Another trip on the merry-go-round, glued to the post and with eyelids stapled open. Marvel’s run of tepid form for the everyday punter comes to a close with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Even those who find themselves falling for the summery and twee introduction must admit that this is the Paul Rudd style. His public image and the changes made to suit his twee comedic needs are the same stretch Ryan Reynolds was exposed to. Two peas in an ultimately silly and trivial pod. Marvel now needs to rebuild and restructure their superheroes. Marking one of them as an autobiography-penning, washed-up loser does not do much for the viewers at home hoping to hang their hat and hopes on. Double standards, double crosses and Bill Murray, what a triple.
Peyton Reed directs and draws up comparisons between grieving and real-world issues with an event consistently mocked and referred to as The Blip. Embarrassing that may be, shrinking down to a quantum level and mulling about with family values at the heart of it is uninteresting. Marvel has found itself with an expiry date. Michael Douglas’ dialogue makes him sound like a dithering rendition of Frank Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mystery comes from drawn-out reservations a character makes rather than anything natural. Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) has a natural disregard for the Quantum realm after being stuck there for so long. Too bad she is there for the long haul, a blurry state of affairs that copy and paste assets from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This is the slop you get when your VFX team is not allowed to unionise.
Inevitable teasing and big reveals for Jonathan Majors, Corey Stoll and Bill Murray lose themselves to the expectations set up by their presence. Moments that are built up to elicit a cheap pop, cheer or hiss from overreactive audiences who cannot contain their excitement or rage at seeing Murray on the screen in a bit part that will not extend to other films. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is sloppy and dull, from the Bigweld from Robots chair Kang sits in, to the giant hug that feels like Godzilla, despite the pair being normal size. “It is never too late to stop being a dick,” are the words of wisdom for this piece. Riveting stuff. That piece of delicate detail is delivered to Stoll, whose rendition of Mr. Electric from Sharkboy and Lavagirl is quite the empty state.
About as exciting as a dental appointment. As painful as one too. Marvel has failed to move their bit-character comedy components to the next phase. They desperately needed to and with big shoes to fill have come up shorter than expected. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was never going to shake the feeling it was another plank in an excessively long, shaky bridge, but it should never have been the pivotal support. Welcome back, as the opening and closing song continues. Do not overthink is what they hope to engage. They do just that, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has no thought to it. Everything is probably fine, the lazy narration at the end gives off. They could not have made it clearer that everything was not, actually, fine.