ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA (2023)
Release Date: 02/17/23 [Cinemas]
Studio: Marvel Studios
"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."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the launching pad for Phase 5 and after a lackluster Phase 4, this premiere of sorts needed a boost in the right direction. Unfortunately, beyond Jonathan Majors’ powerful performance as Kang and a dynamite third act, this is ultimately one of the biggest missed opportunities in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In years after the introduction of the Ant-Man character in the MCU, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m one of the sole die-hard fans of the 2015 Ant-Man. Its simplicity spoke volumes and let the audience have a fun time with a criminal who happened to become a superhero. Paul Rudd owned the role and it ultimately was one of the more fun standalone movies out of the MCU. Then years later after some minor appearances of Ant-Man in key films, we got Ant-Man and the Wasp which landed with a thud. It had a few redeemable factors but ultimately relied too heavily on a forgettable villain arc.
Maybe it’s because of the scale for Quantumania or just how much I’ve come to love the character since his introduction, but this film wound up being less interesting than its predecessor. With weak writing to blame and some atrocious dialogue/humor leading the narrative, the only thing supporting the story was the ambitious visual direction the film was taking. Some are comparing this effort to a Star Wars, but in my eyes it better connects with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets with how much the visuals sought to tell a story that the characters and dialogue couldn’t manage to convey.
The first act is a rough sit, with zero laughs, rough pacing and an introduction to the more intuitive world of the Quantum Realm with some wonky CGI. However as the film progresses, the visuals improve, the narrative fleshes out and the third act kicks some serious ass on behalf of the little guy. Paul Rudd and Kathryn Newton are instantly great together, while the rest of the cast never shine through due to glaring script issues. What pulls this film together, apart from its unbelievable final battle, is the cinematic introduction of Jonathan Majors’ Kang into the heart of the story - elevating an uneven experience with every appearance.
As the film progresses, the experience gets more and more enjoyable before closing on one of the best third act battles in the history of the MCU. Even so, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a weak lead into a long phase ahead.