Tuesday 21 February 2023

REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - Starring Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly

Review by Jon Donnis
In my opinion the Ant-Man franchise is the least interesting out of the whole Marvel Universe, and although the first film was entertaining due to it's light hearted nature, the second film, which I rewatched recently was a bit of a fart in church, and with the next big Marvel bad guy being featured for the first time in Quantumania, I had high hopes.

During her time imprisoned in the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) meets Kang (Jonathan Majors), an exiled traveler who promises that if she can assist him in reassembling his Multiversal Power Core, they can both escape the realm. When they finally succeed in fixing it, Janet has a vision of Kang destroying and capturing entire timelines. After Kang explains that he was banished by his own variants out of fear, Janet becomes hostile with him. Outmatched, Janet enlarges the Power Core with her Pym Particles to make it useless.

After the Battle of Earth and in the present day we find Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has now become a successful memoirist and has been cohabitating with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Due to her activism as a teenager, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Scott's daughter, spent some time in jail before her father helped her be bailed out. Cassie discloses that she has been developing a device that can make contact with the Quantum Realm while visiting Hope's parents, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet. As Janet learns this, she becomes terrified and slams the gadget shut, but the message is received, causing a portal to open and drag the five of them into the Quantum Realm. Natives in an uprising against their ruler find Scott and Cassie, while Hope, Janet, and Hank explore a sprawling city to get answers.

Lord Krylar (Bill Murray), the governor of the lavish Axia community in the Quantum Realm and a previous ally of Janet's, tells Hope, Janet, and Hank that things have changed since she departed and that he is now working for Kang, who is now in charge of the kingdom. The three must escape and take Krylar's ship. In the meantime, rebel leader Jentorra (Katy O'Brian) informs the Langs that Janet's association with Kang contributed to Kang's ascent to power. Kang's men shortly launch an assault on the rebels, commanded by M.O.D.O.K., who turns out to be Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) after surviving his apparent death at Scott's hands.

What follows is your typical Marvel film, with amazing visual effects, good guys overcoming the odds, and saving the day. Very predictable as is most Marvel films. The first thing I need to mention is that the film retains its lighthearted nature, but as you will see with the Darren Cross / MODOK character, they perhaps go a bit too far, as the ridiculous look of the character totally takes me out of the film every single time he is on screen. (Jump the shark moment?)

I also have a few questions, like why some of the creatures in the Quantum Realm look human, it makes no sense whatsoever, some of the other creatures look great, weird and wonderful etc, but the human characters are never addressed or explained in any way. This was always an issue I had with Star Trek and other Sci-Fi films and TV shows, you travel into another dimension, travel billions of miles, and yet you meet people who look the same as you do. It is just laziness in my opinion.

Quantumania is an ok film, kids and fanboys of Marvel will like it, Kang is a MASSIVE let down as the next big cross over bad guy, making him human, just makes him seem normal, and never do you sit back as say WOW like you did when you saw Thanos. And since Kang is now set to feature in multiple films, I cant help feel that they have really set up some films to fail. Time will tell, but Kang was very "meh" to me.

Evangeline Lilly is an excellent actress, but I feel like she didn't get enough lines or screen time in the film, I would love it if a nerd out there would do some maths and let me know.

Paul Rudd is excellent as he always is, in the part, and it is always nice to see Bill Murray on the big screen, but his role is pretty small.

All in all, Quantumania is an ok film, not particularly memorable, but not bad by any stretch, it is just a good paint by numbers Marvel film. No risks were taken, all boxes were ticked. Kids and adults alike will go to the cinema, and have a nice night out.

The Good
Marvel are pretty good at knocking out superhero films these days and Quantumania is another one to add to the ever growing list. Great special effects, a nice light hearted film, with some funny moments.

The Bad
I literally just finished watching the film, and I am already forgetting large chunks of it. They did Corey Stoll bad in this film, the MODOK character looked ridiculous, and not in a funny way. Not enough Evangeline Lilly, and at no point did I ever feel like any of the main characters were in serious peril. Kang is a terrible bad guy, and unfortunately we are now stuck with him.

Marvel can churn movies like these out with their eyes closed, and this felt like one that was all about keeping things safe. No risks, no real peril, no overall storyline advancement. Great visual effects. Nice humour and a decent story.

I score Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania a perfectly safe 7/10

Out Now.