Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

I will be honest. I am a Marvel stan. There is no doubt that if Marvel Studios has create a new project, I am going to, most likely, be entertained at the least. I will even admit to overrating several of their films at times. Still, I believe I can approach a film and see its weaknesses as well as its strengths. It is just such an important part of my childhood, heck, my adulthood, that I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt easier to a Marvel movie than others.

Having said that, I approached the latest installment of the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania with trepidation considering the number of negative reviews it had received. Now, after seeing the film, I found myself thoroughly entertained and I am not sure why there is such vitriol toward the Payton Reed directed film.

Quantumania is absolutely a full fledged science fiction movie. In fact, about an hour into the movie, I was thinking this was more like the next installment in the Star Wars franchise starring Ant-Man than a Marvel film. That might be some people’s problems with the movie, but I enjoyed the aspects. It reminded me a lot of the Disney animated movie Strange World that came out last year too. That film was also not that well received.

Scott Lang (Paull Rudd), Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Cassie (Kathryn Newton) get trapped in the Quantum Realm after a lab accident and they hope to find their way back home. Unfortunately, Janet knew of a dangerous person who was also stranded in the Quantum Realm from her time before and she was scared that they may come across him.

Jonathan Majors (who appeared as a Kang variant in the Loki series) arrived in this film as Kang the Conqueror, the next big bad in the MCU and you can tell why the actor was cast in this role. He was menacing in every word while still being charismatic and engaging. He gave off that frightful feeling that he might, at any moment, rip your head off. Majors is an amazing actor and his presence absolutely could put him in the same class as the Mad Titan, Thanos.

Paul Rudd is always great as Scott Lang. He started off the movie cashing in on the celebrity of a super hero who saved the world, even if the people really didn’t know who he was. Scott wrote a book, among other things. However, his daughter Cassie was getting in trouble with the law when she would be sticking up for homeless protestors against the police.

The other major standout among the cast was Michelle Pfeiffer, who was exceptional as Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp who had the dark secret of the Quantum Realm inside her and just did not want to share it.

The visuals of the film were mostly awesome and looked great. There were a few moments where you could tell it was a green screen but it was mostly stunning. I saw the film in a XD theater and I would absolutely recommend watching this on the biggest screen you can.

One of the parts of the film that is going to be divisive for sure is MODOK. While I did not mind the film altering the Marvel character’s origin, I am not sure I liked what they did with the character. MODOK felt like a disposable piece that could have been left out of the story and not lost any importance.

I would also say that most of the freedom fighters from the Quantum Realm were one dimensional characters that were not worth the time. Sure, some of them had cool designs, but there were not any of them that were a full-fledged character.

Michael Douglas had some bad ass moments in the movie as Hank Pym. Bill Murray had a guest star role that was minor, but fun. I would have wanted more for Evangeline Lilly. As one of the titular characters, I would have thought that she was going to be more front and center. I mean, Wasp did have a few major moments, but they were few and far between. She did have some solid spots in the third act, but she really blended into the backdrop until that.

The third act did feel a little messy, but I think that it was intended to be that way. By the time we had reached that third act, I was completely in and so any possible flaws did not bother me.

I do think that the trailers for Quantumania gave away too much of the story and gave us too many moments in that third act that wound up hurting the film.

As I said, I found this to be a great MCU offering, with some great performances, a fantastic villain and some excellent visuals in an entertaining world. The story was simple, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll be curious to see what a second viewing will do to my thought process.

4.25 stars

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