Third 'Ant-Man' film visually imaginative, but dramatically flat - Catholic Courier
Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors star in a scene from the movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors star in a scene from the movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” (OSV News photo by Disney)

Third ‘Ant-Man’ film visually imaginative, but dramatically flat

NEW YORK (OSV News) – As suggested by its rather cumbersome title, there’s a lot going on in “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” (Disney). Unfortunately, the film, while free of gore and any really problematic material, ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its parts.

In this visually imaginative but dramatically flat third installment in their joint screen adventures, romantically linked superheroes Ant-Man, aka Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), and The Wasp, alias Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), become the victims of a dangerous experiment.

Scott’s grown daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) has invented a device to communicate with the subatomic Quantum Realm where Hope’s mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, was trapped for decades. Instead, the invention becomes an unwanted – and irresistible – portal to this other world.

Thus all four characters, along with Hope’s dad, Hank (Michael Douglas), find themselves unwillingly transported to Janet’s former place of exile. They also become separated in the process.

Before the quintet can regroup and find their way home, they get drawn into the struggle between a band of rebels led by fierce warrior Jentorra (Katy O’Brian) and the tyrant who’s oppressing them, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Janet, it gradually develops, knows more about Kang and his nihilistic cosmic ambitions than she’s initially willing to say.

As scripted by Jeff Loveness, returning director Peyton Reed’s extension of the Marvel Comics-based franchise pits the protection of loved ones against broader, more altruistic goals and showcases intergenerational family unity and teamwork. The screenplay also tries to make a point about the mistreatment of indigenous people, though the effort is a rather feeble one.

These thematic endeavors notwithstanding, most of the running time is taken up by standard-issue action sequences with only Majors’ malignant gravitas and the occasionally effective comic relief adding much of interest. Though generally inoffensive, “Quantumania” feels scattered, shallow and unsatisfying.

The film contains frequent bloodless violence, fleeting references to possible adultery, brief anatomical humor, at least one use of profanity, several milder oaths and some crude language. The OSV News classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.

Tags: Movie Review
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