Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania misses signature Marvel magic, says Mayur Sanap.
The 31st film in the fast-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe is here and brings the beloved to climax ant man Series featuring the size-changing hero played by the very charming Paul Rudd.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the mediocre sequel to very likeable ant man (2015) and its decent sequel, Ant Man and the Wasp (2018).
This new film offers exciting things compared to its predecessors, but hardly remembers what made its hero so special in the first place.
To be honest, the Marvel brand has taken a massive drop in quality with its inconsistent projects.
I really miss MCU films where the focus was on making a character-driven story with just enough impetus for what’s to come.
But after that Avengers: Endgame (2019) things have fundamentally changed.
The implacable idea of the multiverse has taken over the euphoric joy of seeing our favorite superheroes on screen. Now we just have more sequel fodder with the pressure of a multi-billion dollar franchise hanging over them.
What’s the fun in that?
Quantumania follows Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Rudd), now a successful author who lives happily with his partner Hope aka Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Hope’s parents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Scott’s tech-savvy daughter Cassie ( Catherine Newton).
Thanks to Cassie’s device, the family is inadvertently transported to the Quantum Realm, a dangerous place where Janet has spent years and holds dark secrets about their power-crazed ruler, Kang (Jonathan Majors).
Since most of the film takes place in the quantum realm, Quantumania is VFX-heavy.
Many of the world’s strange denizens accompany the film’s mission, either taking action against our heroes or helping them save the day. But as visually wondrous as Quantumania is that the story that drives the film isn’t as compelling as it should be.
Director Peyton Reed and screenwriter Jeff Loveness seem to have put all their effort into building the colorful quantum realm, rather than avoiding dramatic urgency or conflict.
We have a family dynamic at the emotional core of the film, but we don’t feel invested in their camaraderie.
The tone of the film is primarily similar to that of Disney strange world (2022) with its candy-colored sets and zany premise, but this film falls short in terms of material that would bind us emotionally to the story.
The main plot focuses so much on Janet and Kang that Scott leaves little impact as the film’s titular character.
It’s worse for Hope/Wasp, who are reduced to a sidekick.
We keep seeing that Scott and Hope make a great team together, but the chemistry between the actors is incredibly boring and it’s not a compelling character relationship.
Thankfully, Jonathan Majors uses every inch of this opportunity to bring us a menacing and compelling villain.
Kathryn Newton plays the obligatory teen assistant that’s now a MCU staple (Remember America Chavez in Doctor Strange 2 or Riri Williams in Wakanda forever?).
She may have been interesting, but she’s just a plot device here and has no real personality.
The running time is only two hours and I wish it was longer fleshing out many of its characters and themes as there is a lot to absorb in the quantum realm.
We hear so much about Kang’s powerful empire, but we don’t really get a taste of it.
A character named MODOK is introduced, whose acronym suggests he kills the victims, but none of that happens.
Many things happen at breakneck speed and quickly resolve themselves without consequences.
MCU’s humor is definitely one of its strong selling points, but the jocular tone used feels pointless and undermines any sense of real danger.
Despite Kang’s impressive presence, there’s never much at stake ant man.
A lot of the scenes play out like this: Baddie shows up, Ant-Man throws a funny comment, Cassie is told to back off, then there’s a fight. Or a variation on this theme.
Only Michelle Pfeiffer gets a fine character arc, and she’s delightful to watch as the feisty Janet.
All cons aside, one can never doubt the production value of a Marvel film, and as usual, the set pieces are spectacular.
There are some really cool moments where Scott meets his alter ego or assesses himself during the crucial fight.
The CGI might be irritating at first, but it gets better as the movie progresses.
In total, Quantumania isn’t a total disappointment, but falls short of the signature Marvel magic that makes their films entertaining and engaging.
I liked that ant man Franchise deserves more than just a fill-in episode for what will unfold in MCU’s fifth phase.
If the two post-credit snippets can be followed, the Multiverse saga finally has a definite direction to follow. And with Kang at the center, we hope things get really interesting from here.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review Rediff Rating: