'Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania' Review: Another Mini Journey For Paul Rudd's MCU Superhero
Perhaps the times when people got super antsy about seeing the latest installment in this particular franchise are over but that doesn't mean that we don't get more miniature action on the big screen. Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, the third movie following the titular characters, moves them from the sunny San Francisco to much damper environment of the Quantum Realm. Paul Rudd's Scott/Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly's Hope/Wasp travel there along with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Scott's daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), discovering Janet's secret past which then also involves the time-traveling villain Kang The Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) who wishes to use control of time for his evil endeavours.
You could easily initially think that there might've been a director change but that's in fact not the case as Peyton Reed is back in that role while screenwriting duties have been handed to Jeff Loveness. It's unsure where unsuccessful adjustments were ultimately made but what is clear is that ''Quantumania'' is extremely far removed from the previous two films, for better or mostly for worse. The shortcomings stem from a mix of writing and direction as the film becomes a shapeless glob of jargon and actors reacting to nothing concrete in front of them, seemingly forgetting to use comedy as a driving force altogether which was a saving grace in the decent first movie and even in the bumpy second effort. What is the result of all of this is that the movie is never as fun or engaging as it clearly thinks it is.
Bleakness in the centre of this story only works whenever Pfeiffer and Majors are given enough space to actually act, both of them bringing gravitas to their characters which then offers some emotional stakes, while someone like Douglas is perfectly happy to collect a paycheck with a performance that has none of that gravitas and Rudd is completely wasted since he's not given solid comedic material to work with. Quantumania can be okay at times when zooming in on capable actors for close-ups which distracts you from the forgettable CGI mayhem, oddly implemented visualisation of someone like M.O.D.O.K/Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) and below average filmmaking—DoP Bill Pope's photography and composer Christopher Beck's music don't have much brilliance to capture or underscore—which itself is a result of barely anything having a single artistic idea motivating the storytelling.
Smileys: Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonathan Majors
Frowneys: Tone, Michael Douglas, humour
Killer mixtape: Ant-Tracks.