated microphone shot of the superhero genre that begins with Balloon Man, an inflatable pink giant (with an English accent), terrorizing an American city, at least until that the teenager The Titans realize that, like all inflatables, he can be busted.

Which is, with an expulsion of air that sounds remarkably like a burst of flatulence.

And so, the stage is set for 88 minutes of ingeniously crafted goofiness, which should achieve the double blow of attracting both children and adults. Teen Titans is a Cartoon Network television series that grew out of DC Comics characters created in the early 1960s.

Teen Titans is a Cartoon Network television series that grew out of DC Comics characters created in the early 1960s.

Teen Titans is a Cartoon Network television series that grew out of DC Comics characters created in the early 1960s.

Teen Titans is a Cartoon Network television series that grew out of DC Comics characters created in the early 1960s.

Evidently inspired by The Beatles, the original Teen Titans, also nicknamed Fab Foursome, were teenagers of adult superheroes like Batman.

In this film, the fame of Robin de Batman (left) is fed up with being what he is, an adjunct. He and his second-line companions long to be superheroes in every rule, which is the only way they'll get what they really crave: their own movie.

First, however, they need an archenemy. And they also need to rid the world of all genuine superheroes, what they try to do by traveling back in time and sabotaging all the famous stories of origin produced by Superman, Spider-Man, etc.

The animation is deliberately unsophisticated, as are many of the jokes. But there are innumerable references that only adults will enjoy, as well as a cast of voices that includes Will Arnett, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell and, like Batman, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

You will fall in love with these sweet dreamers

Heart Beat Loud

Verdict: a real delight

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Here are a couple of absorbing films about family dynamics and much more.

Hearts Beat Loud is a charming and sweet movie about the owner of a record store in Brooklyn, Frank (very well played by a grimy Nick Offerman with oyster eyes), whose only daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons, also splendid), is about to go to university to study medicine.

Frank imagines his landlady (Toni Collette), but his reluctant hike in rent is forcing him to leave the business, while his older mother (Blythe Danner) is still arrested for buying a store.

He drowns his sorrows with his bar owner friend (Ted Danson, in a flashback to the television series Cheers), but gets consolation when making music with Sam, a talented singer.

After uploading their beautiful song Hearts Beat Loud to the music service Spotify, they begin to take an interest in the record companies.

A gentle and irresponsible and romantic dreamer behind his gray features, Frank wants to build on this. But Sam, as much as he loves his father, is determined to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor, despite another temptation to stay in the form of his girlfriend (Sasha Lane of American Honey).

Without much success, writer and director Brett Haley keeps everything very well.

The escape

Verdict: a moving drama and well observed

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The Escape takes place much closer to home, in the suburbs of Kent, where Tara de Gemma Arterton, mother of two small children, is increasingly unhappy with her luck.

Her husband Mark (Dominic Cooper) insists on his conjugal rights practically every day, and is not smart or understanding enough to understand why his daily regimen of sex, shopping at the supermarket, picking up at school, rubbing and scrubbing might be depressing

Nor does he get much sympathy from his mother (Frances Barber), who considers the life of Tara much more privileged than his. & # 39; You have & # 39; im. . . You have a conservatory!

The sad story of screenwriter and director Dominic Savage unfolds a bit like Shirley Valentine without the laughs; It could almost be a training video for relationship counselors.

But Arterton is excellent, and totally convincing in a part that has an element of "there, but by the grace of God."

Most of the story takes place in his own hometown, Gravesend, and a scene is filmed in the back garden of his real mother.

After Tara takes off to find herself in Paris, the film bogs down a bit on the cliché, not to mention an implacably pitiful score of piano and violins. But above all it is a well observed drama, in which Arterton excels.

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