Film: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Kathryn Newton, David Dastmalchian, William Jackson Harper, Katy O'Brian, Bill Murray
The 31st film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) launches the Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in an inimitable Ant-Man way. In Ant-man’s previous two standalone outings, have only made grow fond of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. Quantumania tries another step in the right direction.
Written by Jeff Loveness, the story opens with Scott enjoying a breezy day in San Francisco, making most of his career as a famous author, basking in the glory of having saved the world with Avengers. Yes, he gets confused with others like Spider Man or Thor, but affable that he is he doesn’t let it come in his way of making most of his time with his daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton). The love of his life Hope van Dyne (Wasp) is doing the real heroic work, leading her parents’ Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) Foundation working on humanitarian causes. With all of them together, specially Janet after her time in the quantum universe, it’s happy family time. Until, Cassie in her research over the quantum universe ends up signalling and getting all of them sucked in. Thus begins an exploration to what was, is and can be. The theme being here whether to save one’s skin and look the other side while walking one’s path.
Peyton Reed, who has helmed earlier two, helms the third Ant-Man film and builds an colourful universe. One meets Jentorra (Katy O'Brian) – an exotic looking fighter aiming at justice for different communities in the quantum universe, helped by Quaz (William Jackson Harper ), a telepath who would rather not read others’ minds for all are disgusting. Now the new visitors to their universe are challenged by all mighty Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) and his sidekick Darren (Corey Stoll ) – the giant floating head who is now Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing and likes to be addressed as M.O.D.O.K.!
A challenging battle ensues flitting to past, and reference to other Avengers till Cassie establishes herself in the new gen of superheroes in her new suit. Paul Rudd makes for a fun Avenger and one loves his happy go lucky arc, Evangeline Lilly as Hope is commanding. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer get enough part but they rather flit in and out rather incoherently. Jonathan Majors is the new super villain and lends some weight in his portrayal. But weak characterisation stops him from the dreaded monster that he is supposed to play. Kathryn is nimble on feet and does a fair job at establishing her ground.
Quantumania is a superhero film, with heart in a simple father – daughter story. Scott would rather be the doting dad than pursue any more misadventures in the multiverse; Janet would rather enjoy pizza at home after three decades of relentless fight. But teen Cassie is out to right any wrongs. One like the subtle touches of humour - the fun Ant-Man, and his antics. While weaving the story around – daughter–father (Cassie- Scott) and daughter -mother (Hope Janet) bond, it really doesn’t tug at one’s heart strings. Neither does the action set your heart pacing. CGI is watchable, one love’s Kang’s citadel and his army, buildings that are living, vehicles with gooey controls. At 124 minutes, the very ordinary plots is rather stretched.
As the first film in Phase Five of the MCU, it builds but a passable crescendo. The twists at the end, are now but anticipatory, and nobody moves as the credits roll. The true blue marvel fans enjoy the after scene, and after scene after scene and cheer the anticipated Marvel outings. You want to watch for the little man, but as Scott says, there is always room to grow, we agree!