‘Quantumania’ Full Of Sound And Fury Signifying Nothing In Third Ant-Man

For the most part, the Ant-Man movies have been nothing more than a buffer for the bigger and better movies next in line. At least, the first movie had some fun to it, even if it was just to introduce the titular character to the the psuedo-Avengers flick, Captain America: Civil War. I still have several issues with the weight displacement issues and how it’s physically impossible for Scott Lang (played perfectly by Paul Rudd in most outings), wearing the Ant-Man suit to hop on the back of an ant without his feet breaking through the ant’s body like it was tissue paper.

And like a lot of issues I have with superhero movies, they ignore more logical things. In the first one, Darren Cross (Corey Stroll), the supervillain, shoots another businessman with a ray gun that turns him into a small piece of goop. Yet NO ONE seems to acknowledge the businessman is missing from going to restroom during the middle of a workday. Surely, someone would’ve missed him and since he questioned Cross’s Yellowjacket suit, wouldn’t they tell authorities this?

The first movie didn’t make a lot of sense except introducing newer characters like Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope Van Dyne (featuring Covid anti-vaxxer Evangeline Lily who is the MCU’s Amber Heard). It was your typical origin story but that Anthony Mackie cameo as Sam Wilson/Falcon stopped the movie dead in its tracks. Yet, there was something exciting about the nonsense especially the performance by Michael Pena.

But looking back at the second Ant-Man, I can’t remember much except for Scott playing the drums on house arrest in a bitching nice house he couldn’t afford working at Baskin-Robbins in San Francisco and something about a spirit or something. Then, the end credits had Hank, Hope and her mother, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) all going away following the Snap, so Scott would be stuck in the Quantum Realm for five minutes but it’s actually five years when he is shat out in Avengers: Endgame.

I won’t ruin what the end credits scene is mainly because I don’t know how Marvel and Disney is going to handle it all considering that they may have to recast Jonathan Majors as Kang following that domestic violence arrest. Reports differ that Majors has been recast with some indicating Damson Idris is being scouted to play Kang. All that looming over Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania along with Lily’s stance against the vaccine that’s probably saved a lot of lives makes this one of the most uncomfortable superhero movies to watch in a long, long time.

Oh, and Bill Murray pops up as Lord Krylar during a glorified cameo. Murray used to be the type of actor whose presence in a movie was cheered by anyone and everyone. But after people are finally realizing what has been reported since the late 1970s that he’s nothing more than a crazy Irish bully, his role drags the movie down even more. Maybe it’s time for Kevin Feige to step away from the franchise as some fresh blood is needed. I mean, Phase Four wasn’t really all that exciting. And Phase Five looks like it’s still on a rocky path.

Most of the movie is set again in the Quantum Realm from one of the most laziest set-ups ever. Scott’s wayward daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton, replacing Emma Fuhrmann, replacing Abby Ryder Fortson following the Blip) is working with Hank (who she calls “Grandpa” even though he’s not) on creating a device to establish contact with the Realm. Janet sees this and says it’s wrong and tries to turn it off. But it opens a portal and sucks Scott, Cassie, Janet, Hank and Hope in because why waste time on a first act set-up

The Quantum Realm itself looks like it could be assembled from just about every screen saver ever made crossed with the top-notch 1990s level special effects. There’s people and other things, characters who look like gelatin versions of the hazmat suits the decon monsters wore in Monsters, Inc. For what it’s worth in 2023, a lot of the special effects aren’t impressive. Rumor has it the VFX crew had to make a Sophie’s Choice decision to devote more on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever or this. Considering both were released within three months, I think we all know who got to play on varsity and who was stuck on JV.

Judging by how terrible M.O.D.O.K. looks, you can tell. Not that it’s a spoiler alert since it’s been plastered across memes since late February, but Cross is also M.O.D.O.K. To be honest, the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, it has something to do with the multiverse, of course, and there’s warring factions leading to the big brawl/battle at the end that was parodied in She-Hulk but the MCU still ends each movie.

This is the dullest MCU movie since Eternals, which is no surprise they are both considered “rotten” on RottenTomatoes.com with an aggregate rating of 47 percent. Even Rudd, who had so much fun in the first two movies, seems bored. I get the feeling following the outcry over Lily, they reduced her scenes. Douglas is allowed to have some fun and the best dialogue but the story is centralized around Janet and her history in the Realm. So, there’s numerous characters and many new ones who pop up try to say or do funny things, then leave.

I just realized that there’s a missed opportunity to draw on the Community connection with the MCU. The Russo Brothers have been involved as well as Jim Rash, Donald Glover, Daniel Pudi and Ken Jeong. And in the first episode of the show, Abed (Pudi) says, “I  thought you were like Bill Murray in any of his films, but you’re more like Michael Douglas in any of his films.” At least they could have had the two in the same scene together. But it’s obvious now that many of the actors aren’t even acting in the same scenes together even if they’re on soundstages in front of green screens.

Back in the 1970s, Richard Donner had Tom Mankiewicz step in to rewrite the Superman script because at one point, it has Supes mistaking Telly Savalas for Lex Luthor. The difference is the MCU and its basic tired aesthetic is too busy throwing in pop culture references and winking at the camera. It worked casting Garret Morris since he had appeared in an SNL skit. But there’s no charm that Jon Favreau or James Gunn brought to the franchise.

I think this movie might appeal to people who have done a lot of edibles or smoked some cannabis. But after a while, even the visuals begin to lack the excitement they should.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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