Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania 2023
I’m doing what I can to keep this blog alive. It took an extra week but I did go out to the theaters to see the latest MCU movie and I have a few opinions. Even though this was the worst critically performing movie after the Eternals (which I still haven’t seen but plan to… eventually) it has a high audience score so I was fairly certain I would still enjoy it. I did, though there were a few issues that bothered me after the fact, but not while watching the movie. I think some of the character complaints were valid and the ending was a little weak but the visuals were fantastic and the humor has its own little niche that’s similar to Guardians of the Galaxy while still having its own tone unique to Ant-Man and Peyton Reed despite the rocky start. Like with many of the middle MCU films where it’s a superhero film crossed with another unique genre, this still gives us something new with a revolution story mixed with a sci-fi twist. I thought it was a fun continuation of the Ant-Man character and I hope we get some more down the line. And as with every new movie reviewed here, I will be diving into spoiler territory beyond this point so you have been warned.
The best part of this film really are the visuals. The Quantum Realm is visually striking while still having an identity that’s separate from some of the other fantastic realms we’ve seen in the MCU like the different dimensions in Doctor Strange or the various worlds in Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor. It’s clearly inspired by the microscopic realm mixed with space imagery. There are bacterial and amoeba-esque creatures moving around along with plenty of alien-esque creatures and the requisite humanoid characters for budgetary and identifiable reasons. The one minor issue is that the entire concept of it is difficult to fully grasp as a workable concept. It’s not that difficult to imagine a sub-microscopic world, but it’s more difficult to believe that it’s as small an navigable as it’s seemingly presented within the film. If a sub-microscopic world did exist, then travelling to various places within the quantum realm would be similar to travelling to different planets within our universe. A distance of a few yards in the real world could be the equivalent of a few light years on a quantum scale, yet where they enter the quantum realm is the same neighborhood that Janet entered the quantum realm thirty years ago. But of course, that can be forgiven under the realm of fantasy.
The next best part of the film is really all about the comedy, especially with the various comedic characters. The return of Corey Stall’s Darren Cross as MODOK was a surprise treat. While there may be some comic book stories where MODOK is a serious threat, for the majority of people looking at the character, he looks like a giant, dumb head and that’s how he’s represented in this movie. Every time he appeared on screen, it was the best level of ridiculousness in this ridiculous space. Even the cameo from Bill Murray as a Lando-esque turncoat with a history between him and Janet was a fun little treat. The ooze creature and telepathic Quaz were also fun additions to the cast and worked well with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man. Kathryn Newton was also a nice addition as the latest Cassie as this film did feel like a mini origin story for her superhero character Stature even though she is never given that name in the actual movie.
In some ways, it could be said that it felt like Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet van Dyne and Jonathan Majors’ Kang were in a completely different movie. Other than the awkwardness between her and Bill Murray, the two of them and resistance fighter Jentorra are the serious characters in the movie that help sell the drama and pathos. This variant of Kang the Conqueror is a fascinating character, in the flashbacks with him and Janet he is a very sympathetic character that practically turns on a dime once he has his technology that gives him power over nearly everything. They did make him a little bit overpowered during the climactic battle that stretched the believability in a few different ways when he was vaporizing quantum realm inhabitants with relative ease, but when he turned the same power on the hero characters they were merely pushed back. And when it came down to the final battle sans-technology, Kang’s overly-reliant-on-technology scientist fought hand to hand more like the boxer character Majors plays in the Creed III trailer that came before this movie. It made sense from a dramatic standpoint to have this hand to hand fight between Ant-Man and Kang, but it made less sense that these characters were physically evenly matched.
Meanwhile, Janet as a character was a little overly reserved as she was presented as a character traumatized by her time spent in the quantum realm who wants to avoid talking about it along with the secret guilt of leaving this entire civilization to be conquered by Kang while she escaped to the normal sized realm. But with that secrecy it did rob her of some characterization outside of the ease in which she was able to navigate this realm. She had a few moments towards the end of the movie but she could have been utilized a lot more. The same can be said for Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp. For most of the movie she is just trying to pry the secrets out of Janet and she saves Ant-Man once, but she’s not really more than a side character in a movie that has her name in the title. Cassie is a much bigger character and that’s ok for this sub plot of Scott Lang rebuilding this relationship with his daughter who he missed out on five years of her life. That familial relationship is one of the better threads running throughout this movie.
The last thread is the whole revolution story going on throughout the movie with Kang as the literal conqueror trying to take over the entire quantum realm in order to get back to his own section of the multiverse. He has his typical faceless robotic horde of minions as well as a handful of traitors working with him like the Bill Murray character earlier in the movie and MODOK. It all comes together in the rallying cry made by Cassie to get everyone to rise up against Kang though it’s Hank Pym’s hyper evolved ants that are the final push to take them over the top. This movie isn’t perfect and has plenty of minor issues spread throughout, but it’s still an entertaining movie filled with interesting characters that have their own moments of growth throughout the movie. Plus, it’s visually stunning and quite funny throughout, recommended despite the low critical score. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on March 5, 2023, in 20's movies, Marvel and tagged film, Marvel, movies, review, sequel, Superhero. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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