Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

12A 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

And so the MCU trundles on, with what has been categorized as the first entry of Phase Five. And leading this particular charge is one of their most diminutive heroes, with what is the third Ant-Man film in its own right.

This time his world gets a little smaller as he travels into the quantum realm.

boom reviews Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Oh this doesn't look good at all...

Life appears to be pleasantly calm for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who has found the time to write a book about being in the Avengers as Ant-Man, much to the annoyance of his family.

During this time his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) has been working on a project of her own to surprise him with. She’s built a device that can actually communicate with the Quantum realm, a sub-atomic universe, where her grand-mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) spent a number of years, and when she sees the device, she’s not happy about it. And within moments, you can understand why, as a portal opens pulling Scott, Cassie, Janet, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank (Michael Douglas) into it.

They get split up into two groups, with Scott and Cassie on their own. It’s not long before they run into someone who Janet knows well – but neglected to them about during her time in the realm – who goes by the name Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). As the name suggests, he’s not someone you should necessarily mess with, but that isn’t going to stop Ant-Man, who isn’t going to let someone with a silly name get in the way of getting his family back home.

boom reviews Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
I think i'm getting a little old for these discos.

So starting a new phase is a pretty big deal for Marvel, as it sets the tone for the immediate future for the franchise overall. It also introduces a new enemy, who it appears underpins much of what’s to come, much in the way Thanos did previously. And that could be a problem.

For those that may not know, the hugely talent Majors is currently facing multiple charges of assault and abuse. Not only is this not a good look for Marvel, it will only get worse if Majors gets convicted. This could possibly lead to the character being recast, which although doable, isn’t ideal. Especially as Majors is likely to appear in other parts of the MCU in the pipeline.

But parking that particular issue to one side, as it has little bearing on this title as it stands, how does this intro to Phase Five fair?

On the surface at least, it does a lot of things right. It attempts to expand the story outside of the on-going multi-verse shenanigans, with the quantum realm, which is something different. If only the visual palette of this inner world wasn’t so dark. We get it, it’s a sub atomic universe, but some form of light wouldn’t have gone amiss, even if it were only the odd tea light.

And this new world doesn’t feel that foreign, in fact, it comes across as all too familiar; it’s landscape is similar to that of the 1966 classic A Fantastic Voyage, mixed with the CGI heavy backdrops of the Star Wars prequels, sprinkled with a little of the original Star Trek series.

The characters also feel as if they would be at home in Star Wars too, with one restaurant looking like it might have the clientele from the Mos Eisley cantina mooching about.

And then there’s the story, which is sadly about as generic as a Marvel script gets. Good guys get to another ‘world’ only to discover bad guys, controlled by one really bad guy, and conflict ensues.

This is hardly a surprise when you consider this is – wait for it – the 31st film in the MCU. Just let that sink in a bit; you could watch a different Marvel film a day for an entire month. To give it a little more context, there have only been 25 James Bond films, which have been released over a span starting from 1962. And if you don’t get a little superhero fatigue after that, you never will.

But despite this film still performing well at the box office, it did suffer the second biggest drop-off in attendance for its theatrical release of any Marvel film, which may well be an indication of actual fatigue setting in. But only time will tell.

There’s also the fact that audiences are going to have their favourites, with the likes of Spider-Man who always pull in a crowd; and let’s face it, Ant-Man just doesn’t compare with our friendly neighbourhood arachnid man in terms of popularity.

This is a film that truly suffers from being story heavy, being thick and syrupy as it is. It also doesn’t do a good job in defining what Kang’s powers are; there’s a lot of talk about time, but his actual super powers are all a bit woolly.

It’s also CGI heavy too, but that goes for all entries in the MCU. The difference here is that this subterranean setting is all too dark and oppressive.

Rudd and the rest of the strong cast do their best, but there’s no getting away from the fact that they do come across as pieces on a very familiar board, being moved in even more familiar ways.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania then is just another recent example of an MCU title that is all filler and – despite the introduction of the supposedly menacing Kang – little in the way of killer.

we give this three out of five

 
 
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