Dear Mr. Jack Kirby and Jeff Loveness (writers of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania”),
After viewing the latest rendition of the “Ant-Man” series, “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantamania” starring the familiarly jovial Paul Rudd, I felt compelled to write my review as a letter to you both as well as director Peyton Reed.
Each year, I subject myself to countless Marvel and DC movies, most of which blur together no matter the Universe. The storylines are all much the same; good guys fight (and fight and fight) the evil bad guy who is set on destroying the world(s). But there was always something different about “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Shazam” (the one with Zachary Levi, not The Rock), and “Ant-Man.” I actually look forward to these iterations of the commonplace super hero movies and now, “Quantamania” has fallen prey to these other formulaic, dull and predictable big budget movies.
What happened to the subplots? You remember them, the side stories of interest where we get to know the ancillary characters and their quirky backgrounds. For example, Luis (Michael Pena) who made us laugh as he recalled “Drunk History” style his antics with our still rough around the edges Ant-Man aka Scott Lang. Or Darren’s (Corey Stoll) complicated background which led him to his life of evil. And then there was the effervescent Judy Greer as Maggie, the frustrated ex-wife with her current hubby Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) who added grit and humor to the storyline.
And as I alluded to the humor of previous characters, the comic element is all but lost in this current movie. Rudd is fun and funny, but we only get a few glimpses of this in the beginning and the end…and that’s it. Did you forget to take full advantage of your star’s magic power of comedy? What about creating an interesting dialogue between Scott and his now teenage daughter? And let’s not forget one of the kings of comedy, Michael Douglas who is nothing more than a prop throughout the film. I was saddened to see this along with the strikingly beautiful and tough Michelle Pfeiffer who plays Janet, the first explorer into the Quantum Realm who had nothing more than a superficial performance thanks to the script and direction. Speaking of backdrops, did you forget to write lines for Evangeline Lily as Hope?
It pains me to say that your script becomes stereotypical; blending into all the other super hero movies that relentlessly hit the screen each and every year. You’ve even created a “Thanos” type of character in “Kang The Conqueror” (Jonathan Majors) who, in all honesty, was the most interesting character of them all as we learned about his past endeavors and conquests in this tiny world. But, alas, it’s not enough.
Yes, your special effects team creates a vibrantly creative world that tips its hat to sea creatures and “Star Wars” and they hone their skills in the countless fight scenes that, as all super hero movies do, lulled me to sleep. And while you attempted to use feminism as the focal point with both Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and Janet leading the troops with both strength and intelligence to save their world and return home together as a family, this, too, flatlined. I’ll give credit where credit is due, yes, you gave us female leads, but how much different are they than the male characters? The answer is, they are not.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania” is a complete disappointment. It let me down in story and character and with its lack of humor, I’m now cautiously anticipating “Shazam” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Jack, Jeff, and Peyton, I give your film 1 1/2 stars.