Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Movie Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is the third instalment in the Ant-Man series and kicks off phase five of the Marvel Universe.  The movie, directed by Peyton Reed, takes place in the Quantum Realm and makes us believe that there’s a universe beneath the normal universe which is as vast, extensive and esoteric as our own. It introduces the next big Marvel villain  Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), a megalomaniac who can manipulate both time and space. The film pits Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), his wife Hope Van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), father-in-law Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and mother-in-law Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), as also his rebellious daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) against a supervillain who likes playing around with timelines and killing people by the planet. He’s so powerful he can annihilate  an entire universes, making him more powerful than even Thanos. He gets exiled in the quantum realm, where Janet van Dyne has also been stranded. They spend years repairing the power core of his spacecraft. However, just as it’s finished, she’s able to read his thoughts and finds out about his evil intentions. She runs away with the power core and deprives him of his escape. Years later, when the family lands back into the quantum realm, they find that Kang has become an all-powerful entity there and has set up an empire. He kidnaps Cassie and asks Scott to get him the power core. Basically, just like Star Wars, a rebellion has been brewing against the evil emperor, and the addition of the Ant-Man family tilts the odds in the favour of the rebels.

A battle royale ensues, and all seems to be lost, till Hank saves the day with his army of intelligent ants. They even manage to annihilate Kang but can such a powerful entity really be totally killed?

The film draws various references to classic sci-fi movies like the Star Wars franchise, the Dune series, Star Trek, and even the flora and fauna of earth’s oceans. Think of your favourite science fiction character from any novel, or movie you like and something similar to it is in the film. There are so many possibilities that exist within the film as to how the Ant-Man universe can be taken forward that it boggles the mind. The makers have let their imagination go wild and take us through a landscape filled with fantastic creatures and fantastic sights.

The CGI artistes are the true heroes of the film, creating landscapes and inspired by deep space telescopes on one hand and a kindergarten kid’s imagination on the other. The creature effects take the cake. What can you say about a slime-like creature who yearns for holes and drinking parts of it gives you instant translation abilities. There is a scene where hundreds of ant-men form a human pyramid. A similar scene has thousands of Kangs sitting in a stadium, hooting like chimps. A sun-like creature, looking gorgeous on the outside, turns out to be a cunning predator.

However, amid the technical wizardry, the core idea of the film, a family standing up to an inter-galactic villain, gets lost somewhere. You wonder how Kang is purported to be such a powerful being when a dysfunctional family can overpower it with such ease. It’s all very haphazard and not well thought off. It’s as if the director just wanted to dazzle the viewers with the grandeur of his vision but has forgotten to lend meat to the story. The film feels pretty lopsided because of that. The director has been handed a fantastic cast of proven actors but the final product doesn’t do justice to their collective talent. There are moments which come close to touching you emotionally, like the hint of an affair between Janet van Dyne and Lord Kylar (Bill Murray) and Hank Pym feeling jealous because of that. And Cassie’s teenage angst too adds a spark to the proceedings. But these moments aren’t developed properly and soon peter out.

The film is strictly made for die-hard Marvel and Ant-Man fans. Watch it for its special effects and imaginatively constructed landscape and creatures. Don’t go looking for drama and you won’t be disappointed.