Wednesday 1 March 2023

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania Review

A little apprehensive about watching the MCU’s (Marvel Cinematic Universe) first film of 2023 after a rocky phase 4? Concerned about what the critics and the divided audience are saying about it on the internet?

My advice will remain the same. Do not let anybody else influence your decisions this easily because this Ant-Man threequel did not disappoint me and my group of friends who watched it this past weekend. The star studded cast of Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp), Michael Douglas (Original Ant-Man), Michelle Pfeiffer (Original Wasp) and Jonathan Majors (Kang The Conqueror) delivered a powerful performance in nearly all realms of acting!

Please note that this article contains spoilers lie ahead. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and plan on watching it soon, kindly stop reading after this.

Scott Lang who has embraced his life as a superhero now has his own biography published touting his journey about morphing into an Avenger from being an ex-convict while also being a father. However, he seems to have developed a slight disconnect with his teenage daughter, Cassie who has been an activist for a while and also secretly working with Hank, and Hope on building a machine that can establish contact with the Quantum realm. Jannette immediately pulls the plug off the machine after it’s revelation by Cassie. However, the signal was already received and they are all sucked into the mysterious world.

Once they all land in the enigmatic universe that exists outside of space and time, Scott and Cassie find themselves in one part of the esoteric destination while Hope and her parents reach somewhere else. It is at this moment when the audience learns that the quantum realm is not just a barren wasteland but has civilizations present. This is when I remembered Ant-Man’s DC counterpart, Atom at that moment and was telling myself “DC and Warner Brothers truly dropped the ball with him just like many other heroes in the last couple of decades while they all had better stories to be told from the comics than Marvel”.

As I attempted to momentarily neglect DC and Warner Brothers’ shortcomings, I proceeded to be enthralled by the new universe the MCU has started to disclose more details about. As Scott and Cassie are seemingly captured by some uncanny looking creatures that communicate in an unknown language, Cassie seems to not be as anxious as her father until he is forcefully smothered with a liquid down his mouth that then enables him to decipher the language the residents of the Quantum realm communicate in. That was a very unique detail that I appreciated as it illustrated how advanced the beings over there are.

Meanwhile Janette begins to show the way around for Hank and Hope who discover that she has connections in this world and is trying to reconnect with an old close contact, Lord Krylar. Played by the infamous, Bill Murray. This scene was met with a shocking awe from the viewers as some of us had completely forgotten about this legendary actor’s involvement in the film. Hats off to Marvel again for onboarding another big name in one of their projects!

As Krylar and Janette catch up, he reveals to her that things have changed since she left the Quantum realm and is now ruled by Kang. As Janette and her family flee after stealing Krylar’s ship, she finally opens up and tells them how she met Kang and worked with him to repair a multiversal power core from his ship to get them out of the Quantum realm. However, she learns of his real intentions of conquering worlds across several timelines and immediately decides to throw a wrench into his plans by using her remaining Pym particles to enlarge the power core and escape him until her rescue.

At the same time, Cassie and Scott are told by the rebels’ leader that Janette’s involvement with Kang is what led to his rise in power. They are soon ambushed and captured by M.O.D.O.K’s forces, who turned out to be Darren Cross, AKA the Yellowjacket from the first Ant-Man film. I commended MCU for bringing back old characters and actors, and was also very pleased with M.O.D.O.K’s look in the armor/helmet, until they revealed what his actual face looked which can be seen in the stills below. This is my first issue with the movie, as it was completely unnecessary to have a life-like depiction of the character’s face. It might as well have been an early 90s version of the film if they ever had made one back then. They could have honestly just stuck to the look where he had the helmet on and the character verbally revealing who he really is.

Shortly after their apprehension, M.O.D.O.K transports the title character and his only child to Kang who threatens to kill Cassie if Scott does not cooperate by helping the antagonist fix the power core Janette had displaced a long time ago. Scott agrees and finds himself with several variants of his own until Hope arrives to help him out. This scene took me back to the Doctor Strange films which had similarly bizarre visuals.

After an uprising from the dissidents of the Quantum realm, and some assistance from Hank’s evolved hyper-intelligent ants, the main protagonists manage to beat Kang by sending him into limbo, and return to their home world.

You must be thinking “Classic Marvel film where the heroes beat the bad guy... end of story”. Might wanna hold your horses there because Kang isn’t your ordinary baddie. He is the next Thanos of the new Marvel saga after Endgame. That’s probably a given considering how they have an Avengers movie coming out with his name in the subtitle. We were treated with some actually meaningful mid credits and post credits scenes this time by an MCU film. The first one featured several variants of Kang planning an uprising of their own. Followed by the last teaser featuring none other but Tom Hiddleston himself as Loki and Owen Wilson as Morbius reprising their roles from the renowned Disney Plus show from last year, attending a speech of another Kang variant.

While this movie was not an instant classic like some of the phase 1 films, Quantumania did triumph over its predecessors in my eyes compared to most other Marvel heroes’ own respective franchises like Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Thor who all had multiple movies but did not manage to surpass their initial projects that put them on the map. Ant-Man and The Wasp may have played a pivotal role in the MCU previously around Avengers: Endgame, but they will definitely be taken a lot more seriously by me going forward after this one.

Alternatively, my only other issue with this movie was that more screen time and character development was focused on Janette, which is understandable as she served as a strong base for the backstory of Kang for the film and the MCU going forward. However, it took most of the spotlight away from the title characters in my opinion. Hopefully Scott and Hope (Oops. didn’t mean to use the same word/name twice in the same sentence!) manage to get more focus on themselves in the future films and not continue to get undermined.

In the end, I was very pleased with Kang’s presentation as he did not fall into the MCU jaws of gags and overwhelming urge to be funny almost every time they get the chance. It is one thing to have a comic relief character and making everyone else be involved in something that attempts to get the audience to cackle. The atmosphere of the film was fun in general but did not go overboard like Thor: Love and Thunder, which is not even worthy (pun intended) of being mentioned anywhere. Overall, I would say it was above average and definitely worth watching if you are a Marvel fan.

I would give this film a score of 8/10! 

Thank you for taking the time to read this review and please let us know your thoughts about the film in the comments section below.

Arthur Kaz


No comments:

Post a Comment