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Review: Ant-Man And The Wasp - Quantumania
The First Film In The Fifth Phase Of The MCU
Superhero duo Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, together with Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, find themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures, and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
I know its a privilege to have the opportunity to attend them, so I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, but I’ve had a bad string of luck of late in not being able to make press screenings. This last week I had not one, but two screenings for Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania that fell through.
But perhaps that was a blessing in disguise as the movie has become only the second “Rotten” rated film in the MCU catalog, and watching it with general audiences could give me a perspective on, not only what seem to not work with critics, but also what likely would work with the regular movie go-er.
About a hour into the two hours of this film I had seen enough to know why its gotten such rough reviews. It doesn’t break from “The MCU Formula” that has begun to bore a lot of us in the criticism world. It has really rough and hurried pacing that makes the movie come off frantic; save for the main two villains the new characters aren’t particularly memorable; and ultimately the film feels like its got plenty filler than advancing anything past setting up the new “big bad” of the MCU in Kang.
The acting is also a bit touch and go, there were times I found myself wondering how much fun these actors were actually having fun filming this, and how much was a contractual obligation. Granted Jonathan Majors as Kang is as good as hyped and if anyone from the cast stands out and carries the film its easily him - though you have to wait nearly an hour to finally get him onscreen advancing the plot further.
But I’d be lying if I pretended I didn’t find more than some parts of the film funny, or that the M.O.D.O.K character even with its wonky CGI design didn’t work for me or my crowd that I watched it with - which seemed to react very well to him. There were some nice action moments as well, some creature designs intrigued me, and there was even one scene that actually made me almost want to jump up and cheer towards the end. And at the end of the night I wasn’t bored like I was with Black Adam, I wasn’t angry like I was with ‘Dawn Of Justice’, I have to admit to being decently entertained.
Was this mid-tier Marvel? Yes. Was it ultimately forgettable, and I’m not necessarily in a rush to watch it again like I have been with other MCU films? Yes. Did parts of it need some polishing other than being the clearly hurried project it was? Yes.
But did I still find myself entertained by certain elements? Also yes. Did I walk away feeling better than I did walking out of other mid-tier Superhero flicks? Yep.
Do I think this is a special MCU film that fixes the problems it has had of late? Other than the new direction for the franchise with Kang as the next “Final Boss”, No I don’t. Do I think this is anywhere near as bad as the reviews and its rotten score would have you believe? Not really either.
While I’m sure plenty critics are just giving their honest thoughts on the movie, I do wonder now with the MCU being one-up by recent non-Superhero blockbuster films if some now come into these films already ready to rip them and punish them for sticking with the formula they used to praise years ago. I can’t help but think this same movie wouldn’t have gotten that rotten score had it come out just a few years back.
Look, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania is not going to be ranked high among my personal MCU ranking. I’m not going to defend it and die on a hill like I did Thor: Love & Thunder, but do I think this is in competition for worst MCU film? Hell no. Its not even close to being the worst superhero film I’ve seen in the last year! If you’re an MCU enjoyer, if you like sci-fi adventures, if you like movies about families, this will be a passable enough, decent, popcorn flick. And you don’t have to feel guilty for liking it if you do.