film fatales #168: europa europa (agnieszka holland, 1990)
music friday

geezer cinema: ant-man and the wasp: quantumania (peyton reed, 2023)

I enjoyed the first two Ant-Man movies, which were fun and unpretentious. Both were directed by Peyton Reed. I don't know his other work, but based on those two movies, he definitely seems to have a feel for a certain kind of Marvel movie that even I like.

But the third film in the Ant-Man saga, Quantumania, plays as if Reed forgot what made the first movies fun. The snappy repartee, which I liked but which was admittedly kinda dumb, is mostly gone. The Wasp goes from being at least as important as Ant-Man to being just a sidekick. And the special effects that were so appealing in the first two are unimpressive here. It was entertaining to see the get smaller-get bigger routine in San Francisco. It gets lost in the other, gaudier effects in Quantumania, which takes place almost entirely in the quantum realm, where nothing looks "ordinary" and everything blends together in CGI.

Quantumania is more like a Star Wars movie than a Marvel movie, and I appreciate that might seem like a good thing to some people. The quantum world is no more real than the planets in Star Wars films, and it's populated with the kind of oddball variety that I assume is popular with the Star Wars fans. Me, I wanted to see more actual humans. (I admit the creature with the broccoli head was pretty funny.)

I can't say I was overly disappointed. My hopes weren't all that high. But the drop-off from the first two Ant-Man movies to the third is unfortunate.


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