Sunday 26 February 2023

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Modok She Wrote

Ant-Man and
the Wasp: Quantumania

USA 2023 Directed by Peyton  Reed
UK cinema release print

This is going to be a very quick shout out to the new Ant-Man/Wasp movie because, well, it’s basically fine and not the train wreck I had been led to believe by many critics, it has to be said. Ant-Man And The Wasp - Quantumania is actually one of the stronger of the recent Marvel films as far as I’m concerned, easily beating out the likes of Black Panther - Wakanda Forever (reviewed here) and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (reviewed here)... but, you know, I loved Eternals (reviewed here) so, don’t take my word for it.

Once again we have Paul Rudd playing the Scott Lang incarnation of Ant-Man, Evangeline Lily playing the Hope Van Dyne incarnation of The Wasp, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp) but, we also have yet another new actress playing the grown up version of Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie (the always watchable Kathryn Newton and... none of the other much loved characters from the previous, stand alone Ant-Man films. There is, however, one returning actor from the first one who is basically a henchman to this movie’s main villain Kang The Conqueror (played by Jonathan Majors). I’m not going to say who the character is but, he’s been refashioned into a version of one of Marvel’s more ridiculous looking villains from the comics and, well, he wasn’t supposed to be the character he was playing in the first movie, truth be told (it’s complicated)... but I won’t say any more of that because, you know, spoilers.

This one is a lot different from the majority of previous movies which had Ant-Man as a character in them. Yes, it’s a superhero movie and features many people doing fantastic, superpowered fighty things but... it has to be said that this one more resembles a Star Wars movie than most anything else and, yeah, it’s certainly not the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to jump into a more space opera style yarn (although, technically, nobody is in space... it’s just the quantum realm). And I’m not knocking it... if anyone is staying true to their comic book roots by going down this road, then certainly Marvel probably have the most right to (and possibly DC but, let’s not make this review a comparison war).

And it’s also fairly well done and, as I said, basically fine. Even cleverly handled in terms of the origins of one of the big deus ex machina moments in the movie, for sure. It’s fairly entertaining and has a lot of humour, as you’d expect from an Ant-Man movie. One thing which did bug me, if you’ll pardon the expression, is that Marvel no longer have the rights to The Micronauts toys and the characters in the comics they wrote about them in the 1970s and 80s. I used to love those (both the comics and the toys) and, certainly, the quantum realm which has already become so essential to the way the MCU goes forward, pretty much started off life as the Microverse as far as I’m concerned. I mean, the spirit of those comics is certainly here in the way it’s been put together but, how great would it have been if Baron Karza and Arcturus Rann were facing off against each other in this one?

Oh, one of the big criticisms I heard levelled at this movie was that some people had difficulty understanding it. I was expecting to be in the same boat but, no, this is not a complicated movie and I am baffled as to what people think needs explaining here. It seems pretty clear to me... just remember the other 30 plus MCU films which came out before this and you should have no trouble following it.

The other complaint I’ve seen about this is that it deals with the Multiverse and therefore nothing has any consequence. Well... again I’m left thinking I saw a different cut of the movie somehow. This film does touch on the multiverse but, so very little of it, maybe a minute or two of post credits scenes, actually takes place in another facet of the multiverse. This movie really isn’t about the multiverse at all.... which we’ve all seen before in at least two Marvel movies and once TV show so, it would be nothing new if it was (even DC are getting into the multiverse act later this year and, again, that’s fine, they’ve earned the right to do that from their comics over the years... the two companies have pretty much different versions of everything the other does anyway). But, no, this one’s firmly set in the quantum realm and although the multiverse is mentioned a lot... it doesn’t really feature too much in the story, for sure... apart from a scene where it’s used to explain the idea of ‘possible alternate versions of oneself in a fairly blatant, visual way.

And that’s me done on this one. Ant-Man And The Wasp - Quantumania is basically an entertaining evening at the cinema, has some great actors, moves at a fairly good pace and has some nice musical glue by the series’ regular composer Christophe Beck (which, once again alas, has not been released on a proper CD at time of writing this). But, yeah, it’s a nice looking movie and I certainly didn’t mind it at all... make of that what you will.

No comments:

Post a Comment