The MCU's latest chapter is a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey disappointment.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, David Dastmalchian, Katy O'Brian, William Jackson Harper, Bill Murray, Michelle Pfeiffer, Corey Stoll, and Michael Douglas
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Tagline: Witness the beginning of a new dynasty.
cott Lang gets sucked into the Quantum Realm but ends up stuck in a cheesy Star Wars knock-off instead in Quantumania, the third film in the Ant-Man arc of the increasingly lacklustre Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The movie finds the mega-franchise continuing to struggle as it fails, yet again, to find its post-Endgame footing, stumbling this time in an attempt to establish the series’ next Big Bad.
The latest adventure takes Lang (Paul Rudd), his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), his girlfriend Hope (Evangeline Lily), and Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) into the subatomic universe where Janet was previously trapped for three decades, but fails to do anything interesting with the concept.
After Cassie creates a device that can make contact with the Quantum Realm (in the latest episode of “teenagers building impossibly intricate technology in a basement”), the aforementioned quintet gets sucked into a portal that pulls them in. When they land in a sprawling city populated with all kinds of beings, it becomes obvious that Janet has been keeping quite a few secrets from her family.
Turns out her time in the Realm was more eventful than anyone would have expected and found her running into Kang (Jonathan Majors), an exiled traveller who poses a threat to the multiverse.
Kang wants to escape. The Ant-gang wants to stop him, once they figure out what’s actually going on. (There’s an exasperating amount of “character refusing to divulge info that would instantly make things easier for everyone” in the first half of the film.)
It’s all a bit underwhelming. You’ve got a villain who seems to forget, from moment to moment, what powers he has and who isn’t established as the kind of menacing threat that the future of the MCU needs. Then there are characters with not much to do for almost the entirety of the movie, tonal shifts that don’t work, writing that just isn’t very good, the film’s general reluctance to do something bold or substantial...
The whole thing seems to be built almost entirely on cliches and tropes, with no gravity, no sense of impact or consequence. This isn’t the most promising start to MCU’s Phase Five, and one can only hope the franchise corrects course in the coming instalments.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection