Liam Ferguson reviews the new Marvel movie fresh from the factory
Marvel Studios’ newest outing Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania is a gigantic mess of a film. Lacking a coherent story, directorial flair or standout performances, it is easily the worst film put out by the studio since Thor: The Dark World in 2013.
Plot wise, the film is pure nonsense. It follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) once again as himself, his partner Hope (Evangeline Lilly,) daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton,) mentor Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) as they are dragged into the quantum realm and have to stop its dictator Kang (Jonathan Majors) from escaping into their world. Following the importance of fatherhood present in the first two instalments of the Ant-Man franchise and the 5 year gap that left Scott unable to watch Cassie grow up during Avengers: Endgame, it feels like an opportunity to explore that relationship was lost, as the film that is supposed to round out a trilogy is laser focused on setting up the next Avengers movie. The movie then does a disservice to its main characters by rarely focusing on their development, instead hammering home a point that Kang is going to be the villain of the MCU for the next decade. It beats you over the head with exposition and unfunny quips until you no longer feel any connection to the characters as the plot moves to the out-of-sync beat of its own drum.
The performances are fine, Jonathan Majors is a fantastic actor and is able to elevate the bare-bones script he was given to great effect, while Rudd and Newton are charming as ever. Douglas is sleepwalking through the film, but is giving the best he can and the same can be said of Pfeiffer.
The movie’s main problem is how it looks. The green screen and visual effects team clearly needed more time to work on the film, as characters rarely look like they are in the same room as each other or up against a tangible set. The general direction of the film is flat and colourless, and no sense of passion from behind the camera is ever felt. It is easily the worst looking Marvel movie ever made, being comparable to a film such as The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005) and not a $130 million blockbuster.
The MCU is known for having bombastic action set pieces and those too disappoint within Quantumania. This is in large part due to how nothing within the film feels real as characters will fight grey CGI blobs with abysmal choreography while an uninspired score plays over them.
All in all, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is a dud from Marvel, and feels like a creatively bankrupt approach to filmmaking. Do not rush out to see it anytime soon, though unfortunately it will be extremely important to the plot of 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, if audiences still care about these movies by then.