Honey, they shrunk the expectations! In fact the stakes are subatomic in Peyton Reed’s water treading entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (C). The titular heroes, their daughter and the family grandparents journey to the center of the earth for a curious adventure and find themselves battling Kang, a man in exile who has the power to control time and space. Most of the Pym-witted plot points fall by the wayside as lumpy logic reveals this is basically a shoehorned origin story for baddie conqueror Kang. The movie is not without its pleasures, especially Paul Rudd flexing his eusocial instincts for comedy and sentimentality in frequent sequences with his character’s daughter, played with pluck by Kathryn Newton. The other high-profile cast members, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas, get very little activity (Douglas is even cuffed in an awkward position for piloting an inner space jet). The new villain played by Jonathan Majors gets precious little scenery to chew. In a film that flaunts additional comedy firepower in Bill Murray (he also has scant contribution), it’s character actor Corey Stoll who shines in a funny bit part as a hapless henchman. Mostly everyone’s dressed up with nothing to do in an underground pageant of kooky rejects from the sister division creature shop of Strange World. The film has mild adventure and occasional fun but is not a standout in terms of story or spectacle.
Review of 2nd film in the Ant-Man series