Plot via IMDB:
Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
It’s a cinematic truism that if a character says “It’s never over,” in a movie, the audience will assuredly know it’s over. After that refrain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, I found myself being entertained by Paul Rudd’s comic silliness, his effortless charm that makes one think he’s not really playing a character but himself, Jonathan Majors (a talented actor due for breakout stardom when the other three movie he’s in get released later in 2023) bored Shakespearean emoting villainy, the gung-ho professionalism of a cast (Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfieffer, Kathryn Newton) who reprise their roles without missing a character beat.
The rest, recycled themes and bits, done better in other movies, left me homage checking to ward off sleepiness. There’s one rip-off the Star Wars cantina scene, a swooping dragon dive shot pinched from Avatar, also set design and effects animals reflective of the James Cameron Pandora universe, costume design and lighting design reminiscent of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and less scarier robot versions of the ones seen in Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot.
There is only one truly meta bit. Paul Rudd must ascend to a spaceship up above with the help of ant clone versions of himself climbing each other like an African termite mound. Come to think of it, I saw the zombie hordes of the Brad Pitt starring World War Z do that also. So, nothing original happening here at all.
In the Ant-Man universe, which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe phase 5, the films get tinier whenever the writers and directors try out bigger high concepts ideas- here, Jeff Loveness with a barely there script, directed with indifference by series hack Peyton Reed, uninterested in composing the serious stuff or anything that doesn’t have Paul Rudd in it. The MCU is now the DC comic universe. The scorn of the Joker’s lament (Why so serious?) will be now be heard on the MCU fan boards.
The most annoying thing is that the MCU gods that be absolutely refuse to let Ant-Man shrink, or be tiny. He must grow for the requisite Godzilla homages where big feet destroy tiny sets and Lilliputian citizens. I swear there is a toe jam fetish that needs to be seriously therap-ied out.
Quantumania is the height of the multiverse nonsense that dominates the MCU now. All the other Marvel movies have to lead in and reflect each other. Plot really doesn’t matter in these films, just the appearance of action. And there also must be the requisite two post credit scenes. Enough guys!
Quantumania is just what it is- a serviceable entry that bridges the next big MCU tentpole to come later. It’s dispiriting to watch Paul Rudd cater to his worst action hero talent. Let him be charming and funny.
Quantumania gets a 3.0 out of 5 or a B.
- Paul Rudd
- Evangeline Lilly
- Jonathan Majors
- Kathryn Newton
- David Dastmalchian
- Katy O’Brian
- William Jackson Harper
- Bill Murray
- Michelle Pfeiffer
- Corey Stoll
- Michael Douglas
- Adam Gerstel
- Laura Jennings
- February 6, 2023(Regency Village Theatre)
- February 17, 2023(United States)