Another tech demo for Disney’s deageing software, predictably more impressive than the previous efforts. There’s some good ideas at play here – the occasional visual inventiveness tied to the shrinking/growth concept, a smaller-scale adventure with no world-ending stakes, a remarkably positive depiction of a girl’s family comprised of both a supportive stepfather and biological parents, who all get on and all shower unconditional affection on their daughter.
But the film is just so lifeless, rudderless, pointless. The washed-out colours, all that grey…the plodding plot (how much revolves around airless car chases?), the lazy ambling around the rescue premise. There’s a few good gags but most are just based off Paul Rudd’s charisma, and there are too few for a film aiming at light-heartedness like this. It’s one of the most forgettable, aimless films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but unlike even the regularly derided “Thor: The Dark World”, it lacks any distinctive visual style, or sense of setting. Workmanlike and obligatory “trippy” micro-dimension sequences inspire even less wonder than copying “Inception” in “Doctor Strange” did.
Still, the inherent likability of most of the cast (Michael Douglas never really seems to settle the tone of his character, but all else do a fine job) keeps it a breezy and mostly pleasant experience. Evangeline Lilly is wasted to the point of laughability; just putting her character’s name in the title validates little, and ends up feeling like lip service for a character even more underutilised than her peers. That’s what the film is, really. A waste of potential but mostly inoffensive enough it’s hard to feel anything, let alone irritation, at it. Two giant seagulls, and a Tim Heidecker cameo.