TL;DR – While individual elements work, when you combine them with a story that feels kitbashed together from other/better narratives, you get a bit of a disappointment.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review –
Sigh … okay, let’s do this. I feel before I go on that, somehow, I need to build a touch of credibility on the topic of Ant-Man. I don’t know why, but let’s just go with it. I unashamedly love Ant-Man, as well as, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The first Ant-Man was a perfect coda to Phase 2, a surprisingly fun romp through San Francisco and size. The second was a breath of fresh air in-between the dourness that was the two Avengers. I loved that we were getting a third, but something in the marketing campaign made me pause … I think I should have listened to that part of myself.
So to set the scene, after helping to save the world in Avengers Endgame, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has tried to be a better father to Cassie (Kathryn Newton) who he has years of catching up to do, and a better boyfriend to Hope (Evangeline Lilly). All while writing a best-selling book. However, that ball of calm is crushed when Cassie is arrested at a protest, and her grandparents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) might have been supporting her more rebellious side. But it is Cassie’s work in trying to chart the Quantum Realm that brings everything unstuck. Because as they knock at the door of the realm, something knocks back and sucks them all in. Now it is time for Janet’s past to catch up to her in the future.
Look, I am going to have a lot to say about this film, but I do what to highlight the parts that did work. I think all the cast were giving it their all. Paul Rudd is his charming self, which is desperately needed at times. Michelle Pfeiffer had a lot of groundwork to cover, as it is her story that we explore the most, which is good because Michelle nails it. Also, everything you have heard about how good Jonathan Majors was is 100% true. He was the best thing about Loki; that has not changed here. Add to this creature design that might be some of the most imaginative in the MCU, leaning hard into Jack Kirby. This, of course, leads us to MODOK (Corey Stoll), which is the biggest swing they have taken in the MCU, and it works. I mean, it is horrifying, but it works.
But while there was good groundwork here, I could not help but walk out and feel that two significant issues held the film back considerably. The first is the visual effects. The individual characters like Veb (David Dastmalchian) and the living houses were a delight. However, nearly every moment I watched the film, it felt like I was watching something on a blue screen or Volume setup. This is not because there are visual effects everywhere or because there are digital environments. But because everything felt small, you could feel that they were filming on a small set and digitally expanding the backgrounds. It made the film feel small, not just the shrunk-down bits. This is compounded by moments that showed that they needed more work compositing everything, and setting it all in darkness did not help because it made the film feel dreary for most of its runtime. After seeing the expansive worlds they can build in digital in Avatar: The Way of Water, this just didn’t cut it.
The visuals were an issue, but they were not THE issue. That is the story. Honestly, this felt like the kitbashed together. There were moments when you could feel other, better, narratives ploughing through the film. For example, there were several moments when you could feel the fingerprints of Tron: Legacy at play, elements of Star Wars everywhere, and a moment where the musical score was clearly touching on Terminator 2. It also felt like in the transition to a ‘big film’ compared to the last, they had to jettison many of the elements that made those first two films shine, and what replaced that was a bit hit and miss. It felt like Bill Murray was sleepwalking through his screens, and William Jackson Harper was wasted in this movie. Finally, look, we have been having the multiverse teased to us since WandaVision, and we are STILL getting an introduction to multiverse narratives like they have not already done this in Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home & Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before now.
In the end, do we recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Well. Look, I have talked to friends who loved it and others who hated it even more than me. But for me, the moments of amazing just highlighted how much average permeated the film from start to finish. The comedic moments missed their impact, the story fell flat, and the post-credit scenes were more frustrating than anything else. If you liked Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we would recommend to you Everything Everywhere All at Once.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Directed by – Peyton Reed
Screenplay by – Jeff Loveness
Based on – Ant-Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby
Music by – Christophe Beck
Cinematography by – William Pope
Edited by – Adam Gerstel & Laura Jennings
Production/Distribution Companies – Walt Disney Studios & Motion Pictures
Starring – Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, David Dastmalchian, Katy O’Brian, William Jackson Harper, Bill Murray, Corey Stoll, Michelle Pfeiffer & Michael Douglas with Randall Park, Gregg Turkington, Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Jonathan Majors, Jonathan Majors, Jonathan Majors & Jonathan Majors
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13
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