Marvel needs to be taken out to pasture.
And yes, this has been a long time coming.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” was my first movie of 2023. Keep in mind, the last movie I saw before the pandemic was “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and somehow that movie made me laugh more than this two-and-a-half-hour Marvel movie.
The one positive element of this movie, which took a while for me to pick out from the cluster of plotlines, is the twist ending. I won’t spoil it for all the devoted Marvel fans, but the directors call back to themes from “Infinity War” about which side is the right one, questioning if that group made decisions based on the right assumptions.
Now it’s time for me to complain — my favorite part.
The director and writers could not have shoved more cliché tropes into this story. This includes elements from Star Wars, Batman and oddly enough Ferris Bueller, but not in a “take life’s opportunities” way, more an “I did some questionable things without realizing the consequences” way.
Paul Rudd began the movie with this weird narration walking sequence. In case you didn’t watch the three other movies (why would they assume this?), here’s a quick recap from our favorite Avenger, Spider-Man — wait, I mean Ant-Man.
Then, the only reason this storyline begins is that Janet van Dyne declines to tell her family why to avoid the quantum realm at all costs. If she had discussed her — wait for it — thirty years in the quantum realm, then her family and Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, would know to avoid researching a dangerous place.
“Drink the ooze” was my least favorite line, said by the stereotypical weird character found in the quantum realm among a group of bandits. It’s a substance that allows Ant-Man and his daughter to understand the people in the quantum realm.
Does it help them continue their journey? Yes.
But at what cost to the quality of the movie?
I distinctly remember both of my friends asking me how much time was left multiple times during the movie. No transitions or time markers were used to ground the audience, and before you say that they’re in the quantum realm, that’s no excuse.
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“Guardians of the Galaxy” is one of my favorite Marvel movies, and it does a great job of giving the audience clues as to where they are in the universe with a vague sense of time based on Peter Quill’s age and experience.
“Quantumania” just said, no, they don’t care anyway, it’s the quantum realm. Nothing matters.
If only I could give the same expectations to my own writing.
Marvel has a dedicated fanbase that will appreciate anything it produces at this point. If you want to go see a movie that won’t make you cringe and want to escape into a different version of the multiverse, consider skipping “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.”