Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review: Predictable & full of bugs
Neither the hand-to-hand combat nor the CGI-fest fight sequences amaze us. (2 / 5)
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Mitchelle Pfeiffer, Micheal Douglas, Kathryn Newton, and Katy M O'Brian
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Cinematographer: Bill Pope
Synopsis: Ant-Man and his family reunites and ends up exploring the Quantum Realm again, interacting with new creatures, learning the multiverse, and embarking on a new journey that pushes them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
After the underwhelming Marvel Phase 4 projects (except the TV series WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), we are moving into a new phase that kicks off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third installment of the franchise that was just about a miniature sized superhero focused on his Pym family, but Ant-Man 3 aims to be bigger and goes all in into the .
Kang the Conqueror was first introduced to us in the underwhelming TV series 'Loki' as the baddie but lacked enough punch for a time-traveling multiversal warlord and a Nexus Being, who has powers equal to Thanos and has a lot of variants of himself. Surprisingly, Ant-Man 3 uses him optimally. The film begins with a six-minute voice-over of Scott Lang (Quirky and charming Paul Rudd), who explains to us how his life changed after the blip. His life as a family man veers off as the Pym family ends up in the realm due to his daughter Cassie's (Kathryn Newton) experiment. This done-to-death troupe is how characters end up in the setting. Then, the film moves into the predictable seen-that-done-that phase.
What keeps us hooked throughout is Jonathan Majors as Kang. His moving performance and backstory sells to us, but the emotional connect between Scott Lang and Cassie fails to pass muster. Majors carries the vulnerability of his role gracefully, he's both aplomb and capricious like Xu Wenwu played by Tony Leung in 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'. A few witty one-liners such as the one with holes or the one with Godzilla lands well. Bill Pope' Cinematography captures the zany visuals somehow in a rather underwhelming fashion and the writing is the big letdown here. A whole bunch of witty creatures makes this overstuffed except for Jentorra's (Katy M O'Brian) character nothing stands out and the others become mere background artists.
'Quantumania' with its world-building and as an introduction to Phase 5 feels like a quintessential Star Wars film, but is rushed and overstuffed. It fails to create a mark as a stand-alone flick and the pressure to connect everything with the multiverse makes it convoluted. Some connections like Janet Van Dyne (Mitchelle Pfeiffer) keeping her secrets for 30 years before getting rescued from the Quantum Realm in 2018's Ant-Man film is a well-thought-out one, but sadly some are unimpressive.
The visuals are also off hindering our focus in the climax. Neither the hand-to-hand combat nor the CGI-fest fight sequences amaze us. It feels like director Peyton Reed, who also helmed the previous two installments, forgot the fact that Ant-Man was grounded until he appeared in the Avengers team-up. He tries to create a world just like Taika Waititi where there are a bunch of witty characters with different character designs.
In the end, Ant-Man 3 is a bland, predictable, and VFX-heavy film with very few witty one-liners saved by Jonathan Majors' performance. It is the weakest kick-off film for MCU's Phase 5, but the end credit scene leaves us with hope.
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