Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer
Have I Seen it Before: Yep.
Did I Like It: It’s the Marvel movies that are the least burdened by setting up Bigger And Better Things™ and instead content to be a movie. This could have been weighed down by the task of providing the missing link between the hopelessness of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and what—at the time of this writing—is the hopeful rebound of Avengers: Endgame (2019. Instead whatever place-setting obligations the film has is largely relegated to the post-credits scenes where they belong.
Thus the film operates as a diverting extended comic chase sequence with plenty of sci-fi weirdness gobbledegook. It is about as perfect an example of counter-programing to the aforementioned Infinity War as one is likely to see.
And still, I wonder how the film and the series would be different if Edgar Wright had gotten to direct the movie he wanted to way back when.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. CGI de-aging is getting good. Scary good. Whereas Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan tried to take the 80s by storm in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), the technology seemed so pointedly stupid that I couldn’t fathom why filmmakers kept coming back to it. Now, I’ve traded in my request for a Batman Beyond film for a hope that Warner Bros. can just get their act together and give as the third Michael Keaton Batman film we all deserved. This film practically has a proof-of-concept for such a dream film in the performance of the hypnotic-at-any-age Michelle Pfeiffer. Hell, Pfeiffer could play 90s era Pfeiffer without CGI de-aging. But that statement may have more to do with my chronic 90s nostalgia madness.
Oddly enough, it’s some of the scenes where Lang has to interact with a slightly larger world that—while funny—don’t work as brilliantly on the special effects side of things. Not all special effects are perfect, and even fewer advance along the quantum leaps (see what I did there?) of the CGI de-aging process.