Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania
Onto the final release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Marvel film Ant-Man & The Wasp – Quantumania in a theatre near me. This weekend has been quite bland both from the release stand-point and the quality of the content. If in the Hindi market, it had a major misfire with Shehzada, the word of mouth wasn’t great for the new Marvel film as well.
Marvel was at its absolute peak in its phase three with one of the major highlights being Thanos in Avengers Infinity War and End Game. What that phase did was seamlessly combine the different worlds of different superheroes wherein each character of the MCU had a well etched out arc in their respective individual films. And while the pinnacle was met in the End-Game, phase four of the MCU was rather uninteresting wherein I did feel that the objective was more on gaining popularity with the bear minimum deliveries which did reduce Marvel to a cash cow to put it in a good way. This phase was a mixed bag with some good films like Spiderman – No Way Home and Wakanda Forever, only to balance it out with below par projects like Thor Love and Thunder. As Thanos would say, a perfect way to balance the universe!
Come phase five of the MCU, it needed to start off with an absolute bang! While the staunchest Marvel fans would often defend the MCU, for some of the other fans, Marvel is now almost tiresome and lethargic in its storytelling, which was once its forte. There are new concepts being introduced alright but the lack of soul and execution is something left to be desired. So the phase five that does begin with Ant-Man And The Wasp – Quantumania had a lot riding on its shoulders. So then does it manage to set the ball rolling in an important phase for Marvel, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
Antman And The Wasp – Quantumania follows the story of Ant-Man and his family who find themselves in a world devoid of the time dimension wherein a powerful nemesis awaits them. The story here is a typical MCU one with a handful of interesting concepts thrown in. But having said that, the template doesn’t quite change or surprise you, a major complaint that I did have here. The screenplay standing at about 2 hours thankfully doesn’t overstay its welcome. It is fast-paced without any unnecessary subplots. But the flip side is that it doesn’t really offer you anything new.
The drama does open with the introduction of the protagonist who is leading a normal and happy life with his daughter and family. Up until they are pulled into another world! The basic concept here is the same but I was initially impressed with the atmospherics created around the world. It had layers of intrigue and mystery to it, something that did have my interests piqued on what the drama has to offer. Another big positive here was the character of the antagonist which is probably the most powerful super-villain since Thanos. I am sure that this character(s) will play a vital role in the next Avengers movie! But despite these positives, this drama still can be termed as another Marvel film which doesn’t quite nail it.
The proceedings are decent and partly interesting, however the novelty factor is barely there. One of the new concepts of a probability storm which is introduced here is barely touched upon. It starts off well but ends even before you know it. As seen in some major Marvel movies previously like Dr. Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness, the main protagonist often does take a backseat while the supporting characters end up saving the day. This was partly true here as well, wherein the character of the Ant-Man was one tone and one dimensional with the heavy lifting done by a couple of other characters. This is particularly disappointment and a bit of a letdown by Marvel studios.
The drama is consistently watchable and partly interesting for two-thirds of the film. But it is the final act that dips here, ending up being quite cliched from the writing point of view. There were no layers to the final act and instead only ‘big’ battle in the name of a face-off was served, something that did leave me with a feeling of a lot to be desired. I wonder if they could have exploited some of the concepts better but the bottomline was that the curse of the final act did make the end a tad underwhelming. The mid-credits and post-credits scene have always been a strong point of a Marvel film and here too it isn’t different. They do make you eager on what is next in the MCU. But Marvel really needs to pull up its socks now! A decent screenplay with a few moments of excitement like is the case here, may not be enough going ahead!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are alright but the trademark Marvel humour just did get to me this time. The lines were unfunny and none of the jokes did land! The BGM is pretty good here. The cinematography is terrific, the VFX are good but again not the best if you compare it with some of the other films from the MCU. Director Peyton Reed does a decent job but surely this film could have and should have been better executed and free of a few cliches. This would have been forgiving in the previous MCU phases but surely not in Phase 5.
The performances are really good here. Michael Douglas as Dr. Pym and Kathryn Newton as Cassie have their moments to shine. Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet is terrific and one of the highlights of the film. Evangeline Lily as Hope is first rate. Jonathan Majors as Kang is outstanding and probably the best thing in the MCU since Thanos. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang is good and his pleasant and charming personality wins the day over!
Ant-Man And The Wasp – Quantumania is another fun yet tiring Marvel film. Nothing more, nothing less! Available in a theatre near you.