“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas and William Jackson Harper.
The third entry to this Ant-Man trilogy follows Scott Lang (Rudd), his daughter Cassie (Newton), Hope (Lilly), Janet (Pfeiffer) and Hank (Douglas) as they try to figure their way out of the Quantum Realm after being sucked in as a result of an experiment gone wrong. But they’re challenged after learning Kang (Majors) is residing in the realm and has conquered all its inhabitants, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get out of the realm.
Phase Five of the MCU is upon us, and this introductory film is a disappointment. This universe has been deteriorating, maybe they’re still under the blip effect or perhaps they could have benefited from a break. This film lacks character development, cohesion and focus. The “jokes” don’t land, and the dialogue is eyeroll inducing. The writing does a huge disservice to these
For most of the film, I was rooting for the villain and I did not care if any of the heroes died. For once, I’m confident this film could have benefited from an additional 20 or 30 minutes. It needed room to breathe and for me to sit with the attempted emotional and moving moments. Yes, I understand that we’ve been with these characters for years but that doesn’t instantly mean that we automatically care for their outcome.
We’re introduced to older Cassie being released from jail, and that within itself had some potential storyline, but we’re quickly told that she was arrested for participating in a protest. In addition, she has magically mastered powerful equipment and even a suit. Scott and Hope are just there.
Scott has written a book and is dealing with the aftermath of everything that occurred during the blip. For someone whose name is on the title of this film, Hope has taken a passenger seat in this movie. In fact, Pfeiffer’s Janet takes more of a center stage role. However, its effect is minimized because of how her character is presented.
This script did nothing for them and I couldn’t become invested. There are various portions of the film that felt as if they were part of an entirely different movie or that important scenes or sequences were left out or replaced. It’s tonally inconsistent.
I convinced myself to stay away from analyzing superhero films with logic because that’s a bit counterproductive and hypocritical, but some of these plot holes are outlandish and just makes this whole story sillier. The world building can be overwhelming at times and the visuals can be a bit too much. Not once did I feel a sense of awe or wonder (and neither did the characters). Some of the creatures were cool, but for the most part, it all felt too generic and familiar.
Yes, there’s a little Star Wars universe within the Quantum Realm, but it feels like it’s due to a lack of creativity rather than paying homage to the franchise.
That third act felt messy and anticlimactic. This is where the greenscreen and poor visuals are most notable. It felt chaotic and unfocused visually and narratively. Lastly, I have to mention that not seeing the greatest Latino character in the MCU, Luis (played brilliantly by the amazing Michael Peña), was a massive bummer. His comedic chops are what made the Ant-Man franchise stand out and differentiated from the rest of the MCU. Now this film fits right in with the rest of the MCU with nothing unique or special (other than Kang) to distinguish it.
Majors is a menacing presence and by far the only salvageable element of this film. His agility to deliver silly lines and make them feel Shakespearean is impressive and a big testament to his talent. The film becomes interesting when he enters the frame, and he effortlessly overshadows every actor he shares the screen solely with his mere presence.
If we need another piece of evidence that Majors is in fact on his way to being one of the most important and versatile actors of our generation, simply pay attention to how your eyes are glued to him in this film. He’s magnetic and commands attention with his sole presence. His performance made this film slightly watchable.
Overall, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is a visual exposition filled with childish jokes and underwritten characters. Phase Five has me asking why I should root for the little guy when there’s a titan like Majors portraying Kang.