With Marvel’s Phase four petering out with no climatic ending a la Avengers mash –up we now have the start of Phase Five with Ant Man and the Wasp – Quantumania. It’s been five years since the last standalone Ant Man film during which the ex-con turned superhero Scott Lang aka Ant Man has helped saved the universe and is famous in his home city San Francisco where residents are in awe of him requesting selfies and only to happy to pay for meals and rinks for him. It’s a sequence which is as perky and playful as Paul Rudd’s persona and the Ant Man films have been built around that (in the same way that Downey’s Iron Man was) in a refreshing change from the other superheroes in the Marvel canon.
Reunited with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) along with Hope Evangeline Lilly) Dr Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) free from her 30 years trapped in the Quantum Realm and all is well with them and the universe. That is until Cassie does a kind of school Show & Tell presentation with her invention that Dr Pym has helped her to build. A bit like agreeing to let your child do a student exchange only to find that it is Prince Andrew in a school uniform and it soon goes awry when the machine sucks all of them into the sub atomic universe which Janet had escaped from –a green screen-tastic universe inhabited by the most bizarre inhabitants not seen on screen since The Jeremy Kyle show came off air. Best of these is M.O.D.O.K (Corey Stoll) a giant headed flying robot only too keen to remind everyone that he is the ultimate weapon but the effect is spoilt somewhat by the character being so appallingly rendered as though the effects house, already busy with realizing the Quantum Realm, didn’t have enough time or staff to finish work on the character before the completion deadline expired.
Evangeline Lilly talks about her part in Marvel films
Janet has her own secrets she’s keen to keep from the family but inevitably will out but the five of them all need to be afraid, be very afraid of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) with his own grudge to bear against Janet responsible for scuppering his plans and trapping him forever on the Quantum realm. Majors is excellent as the villainous Kang, no shouty threats just a calmly assured nonchalance secure in his absolute power despite the five new visitors endeavours to thwart his ambitions and get themselves back to San Francisco.
Part of the pleasures of the first two films was seeing the dramatic shrinking and expanding of everyday objects in the real world but Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania has the majority of its 2hour + run time in a green screen alien universe taking away that element of enjoyment and Rudd’s persona is subsumed in it all. In fact its Michelle Pfeiffer who is very much to the front and centre with the film and that’s not a complaint but the Marvel’s introduction of the multiverse has meant, as we have seen previously, there’s little if anything that can’t be reserved and it is for that reason that the threat of the villains in this last batch of films means there’s little to worry about. And that’s increasingly become a concern with the Marvel multiverse films which perhaps only Spiderman dealt with most satisfyingly.
Is it time to end the Marvel post credits scene?
In keeping with Marvel tradition there is a mid-credit and end of credits scenes the last of which is absolute fan bait for future films in phase five but after two hours of green screen it’s a relief that the film returns to terra-firma and we can only hope that subsequent films do.
Here’s the Ant Man and the Wasp – Quantumania trailer…..