by Victoria Alexander
A disastrous mess with the Ant population expanding. Even the family gardener has a suit which means Scott Lang’s role is reduced to carrying everybody’s luggage.
ANT-MAN (2015) and ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018) were directed by Peyton Reed. Now comes Reed’s ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. I am not a comic book devotee, even though I sat through the previous two ANT-MAN movies. I see too many movies to remember who is who in the Ant-Wasp family dynamics. Paul Rudd returns as Scott Lang, the Ant-Man. He became an Avenger. His Avenger skill is that he can minimize himself as an ant and fly. He also has ant MMA skills.
QUANTUMANIA begins in the Quantum Realm where Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original WASP, has spent 30 years. She was rescued in the last film. It turns out that she was doing more than taming the landscape. Janet saved the life of a pilot, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Mayers), whose ship had crashed in the Quantum Realm. Janet befriends Kang choosing to believe he crashed instead of being banished to the Quantum Realm due to his despot leanings.
Well, what choice did Janet have after being stuck in a creature-inhabited world?
We return to the present day Universe where a family dinner includes Lang’s bug/girlfriend The Wasp, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Lang’s 18-year-old daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and the newly rescued Janet. Pym’s faithfulness understandably took a slip because 30 years is a long time to wait for Janet’s return. Why doesn’t Hope use her father’s last name? Is there an ex-husband lurching somewhere with a suit of his own?
I’m completely confused and could not find any answers on Google. Did Michael Douglas insist Hank have had a dalliance while waiting around for Janet to return to The Earth Realm? Douglas couldn’t abide having Pym celibate for 30 years. I’m suspicious about the 30 year hiatus. Was Janet and Kang just friends? If Hope’s parents are Hank and Janet, why are they raising Cassie as her faux-grandparents? Where is Cassie’s mother? Did Cassie’s mother lose custody?
Cassie has been messing around in the Pym basement under the tutelage of her indulgent faux-grandparents. She has created a gizmo, and while showing it off, something goes wrong and everyone transits back to the Quantum Realm. They are separated into two groups. Janet takes over as she spent 30 years in this place. Unfortunately, every superhero, cartoon, animation and sci-fi trope are thrown into the Quantum Realm. There are cameos by GHOSTBUSTER’S Dough Boy, King Kong, Broccoli Man, Jello Kid and Baby Yoda. I even saw Stan Lee dressed as a freedom fighter. Pandora’s people are hiding in the wavy plants.
I understand that the ANT franchise needs a nepo-superhero. Why Cassie? What gives Cassie the right to a suit and all the powers that come with it? With a nepo-superhero, the franchise can continue. Giving Janet a major part in QUANTUMANIA, set up Scott Lang a standby role.
It used to be who you knew. Now it’s who your parents are. It certainly is a fact that nepotism in Hollywood is flourishing – Kevin Bacon stars in a commercial with his daughter and Judd Apatow’s daughter Maude is in EUPHORIA, so now It's Iris Apatow’s turn. Why hasn’t their been an article about the nepo-babies who failed, like the Willis girls? No matter how much effort was put into making Rumor Willis a star, it never happened. And neither of her sisters made any bank on their Hollywood privilege. Or Clint Eastwood’s daughters. Get ready for Apple Paltrow Martin to be unleashed on Hollywood. If your child does not want to memorize lines and audition, there is always modeling – even if you are five feet tall. If your mother is Madonna, you can cat walk during Paris Fashion Week and be in Vogue magazine. There is also the Iris Apatow’s stepping stone route – being named an ambassador for a sneaker company. Whatever that entails.
When the foursome finally reunite, Janet takes the lead and, knowing the environs so well, takes them to meet the Realm’s QB, Bill Murray. He stops the movie cold. No matter what they paid him, they should have left his scene on the editor’s floor. I know he’s beloved, but his career has been tainted by all the cruelty and suffering he doled out to co-stars as well as the sexual harassment claims. Well-known for not having any representation or a home address (only Sofia Coppola seems to have him on speed dial), Reed should not have hunted him down so aggressively.
With Cassie now an Ant-wearing superhero and a Quantum Realm tribal slave race uprising, Scott Lang renounces the lead to Janet. Hope surrenders her WASP position by wearing a terrible mid-western state functional short hairdo wig that changes colors.
And what is up with Corey Stoll’s Darren returning as M.O.D.O.K., a Humpty-Dumpty figure with a big head in a tiny insect body? I wouldn’t have minded more of him as he tried to get a date for the slave uprising Festival.
QUANTUMANIA writer Jeff Loveness does give Scott Lang the current multiple selves CGI that we all saw in Adam Driver’s commercial on Super Bowl Sunday.
Sadly, I think Ant Man and the Wasp will continue as a streaming venue or a cartoon starring Cassie.
“The ALL is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”
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