ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA Review — Anti-Entertaining

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Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review wonders how this third Ant-Man installment spun so wildly out of control and became so utterly underwhelming.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania reviewAnt-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania loses viewers in the first 20 seconds. Shadowy characters lurk and lunge about a painfully obvious faux rock set in front of an ill-rendered green screen backdrop. The original Star Trek TV series characters would have been right at home here.

“Is this a finished cut?” I wondered as I sat in a critic’s private preview screening. “Do they still have more work to do on it to make it look semi believable?” It had to be the final—the movie was opening in less than a week.

It’s a rather inauspicious start for the film that’s supposed to usher in the next phase in the Marvel Universe. It’s a rather weak attempt to establish Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Majors) as the next super villain of Thanos-sized proportions.

Kang (and Majors) deserve a better launch.

Even seasoned A-lister actors like Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas and Bill Murray can’t redeem this shallow, ill-advised, effort. Could it be the worst of the 40+ movies in the Marvel Universe? It certainly gets my vote.

This time around we find Ant-Man (the toothlessly engaging Paul Rudd) and his annoying daughter (Kathryn Newton), plus the Wasp (Evangeline Lily with an “interesting” pixie cut) and her parents, played by Douglas and Pfeiffer, all getting accidentally sucked down into the Quantum Realm, where they alternately screw up, crack wise and fight evil.

Warning: this is not one of those Marvel movies that generously and adroitly fills you in on what happened last time we saw the protagonist, or visited the Quantum Realm. C’mon! It’s been about five years since  Ant-Man and the Wasp was released. Are those of us who are not avid Marvel devotees supposed to remember all those details? That was half a decade and what seems like dozens of films ago.

So while you’re trying to figure out what’s actually happening, who’s doing what to whom and why, you’re subjected to a bloated, busy and baffling CGI world, filled with silly science and ridiculous dialogue. After a short while, you stop caring.

Just to remind you, this film was made before Disney announced extensive cutbacks and vowed to focus more on quality than quantity in the Marvel Universe.

Now Ant-Man has never been my favorite Avenger, but the previous Ant-Man movies, both also directed by Peyton Reed (who is also responsible for the perfectly serviceable comedies “Down With Love” and “Bring it On”), were mildly entertaining.

It makes you wonder what’s going on with this, Reed’s third Ant-Man installment? Surely theater goers deserve better.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 5 Minutes

If, after reading this Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review, you still want to pay to see it, get times and tickets on

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review wonders how this third Ant-Man installment spun so wildly out of control and became so utterly underwhelming.


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and seen on Rotten Tomatoes. She is the author of three bestselling books, and spends as much of her free time as possible with her husband Jim and her jolly therapy Labradoodle Frankie Feldman.

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