Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Feels Like the MCU Has Lost Its Way

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Feels Like the MCU Has Lost Its Way


AntMan and the Wasp Quantumania Feels Like the MCU Has Lost Its Way

After 31 films and five phases into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), we seem to have reached a new low with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This latest entry feels like an afterthought that doesn't quite measure up to some of Marvel's more significant movies thus far.

The Story

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) used to be an exciting and thoughtfully constructed universe that combined humor, action-packed scenes, and poignant character moments. However, with its 31st entry 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' it appears the MCU has lost its way.

After taking a long break to focus on his daughter Cassie (recast as Kathryn Newton), Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is back at work. He's doing photo ops, book tours and being an upbeat celebrity; however, Scott Lang also struggles to reconnect with his estranged daughter Olivia (recast as Amy Adams).

Scott's life is going well, but he cannot escape the fact that he has been trapped in the Quantum Realm for 30 years. This revelation has caused his mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) to speak of it with increasingly dark overtones - warning everyone they will all soon be heading there together.

As it turns out, the Quantum Realm is an expansive universe within our own, similar to James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a strange and ominous place with some bizarre creatures, but there's nothing particularly unique about its environment that sets it apart from other MCU cosmic movies.

In spite of this, there are some genuine laughs in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.' The humor may lean more toward self-referential jokes, but if that's what you want from an Ant-Man movie, this one has plenty to offer. It may not be the best Ant-Man movie yet, but it is still an impressive MCU adventure and worth your time. Its only flaw is its rushed pacing and overlong exposition but still enjoyable if you prepare yourself for it beforehand.

The Characters

Ant-Man has been out of the spotlight for a while. Now he's back in San Francisco, where he is an international celebrity who receives high-fives and selfie requests at his book signings. Plus he proudly fathers teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). Plus he dates superwoman Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who shares an affinity with her scientists/retired-superhero parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne.

But when Scott and his family become trapped in the Quantum Realm, they're faced with an entirely new threat: Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). As director Peyton Reed has stated, Quantumania won't just be a palate cleanser; its emotional impact will far outweigh anything seen before.

In many ways, the movie attempts to do too much with three distinct storylines competing for screen time. The outcome is an unfunny mess that's easily forgotten.

One of the major issues is that a group of new sidekicks (mostly rebel freedom fighters against Kang) are introduced but given little to do. Their designs are intriguing, and Katy M. O'Brian shows promise as a warrior princess, yet their stories lack enough arcs for viewers to become invested.

There are a few humorous moments, including Scott's exchange with Randall Park's FBI parole officer played by Randall Park; Hannah John-Kamen's character Ghost also provides entertainment as an evil villain with creative costume design; however, overall this film feels like Marvel has lost its way and forgotten why it was so enjoyable in the first place.

The Visuals

Visuals are essential components of any story, yet a lack of clarity in visuals can make it difficult for readers to follow along with what's happening. This is particularly relevant in today's information overload age when most people don't have time to read extensive amounts of text.

It's essential to select the appropriate visual for each situation, as different images can convey various messages more effectively. For instance, a photograph of Anthony Scaramucci wearing aviators could convey that he's an admirable individual and great leader without divulging too much about his character.

Video games employ a similar strategy, where an image can tell a character's story without needing extensive text. This helps the game stand out from competitors and keeps players engaged throughout their experience.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania boasts some stunning visual effects, like people shrinking to fit through walls. But according to Marvel Studios VP of Visual Effects Danielle Costa, it's essential that you exercise caution when using them.

"The key is not to overcomplicate things," according to WIRED. Instead, she suggests focusing on one idea at a time so you don't lose your audience."

Another crucial point to remember is that visuals don't need to be the center of the story, but they should still be present. It may be tempting to force a narrative into one particular visual, but it's better to find an equilibrium between style and substance so the audience doesn't get lost in translation.

The Music

After watching Ant-Man and the Wasp, it's hard to believe a sequel is still several years away. Nevertheless, it has already been announced that Ant-Man and the Wasp 2 will hit theaters in February 2023, directed by Peyton Reed.

Soon after Ant-Man's release, director Reed began discussions for a sequel and was eager to build upon Paul Rudd's character Scott Lang's success. Additionally, he wanted Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an equal partner, just as she had been in the first film.

The film is a poignant family drama that incorporates elements from across the Marvel Multiverse. It's packed with laughs and action that are both upbeat and entertaining, yet not without its share of sadness or tragedy.

For example, there are several moments in the movie where it seems to lack something - some lighthearted humor to lift our spirits or an image that brings smiles to our faces. Though these moments are few and far between, they play a pivotal role in telling the overall storyline.

Another element that helps a movie feel like more than just scenes is music. The Quantumania soundtrack offers an eclectic range of tunes that helps set the atmosphere for the film.

The theme from Ant-Man movies begins the trailer and it's an upbeat track that grabs your attention with its brassy, triumphant sound. This track is followed by "Ghost in the Machine," a more futuristic piece with an almost 80s vibe and electric hum throughout the song.

The End

In the concluding scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is reunited with his daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), as well as wife Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). But their bliss is threatened when Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) vanish into Quantum Realm. There, our heroes must brave against both good and evil forces within this vast subatomic realm.

Ant-Man's first two iterations were deeply rooted in familial connection and all the beautiful, scary complications these bonds bring. While these feelings are less prominent this time around, the pace and action feel faster-paced than ever before. While it may not have been an ideal way to conclude a trilogy, it seems like it might have been the right decision nonetheless.

Quantumania is an astoundingly visually creative film, taking place across a multitude of realities. It's one of Marvel Studios' most ambitious superhero adaptations yet and easily one of the best visuals-rich comic book movies to date.

However, it's a bit too bloated and disjointed for its own good. Without an engaging story to stand alone as its own movie, its overstuffed plotting makes it feel more like a heist movie than an MCU close.

Unfortunately, it has some extravagant action scenes that feel out of character for Marvel. Nevertheless, the film still has some enjoyable moments, especially the climactic battle which remains one of the most thrilling things we've seen so far in this franchise.

Finally, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania feels like an MCU movie that has lost its way. It's a large, sprawling film packed with plot points and characters; yet it lacks a compelling narrative.

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