“Do not underestimate the ‘power of underestimation’. They can’t stop you, if they don’t see you coming.” – Izey Victoria Odiase
Phase 4 of the MCU repeatedly left me mostly in the minority when it came to some of the theatrical releases. Thor: Love and Thunder seems to be unanimously reviled whereas I thoroughly enjoyed it. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a bit more divisive but overwhelmingly it seems to be on the more hated end of the spectrum. I for one find it to be one of the best movies in all of the MCU. It’s starting to make me wonder if this was a result of an overall more divisive phase than the previous three or maybe it’s superhero fatigue and I’m seeing the overall MCU a bit differently than I used to. Time will tell I suppose. This brings us to the first installment of Phase 5, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
I’ve said for a long time now that I am one of MARVEL’s easiest audiences as I’ve pretty much enjoyed every movie they’ve made. Even the ones I’m not the biggest fan of I can still manage to find something of merit in each of them to appreciate. Maybe in time I’ll be able to say the same about Ant-Man 3 but at this particular time I simply can’t. Ant-Man 3 is my new Thor: The Dark World. I was in before the lights dimmed. They just had to avoid tripping over their own shoelaces and everything would have been fine. Not only did they trip but the laces were untied and steeped in manure.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the third story of Scott Lang’s journey through heroism. At this stage in his life, with so much superhero-ing behind him and little in the way of future prospects, Scott is feeling a bit lost. His daughter, Cassie, and his partner, Hope, are tired of hearing about his stories of Captain America and Thanos and all that was. They ask him what he intends to do now that things are all quiet around the world. He is unable to give them an answer. Of course in the blink of an eye that all changes as an experiment goes terribly wrong and rips them from our world into a realm within a realm beneath our own. The Quantum Realm. As they quickly discover, everything Hope’s mother, Janet, told them about this world was barely scratching the surface.
As they become separated and begin the effort of finding one another they discover a world of living beings whose own existence is threatened by one force under the name of Kang The Conqueror. If his legend is to be believed, his existence is a threat of which there is no greater. It soon falls to Scott, Cassie, Hope, Janet and Hank to navigate this strange world to not only save it but to prevent Kang’s escape into our own world where he would create nothing less than devastation.
As the lights brightened after the final post-credit scene I was wondering what in the hell happened. I couldn’t get over how disinterested I was about everything I just experienced. The charm of lovable rogue, Paul Rudd was either not enough to save the movie or at times it was completely missing altogether. The excitement of watching Ant-Man and the Wasp team up was replaced with an old hat. Including his daughter felt forced to the overall story. It was less Avengers team up and more like MARVEL not having faith in the Ant-Man character being able to carry a third movie. The setting being entirely within the quantum realm created a CGI heavy movie even in a franchise filled to the brim with computer generated images it still felt a bit much. Or so I thought initially.
In other off-Earth installments of the MCU the CGI heavy settings are less distracting so it took me sometime to realize the reason the entire movie felt off and it’s less about the amount of CGI and more about the style choices of this world beneath our own. It feels less like a MARVEL movie and more like a sequel to Spy Kids. I was fully expecting an army of walking thumbs to invade at the command of Sly Stallone. But of course Toymaker wasn’t in charge this time. No, this time it was Kang’s turn to conquer.
In this assembly of characters, Kang, played by Jonathan Majors, was the standout. While he wasn’t exactly a villain worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Thanos or my favorite MCU villain, Killmonger, among a flurry of paycheck performances, he seemingly made the greatest effort. I look forward to seeing where he takes the character as the MCU’s next major supervillain. But within the confines of Ant-Man and the Wasp he feels more like a speed bump rather than the fully-loaded semi truck barreling down the highway at top speed he’s been promised to be. What I’m saying is in a movie featuring Hank Pym’s army of ants and Kang The Conqueror, the ants are far more formidable.
Overall I’m just not sure what had to happen for this to be the final result. But as I clarified in the start of this thing, I may not be the one to come to if you’re at all curious about other people’s thoughts on the latest in the MCU. I didn’t care about a single character in a movie where two came before it where I did care about them. To take that groundwork and eliminate it is something else; almost something to be admired. In the end I was all too happy when it ended and needless to say, that’s never a good thing.
PG-13 For: violence/action and language
Runtime: 125 minutes
After Credits Scene: Two.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton
Directed By: Peyton Reed
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 7/ Directing: 6.5/ Visuals: 6
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No.
Check out the trailer below:
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