Film: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer
Rating: 2 Moons
After an underwhelming phase 4, MCU has finally entered the fifth phase with much hope and anticipation among fans. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania marks the beginning of a new and exciting journey. Building the foundation for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025), the film follows the adventures of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the superhero with the ability to shrink due to the special powers of his suit. Scott, now an author, has written his own book. The Avenger has reconnected with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). The adventure begins when Cassie's new invention pulls Scott, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) into the dark and dreaded Quantum Realm.
Post the aftermath of MCU's phase 4, the new phase begins but not on a great note. It could be easily yet sadly said that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the dullest and ugliest Marvel film ever made. Despite providing endless possibilities to expand the world, nothing genuinely clicks and ticks off the right boxes. Though the film is just a little over 2 hours long, it feels tiring and underwhelming to hold attention. Jeff Loveness' script wants to tell a lot by focusing on Quantumania’s characters, fresh ideas, and varied plotlines but all of these feel underbaked.
Without much ado, director Peyton Reed establishes the drama and takes us immediately on the adventure into the Quantum Realm. Amid this, the tension in the family takes equal footing. Be it Hope's relationship with Janet, who holds a deeper secret within herself, or Scott's bonding with Cassie, these form an important emotional core. Despite disappointment at the story level, it is the emotional moments that shine the brightest. The film uses this to its benefit.
Due to the immense pressure of taking the legacy of the franchise forward, the film somewhere falters to hold itself tightly. Be it the conflict, progression of the story, engaging narrative or simply making it fun like its predecessors, there's nothing memorable. The conflict between Scott and Kang never really takes off as expected. The fun, a cutesy romance between Scott and Hope and sleek action sequences are replaced by exhausting action scenes and a boring screenplay. Though the film is just 2 hours and 4 minutes long, it feels like an eternity. Don't be surprised if you find yourself sleeping through some portions.
The concept of Ant-Man worked previously due to its novelty among youth and adults. But this time around, it goes completely wrong. After a point, the story gets predictable. You know where the proceedings are leading to. The post-credit scene, which is the true attraction after the films are over, is watered down in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. There's no wow factor in it. When the post-credit scene is dull, you know this is not the real MCU magic.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania also takes us into the unknown world of the Quantum Realm where strange and weird creatures exist but are rather purposeless. There's no thread that ties the story with these creatures. Apart from a few jokes, they hold no significance.
The star performer of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has to be Jonathan Majors as Kang. After Thanos, he is the evil power we really wish to know more about and see often. It will be interesting to see how his character develops further in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Kathryn Newton as Cassie exudes a positive and fun vibe. Adding layers and various colours to her character, she kicks the ball out of the park. Paul is as charming as always. However, he doesn't get the kind of dialogues and graph that his character deserves. Evangeline Lilly is wasted as Hope.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania tries to open multiple possibilities but it cannot be ignored that it is the weakest and dullest MCU film with no soul and impact. It does set the base but all we can hope it the future of phase 5 is brighter.
PeepingMoon gives Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania 2 Moons