Picture source: IGN Entertainment
Ant Man & The Wasp is the latest Marvel superhero movie to be released. A sort of an antihero, Ant Man (Paul Rudd) is full of foibles and weaknesses. His sidekick, the Wasp, definitely has things more together and Wasp’s quest to find her long-lost mother forms the plot of the film. There are several antagonists in Ant Man & The Wasp, none of them outright bad, all-powerful or unbeatable. The main opponent, Ghost, in particular, is motivated by the need to save herself from completely disappearing. Aside from some blasphemy, the film is clean and very well aimed at the middle grade child. It’s funny. The characters are likeable. And it even contains some scientific terms that’ll stretch this age group. For example, Wasp’s father, Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), says ‘Forget AI…., the future lies in the Quantum Realm’.
‘The Quantum Realm’ is where the Wasp’s mother has remained trapped for many years. Dr Pym and Hope/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) eventually create a machine that’ll help them reach the Quantum Realm. It’s a huge rocket-type contraption with the ability to travel through time whilst mitigating any concomitant effects. Trouble is, they need Scott Lang/Ant Man’s help because Ant Man’s been to the Quantum Realm before. It’s a problem because Ant Man happens to be under house arrest.
With some clever tricks Ant Man nevertheless joins the quest and the chase begins. Secondary characters, both goodies and baddies, come into play. Several are very funny, as are Ant Man’s suit accidents. Forced to use a faulty old suit Ant Man invariably shrinks and expands to the wrong size, with amusing results.
Ant Man & The Wasp is a fun, family, superhero movie that is currently showing at cinemas in South Africa. Enjoy it while the school holidays are on.
In the latest film version of Spider-Man the superhero is mentored by Iron Man and battles Vulture using a mixture of a specially designed suit and human integrity. This mixture of the ‘super’ and the ‘human’ flows throughout the film. Spider-Man is a geeky teenage boy, Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who has an even more geeky friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon). Iron Man has another life as a businessman called Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), while Vulture also has an ulterior, human, identity as Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton).
Superman: Homecoming by Bleeding Cool
The relationship between Stark and Parker is handled with humour, and Parker’s efforts as a superhero feature enthusiasm coupled with inexperience. The result is a much lighter handling of the normally dark Spider-Man stories. I welcomed this. Families, too, with children and young teenagers will enjoy the more relatable characters. Modern-day special effects such as cell phones and computer technology are juxtaposed with other-world weaponry and this, too, emphasises the mix of human and super.
But the humour and action does border on the slapstick and I didn’t always enjoy the silliness. Robert Downey Jr and Michael Keaton are pretty good in their roles but Marissa Tomei as Peter’s aunt looks decidedly too sexy for her role and Peter’s flame, Liz (Laura Harrier), is wimpish.
Overall, Peter’s initiation as Spider-Man, and the mix of ordinary, modern-day life with the heroic, make Spider-Man: Homecoming fun to watch. The film opens at cinemas in South Africa on 7 July 2017.
A review by Brenda Daniels
Captain America faces many foes in this Marvel production of the superhero which is due for release in South Africa this week. The enemies come in several guises and our hero has a hard time telling friend from foe.
Played by handsome Chris Evans, Steve Rogers is, however, able to trust Natasha (a slim, red-headed Scarlett Johansson) and an out-of-shape Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Together they fight the mysterious Winter Soldier, the brains behind this super soldier, and ultimately the threat to freedom itself.
An exciting car chase featuring a battle-scarred Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury is good to watch. Some giant machines designed for world-domination, lots of fight scenes and a good versus evil plot make for entertaining viewing – particularly in IMAX 3D.
But the fighting seemed over the top to me and too violent, even for a superhero. And the Captain’s bemoaning of the good old days at the beginning of the film got a bit tiresome. For our hero the “good old days” meant the freedom that America espoused. It was this that he felt ultimately called to defend; a good bit of “democracy” propaganda I liked least of all.
The film concludes satisfyingly open ended so fans can look forward to a sequel.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens at Ster Kinekor Theatres in 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX on Friday 28 March. It carries an age restriction of PG13.
Chris Evans on set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Scarlett Johansson at a press release for Captain America: The Winter Soldier