“Amiable” is the big aim here for director Peyton Reed. Pleasant rather than pleasurable. Amusing rather than funny. Diverting rather than delightful. Having gone full Gotterdammerung with Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel gets modest and zings to the opposite extreme for the featherweight tale of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a man seeking to rescue his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) from her 30-year exile in the Quantum Realm. But to succeed in his quest, he needs help from Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the man who effectively ruined his post-wife life by stealing his size-shifting supersuit and heading off to Germany to break a treaty in Captain America: Civil War. Not only that, Lang’s decision also squelched his romance with Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). Lots of potential for small-scale (hey-o!) interpersonal drama here, but you’d never know it from the principals, who skip over the emotional depths like so many water bugs skittering on the surface of a pond. The setup may be for a love story, but the story is pure caper flick, with multiple parties scrambling to get their hands on Pym’s shrinkable laboratory while simultaneously dodging the law. Which would be okay and maybe even fun were it not for the frequent presence of a gruesome ghost haunting the proceedings: a woman in constant physical and emotional agony who is trying desperately not to die. A weirdly disturbing fly in the amiable ointment.
Length: 1 hour, 58 minutes