Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - Review
Look Out For The Little Guy. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Peyton Reed.
Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne find themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania swaps out the playful heist setting of its predecessors, trading San Francisco out for the CGI-heavy Quantum Realm in a film that frantically rushes to launch a new phase and dynasty for the MCU.
It's nice to see that there is a grand roadmap laid ahead for Marvel Studios but the constant need to build and interweave these characters and stories means that instalments like Quantumania quickly lose their footing as a stand-alone story, instead become frenetic exposition dumps for the wider narrative. Though it's always exciting to revisit characters, the story feels so hollow that with a few quick 'quantum' script edits, Ant-Man could have been easily interchanged for any of the Avengers line-up to tease Kang The Conqueror - feeling worlds apart from what we've seen from this series.
The good news is that Paul Rudd lights up the screen whenever he's on with his signature charisma. What he may lack as a daring heroic figure is won back by his passion for protecting those he cares about. It's a shame that even though Evangeline Lilly's Wasp has title billing she only gets about 5 minutes of screen time. But why would you want to see Ant-Man and the Wasp in an Ant-Man and the Wasp film when you could be watching Kang?
Ironically, Jonathan Majors as Kang is actually this film's saving grace. His arrival is instantly intimidating and teases inevitable consequences for the multiverse. When the film stands still for two minutes to let his presence be felt, it's when the film feels its strongest.
The CGI becomes overwhelming as the film goes on but audiences were promised Quantumania and we sure got it. I don’t have time to go into my thoughts on MODOK but know that they ranged from "What is going on?" to "No seriously, what is going on?"
Change and evolution are always welcome but it only works when it truly benefits the characters and storytelling - not to squeeze a square peg in a round hole. Quantumania is unavoidably messy, feeling like more of a tick list than a cohesive story that is saved by a few compelling performances and the promises of future payoff.