Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, alongside Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, David Dastmalchian, Katy O’Brian, William Jackson Harper, Bill Murray, Michelle Pfeiffer, Corey Stoll, and Michael Douglas
Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Movie Review:
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the first film of Phase 5 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Once again directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the title roles, it ranks among the MCU’s weakest efforts in its execution of both fun and emotional payoffs.
Sometime after the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is enjoying being in the spotlight with the recent publication of his autobiography.
While Scott is hanging out with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), her parents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfieffer), and Scott’s daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), the group is accidentally sucked into the Quantum Realm, where they each discover it is not as destitute as they had initially thought.
Soon, the group learns of a dangerous new threat inhabiting the Realm known as Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who will stop at nothing to escape his fate as a prisoner of this place. As Kang makes his position clear, it is up to Scott and the others to stop Kang before irreversible damage is inflicted on all of space and time.
Right now, it seems the Mai is in a strange holding pattern after “Avengers: Endgame”. Although there have been several films and TV shows made since then, there hasn’t been any concrete indication of what to expect from where the series is heading. This is because even after all these years, we haven’t had the proper build-up to whom the main villain will be that is taking over from Thanos.
While “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” at least establishes some things to look forward to in the future, it never does so in a way that can distinguish itself as nothing more than a relatively mediocre entry in this already expansive cinematic universe. Given that this film is supposed to kick off Phase 5, it surprises me how few exciting moments there were to hype up the audience.
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The previous two “Ant-Man” films contain some of the find anything remotely enjoyable that could leave an impression on the viewer. Aside from the odd dry banter from Scott, there are no amusing scenes of comic relief to alleviate the severity whenever something bad has taken place.
Most other MCU films have been able to strike a balance between humorous and dramatic but this one leans so heavily on its dark tone that it is simply not fun to watch at times. If the filmmakers wanted to make a darker “Ant-Man” film, that’s fine, but this is not the way they should have gone about it.
Another big problem is that the film goes way too far with its overuse of CGI. Though the MCU has used plenty of CGI in prior films, they at least tried to make it look like it had some basis in reality to give the audience the impression that what was on screen could be imagined as physically right in front of the characters.
Here, it is used so much as a means to an end that the whole film looks about as realistic as the Star Wars prequels. At no point did the Quantum Realm ever feel like a real place inhabited by its population of various creatures.
Instead, we constantly have to watch the actors move around within the limited confines of what I assume is where green screen stages were in ways that looked so planned out that it doesn’t match the vibrant environments they are projected against.
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Everything looks so clean and sterile that it is near impossible to imagine the characters being there in any of these locations. At
At first, I thought maybe I have just become desensitized to CGI in general but as the visual effects kept piling up here, I found myself becoming less and less invested in the story, which has never happened to me with other NACU entries until now.
The cast of the film was fine, considering what they had to work with, but I doubt this will be viewed as them at their best. Paul Rudd still exudes his likable charm as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, who is now treated like a true hero by the general public.
I’ll admit it’s nice to see an underdog like Scott finally get the recognition he deserves after all this time, especially considering the important part he played in helping the Avengers bring back half of the universe’s population from Thanos’s actions.
Scott’s best scenes were with his daughter Cassie, with Kathryn Newton now playing the role in place of Emma Fuhrmann. At first, I wasn’t sure about the recasting of the character, but Newton proved she was right for the part.
Some of the physical requirements for the character seemed to come naturally for Newton and she also had pretty good chemistry with Rudd as her onscreen father. I was somewhat underwhelmed by how Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas were used this time around.
For a film that has “Ant-Man and the Wasp” in its title, we don’t see enough of the titular characters doing things together. Instead, Hope mainly hangs around with her parents, and while this does provide some decent scenes of the three bonding together, it still seems like a strange creative decision to keep her separate from Scott for so long.
Additionally, Douglas and Pfeiffer, while not exactly going to waste, didn’t contribute as much to a story as I had hoped. If it weren’t for one crucial scene near the end, I’d say that Hank and Janet’s presence in the film was quite forgettable. Most of the time I kept forgetting about them as I cared more about what was happening with Scott and Cassie in the meantime.
However, the one character that stood out the most to me was Kang the Conqueror, played by a surprisingly intimidating Jonathan Majors. Anybody who watched the first season of the Disney+ series “Loki” will remember this character, who was known back then as “He Who Remains”.
This time, we get a better look at Kang’s motivations as a villain and why he is so determined to inflict chaos on all the different multiverses. Majors does a good job of concealing Kang’s true personality, whose vulnerability is used as a facade for his malicious intent.
I guess I liked watching Kang the most because he is the only character in the film with some kind of interesting end goal, while all the others are only there to try and stop him. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Kang in future MCU projects, as I think he has the potential to be as threatening as Thanos was back in the Infinity Saga.
Verdict: Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Movie Review
The beginning of a new chapter in the MCU, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” just doesn’t land in the same way as the previous films. It tries hard to be one of the darker entries in the series by upping the ants with its main villain but it ends up relying too much on the audience’s assumption that things will be addressed in more detail later on.
I think I’m currently looking forward more to seeing how The Flash movie resets the DCU than how the MCU multiverse plays out.